Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring Fever! Sight Seeing.

Oh how I want to ride everywhere again!

(Friend Helena photographs local humor)

Turns out - when you go the speeds I'm able to pedal - you see an awful lot more of your surroundings! I couldn't stop saying... "look at that mossy rock"... "nice mailbox"... "did you see that cave or hole in the rock next to the river?"

I've started at least one ride on the weekend, and have been finding my limits. An easy road ride is it. Flat... any hills are really strenuous on my atrophied leg. My knee and ankle swell immediately after dismounting the bike, and any obstacle that I want to more properly navigate by getting up off the saddle - tweaks my ankle. This is a lesson for me.

The lesson is that these super weak legs of mine - can't hold my body above the saddle. When I'm coaching cycling skills to beginners I try to have them hover above the saddle as long as possible. In general while mountain biking you rarely sit and "ride" the bike, but are with bend knees and hover forward - back - side to side unless it's a climb. I realize now that if somebody has been inactive - as many of my students are, or maybe overweight or simply haven't built up the "S" in Strong, Light and Beautiful... that your time is limited for getting off the saddle. Baby steps for all of us I guess. I am now more sensitive to this and will modify some coaching or length of a clinic potentially, to not wear out future cyclists!

This picture is from a week ago - going up to the end of Steven's Canyon. Normally it's a slow ride that you forget is not level - other than the "going slow" part. Then when you turn around at the end you fly back to the Pierce Rd/Steven's Creek junction with such speed you realize you were climbing that last 1/2 hour! For me... this "climb" actually had me traversing at times. Terry (my husband) had to do the ol' push trick - and put his hand on my back and help me up the steeper little bumps. I think I need to do some more "really flat" rides before trying this one again. As my knee and ankle let me know my limits- and poofed up.

Needless to say, just the act of suiting up - and breathing fresh air, increasing the heart rate, and yapping with friends while sight seeing up a local canyon - has lifted my spirits.

I'm thinking of modifying or purchasing a bike for commuting - to increase my cycling frequency thru potential rains - and get me out for any journey under 3 miles from my home. My current stable is full of more aggressive bikes for a workout, other than my beach cruiser- which is too heavy and not versatile enough for be to make runs to the local stores and get back "up" the mild inclines to my house. YAY... an excuse to get another bike!

Let's not forget... I'm supposed to ride a CENTURY in May!