It’s Tuesday. I’ve gone nearly a week without going for a bike ride. Before that, I don’t think I’ve gone two consecutive days without riding is the past two years. At one point I rode every day for over a year. So how is it possible a guy who was riding every day can find himself off his bike? Am I hurt? No. Was I super busy at work? No. Did I opt to swim, hike, climb, ski? No.
I just had a few days where I did not ride and then I found it hard to get the motivation to get back on the bike the next few days.
The last time I experienced this was after a Solo 24 hour race a few years back where I was really burnt out. What was incredible was how 5 days can quickly become 5 weeks. Months later you look in the mirror and realize you are really in shape, the shape of a pair that is.
Today I’m writing this as much as a memo to myself to get back on the bike this afternoon and not repeat the mistakes of my past. If you have been out of the saddle for too long, I challenge you to get back on the bike tonight. The weather is cooling down in the late afternoon and the light is still up after work. If you get home after dark, Ordinary Bike Shop has 200 Lumen lights for around $50 and 300/400 lumen lights for around $100 bucks. This really extends your riding options.
When I made the commitment to ride every day that ends in a ‘y” for an entire year, I found a few tricks that made riding much easier. At the end of every ride, make sure your bike is ready for the next ride. If you have any mechanical issues, take care of them immediately. Never, ever leave a bike with a flat tire!!! Those pesky squeaks need attention. It will cost more later, so keep your steel horse running in the best condition. I have a few bikes, so in the case that something does break on the way out the door, I grab another bike. I’ve also come home and swapped out bikes just to make sure I get a ride in. Leave your bike clothing out and ready for the ride. This should include everything from socks, shoes, road I.D., shorts/bib, butt butter, sun screen, jersey, music, gloves, helmet, nutrition bars, and water bottles. Keep a saddle bag full of Co2(I have 3 cartridges) 2 tubes and a patch kit and a multi-tool with a chain tool. Learn at least the basics for maintaining your bike and fixing flats. Get the rides in before work, as the day moves on, it gets harder and harder to get on the bike as more distractions present themselves. Join teams, group rides or friends to add a level of accountability. Commute to work. If you are feeling a little sick or low on energy, go for a recovery ride or quick easy spin. Often times this will clear your head and lead to a longer ride, other times it just makes you feel better.
After typing this I’m pumped. How about you? I’ll be on my bike today at 4:30 with El Grupo. Time set, clothing is ready to go, LETS RIDE!
I’m typing this at 8:52 PM. I wrote the post above this morning. So life got in the way today. I had a party at 3:30 at 5 palms. Free food, free booze, networking. It would have been so easy to give up on the ride and stuff my face. Choices. Life is full of choices. I went to 5 palms, said hello to the people I needed to see, gave my free drink tickets to a friend and went and rode my bike.