Like Eleanor Meecham (recounted in her cycle touring book Llamas and Empanadas) and other traveling cyclists, Amanda and I are astounded by the fact that our physical conditioning is actually declining while touring.
Starting out on this trip we felt it was important to continue to move in the right direction. Which way is the right way? I figured I would know it when I saw it. Well, stretchy spandex cycling shorts and a lack of full length mirrors gave a distorted view of reality. Insatiable hunger coupled with the challenges of finding sufficient and healthful food sent us on a detour.
The last few months we have slowed considerably in our constant motion, staying in places for longer and creating the opportunity to exercise at an intensity more than looooong and sloooooow.
And it has paid off. On the island of Langkawi, Malaysia Amanda was second runner-up in a 10K and, incredibly, won US $225. This past weekend I fulfilled a lifelong dream by competing in and finishing an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon here in Singapore. (Yes, I did the bike portion on my touring bike, a converted mountain bike.)
No doubt, our reaction to the phenomenon of touring bloat was extreme. How do others maintain the feeling that they are moving in the right direction without going overboard?