While I do love the encouraging atmosphere of group rides and races, I
also enjoy just getting out there by myself for so many reasons. First
of all, there’s no pressure to keep up. So many times I’ve started a
ride too fast or too stressed because I feel like I have to be part of
the action. I don’t want to be the one who gets dropped. (Invariably,
I get dropped anyways because I end up fatiguing myself!) Another
reason I like to ride by myself sometimes is to have quiet meditation,
focus and some good ‘ol inner dialogue. If I’m having a good ride, I
can pick it up. If I’m having a poopy ride, I can ease back without
feeling the pressure of holding others back. I’ve found that it
literally takes me about an hour to settle in and get comfy on the
bike (or as comfy as I’m going to get).
This morning, I rode 60 miles on Parmer. Austinites know what a mind
game this long stretch of open road can be depending on the direction
of the wind (and there’s ALWAYS wind). Today, the wind was at my back
heading west. Oh, what a glorious feeling it is to avg over 20 mph for
the first 30 miles without really pushing too hard. This is a great
course to simulate Galveston because there are long stretches of good
time trialing, but the long rolling hills keep you honest. And then,
of course, there is the wind.
The dreadful breeze was in my face during the jaunt back to town.
Instead of fighting it, I just slapped myself into a low gear and spun
through it. There were a few “I hate this” moments, but overall I was
having a good day. It’s hard to be whiny when I’m fortunate enough to
be able to do this kinda stuff in the first place. Would I rather be
at my desk in an office or out riding on a sunny Friday morning?
Duh…I’ll quit any kind of bitching now.
I ended the ride at just under 18mph average. Of course, that includes
slowing down for every darn stoplight coming back into town. What a
momentum buster that is!!
I got back to the car happy with how it felt today (minus my back
which is sore from yesterday’s kick boxing class!). Stopped into
Firebowl Cafe for a little tofu stir fry/sodium refueling and struck
up a great conversation with a stranger named Susan. She obviously
noticed my geeked out cycling uniform and asked me about Ironman. I
was happy to chat her ear off (even though I was about to gnaw my arm
off from hunger.) She’s training for the Full Iron Distance at Redman
this fall. We could’ve chatted for days, I’m sure. There’s just
something about this stuff that brings out goodness in people (and an
I’m glad I have this day to remember fondly as one of the reasons why…