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Old 03-23-03, 05:34 PM   #1
Inkwolf
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Getting back in shape!

Notwithstanding all the people who live in year-round sunshine, or glory in plowing through snowdrifts, or have trainers and exercycles, I'm sure I'm not the only hibernator. How's it going, in the quest to rebuild your butt callouses, fellow winter potatoes?

I've had a few days warm enough to go out on brief rides. Today was the first one warm enough to go without my jacket and the Darth-Vader-Wannabee breath mask I wear to stave off cold-air asthma. Quite amusing to pedal past a field of cows who've apparently forgotten that bicycles exist, and take in their wide-eyed stares.

Still, I found my usual country roads rather dead...maybe because everything's still brown. I decided to cruise along the shoulder of Highway 29, a ride I normally find noisy and nerve-racking. Today it was fun....the cars whizzing by felt like company. HWY 29 has a nice setup ouot in my aresa--it's a 4-lane divided highway, with an 18-inch strip of shoulder, to the right of which is a 24-inche section of corrugated shoulder, to the right of which is a 24-inch strip of smooth pavement (perfect for cycling!) before the gravel shoulder begins. One of the nice things about having four feet between you and tha car lane is that you can take it for granted that the people who beep at you wildly mean it in a friendly way.

Tomorrow I won't be able to fit a bike ride into my schedule, after which the temperature's supposed to drop again.

So, how are you others doing?
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Old 03-23-03, 05:55 PM   #2
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I find it really tough. Each winter, despite my best intentions, I gain weight and get out of shape. I really tried the trainer, but I find that with my work, commuting 40 minutes each day by car (it is not possible to commute by bike - 38 miles is a bit too far), other family responsibilities, shortened days and inclement weather, I just don't seem able to keep it up. I actually seem to go into a downward spiral physically unless I keep my rest and sleep going.

I do always walk at least two miles daily at a rapid pace, and that gives me a little base. When the weather gets better, I will replace that walk with a ride of at least 10 miles or more. I also continue to lift weights on a regular basis.

But, I just feel really out of condition about this time of year.

I guess I am not doing any better than you are!!

Great weather for a ride today - but, alas, family responsibilities take precedence.

I need a 36 hour day.
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Old 03-23-03, 07:18 PM   #3
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I guess I am one of the lucky ones, I spent my lunch hours in the gym hitting the cardio machines and lifting weights. So when the weather cleared up I felt much stronger on my bike. It also helps that my brother is a fitness/health fanatic and is able to motivate me (it is much easier to workout then to listen to him give me a hard time for slacking off.)

I am glad winter is over and I can get on my bike on a regular basis.
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Old 03-27-03, 07:05 PM   #4
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I went out for the first time this season today. I got on my bike and I passed another biker resting on the side of the road. He had just come up a huge hill. I commented that the hill was a killer and kept going ( in the opposite direction that he was headed.) About 5 minutes later I was peddeling along basically in a trance when he snuck up on me and passed me. He scared the hell out of me!

The rest of the ride was great. I actually was in a little better shape than I expected. I didn't totally die after the hills! My new Crantoni Helmet and Terry Wind Jacket both were on they're maiden voyage. I was very pleased with the performance of both. We are going to have another great day tomorrow so I will get up early and do 12 miles before work. Then Its supposed to go back into the 30's. Oh well, what are we going to do.
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Old 03-29-03, 10:51 AM   #5
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Even riding all winter through snow and ice, I lose condition and gain fat. That riding is all about balance, staying upright, steering clear of cars, etc. I do it because it is outdoors and I can't stand gyms, plus it is a challenge. My average speed may drop to single digits and commute time double. Now that spring is here, my legs are screaming about doing faster rpms. Nights I wake up with leg cramps that shift from one muscle group to another as I stretch them out. That will last another month or so. My training is done by the do-it approach, rather than science. There is only so much time in the day!
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Old 03-29-03, 09:36 PM   #6
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I did some downhill skiing this winter which really gave my legs a run for it money! The I took my 8 year old down from the top for the first time. She snow plowed the whole way and I basically had to also. That was an absolute killer. I ended up with some tendonitis by the end of the season. It actually feels good to bike though. I get in the hot tub afterwards and then some advil and I am golden. I am not pusing it though on the bike because I don't want to do something stupid and be out the whole season!
I figure I have until June to get in shape enough for some group rides.
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Old 03-30-03, 05:31 AM   #7
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It makes me realise how lucky we are in New Zealand ,especialy the part I live , we can ride all year round ! our summer is coming to an end but the winter here in The Bay of Plenty is mild , not many frosts last year. there was only twice last winter that I had to abandon the shorts although I ride to &from work in the wee small hours .
Enjoy your spring & summer
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Old 04-04-03, 04:58 AM   #8
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Is it because of the shorts that you have to ride in the wee small hours?
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