Back in the Saddle again.

13 Jan

When I have been off the bike for a while I find it almost thrilling to get back in the saddle again. I did my regular riding through October until November 2, 2013. Then I went to Boston to see my son then to Oregon to visit friends. After this the weather and shorter days have kept me off the bike. I only got one ride in December on the 2nd. Yes I admit it I am a fair weather rider. I finally got a nice afternoon January 9th and could take some time before it got dark to get a little ride in. It was great! The weather was very pleasantly in the low 60’. I meet up with Gary my riding buddy and we were able to lay down a few miles before it got dark. Right after we got started, when I only had about 2 miles in to get warmed up, he sprinted out hard. Gary laid down a sprint challenge that I couldn’t resist. I have been known to be a bit competitive. I went down to the drops and visualized myself as Mark Cavendish. It was a short lived sprint. It was not about the distance it was all about the intensity, the assault on pure speed. I flicked up thru the gears. I dug deep for power in each peddle stroke. I was gaining on him with each yard covered. Speed jumping up from about 13 or 14 mph to a max of 28.9 mph. I edged past him, pulling out a wheel on him. Then he knew it was over, he was not going to catch me. When my back wheel passed he quit and sat up.
When I saw I alone I backed off to 18 or 19 mph. Gary soon caught up and we continued our friendly afternoon ride. We settled down to a nice easy 15 to 17 mph pace. We can hold this pace comfortably and carry on a conversation. We spent the next 11 or 12 miles catching up with each other. We talked about what we had been doing in the last few weeks since we had not been riding. Generally visiting as good friends should. This is what my bike riding is really about. Spending some time with a good friend, getting some exercise and enjoying the outdoors.
When we got around our route to get back to his car I dropped him off and headed home myself. From the drop off point back to my house is another 7 miles. The sun was getting very low very quickly. With the sun setting the temperature was dropping. It was in to the high 50’. This is not bad but I was in bib shorts and a short sleeve summer weight jersey. I tried to push the pace a little so I would be home before it got too dark.
I was getting cool, not yet cold. I knew when the sun dropped I was going to get cold right away. As I pushed toward home the legs began to feel heavy. I knew right then that it was the effect of not riding. Only one ride in 10 weeks is not keeping in shape. My weight is up by about 9 or 10 pounds since August. So all this comes together. I humped it on home, making it just as it is getting dark. Well just after dark. As a kid we judged that it was time to go in the house when the street lights came on. That was how we judged that it was officially dark. As I turn on to the last block I noticed the street light was on. It was not the dim flickering light of when they first come on but it was the strong light like it had been on some time.
By the time I got in the house I was chilled cold. Not the frozen you get when the weather is really cold. It was the bone chill of that cool damp feeling. Heading in for a hot shower that I knew would feel so fine. Stripping off my damp jersey and shorts I could tell the skin on my legs and arms was cold to the touch. In almost 23 miles I had drank less than ½ of a bottle of water. On a hot day I would likely do 3 or maybe 4 bottles in that distance. Here in south Texas it can easily be over a hundred degrees and humid on top of that. This day when I parked it the temperature was down to about 55’.
With the exertion after not having ridden in a long time, carrying too much body weight, not having warmed up, the cold coming back and I failed to stretch after my ride. Later that night you know what happened. My lower back seized up. The muscles went in to a spasm. Now I hurt so bad I can hardly move. If I sit for a time I can’t get up or walk. I’m currently looking for an opportunity to get another ride in to work this stiffness out.

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One Response to “Back in the Saddle again.”

  1. Daniel Weise January 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Glad to hear you got out for a ride! Sorry to hear about the back spasm, though. I hope you get that opportunity to ride the stiffness away very soon.

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