Monday, January 21, 2019

Happiness is a flat road...

A friend of mine often says "When you're our age, fitness comes and goes. It's two weeks to lose it, and two months to get it back."

I'm here to tell you that that's the absolute truth. I've lost a lot of fitness because of my unwillingness to ride in the cold and rain.

This hill would have been a piece of cake two months ago. Last Saturday, not so easy....
All it was was a two-block-long hill. But I had to stop about ten feet from the top because my cardiovascular health isn't what it was just one short month ago.  I was riding the road-ish bike, which may have been a mistake; the tour-ish bike (formerly known as the grocery bike) would probably have been a much better choice. Slower, but somewhat easier.

For me, this reinforced the idea that "distance, not speed" is the correct way to ride.

I bought the road-ish bike in part because it's zippy and I wanted to ride longer distances at higher speeds. Last year, riding the road-ish bike, I did a forty-five mile course that I had previously ridden on the tour-ish bike. And I completed the course in much less time than on my first effort, because the road-ish bike is just so darn zippy. And it was much less satisfying than the first time I rode it. That could have been because I'd already done it once, but I don't believe so. I think it's because I wasn't riding it slowly enough to enjoy it. I didn't slow down for all the beautiful natural scenery. There were no pauses to take pictures. Excited by the speed I was able to travel at, I didn't stop to talk to people at the rest stops.

And now I realize that while the road-ish bike is quite nice, it might not be an appropriate bike for me. Yes, it's zippy -- but despite its zippiness,  it doesn't have that "wheeeee!" factor that the tour-ish bike has. It's also not quite the hill climber that the tour-ish bike is.

So...the road-ish bike (2017 Surly Straggler) might be going up for sale; rack, fenders, Panaracer Paselas and extra stem included. I'm going to try and sell it by networking, because I don't really like selling via Craigslist or eBay. It'll take longer, but that's ok. It'll give me more time to pick out a replacement. Maybe a nice light touring style bike with 650B wheels.  Maybe something old school with rim brakes and friction shifters. Or maybe nothing.

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