That’s it then

Well, the time has come to admit that the season is done. The probability that there will be any good biking days coming up is approaching zero percent. The snow has hit the ground and it looks like it’s going to stick.

winter roadsIt is with sadness that I bid farewell to fall. But by the same token, I look forward to this season of recharging. Rather than send the winter hammering my body to ramp up my fitness for the coming season (there’s always a coming season), I use this time to rest and recharge both mentally and physically.

Unfortunately, this year the mentally recharging might be less rewarding than it has been in past years. I will spend some time trying to get a handle on our current world situation by building a new website. One that tries to educate people somehow that we need to remember history. If you get a chance to look at it it will be located at Hopefully it is a passion program that will have some legs. Hard to say since historically I have had a hard time continually coming up with fresh content on a daily basis.

Anyway, on to other things. Bikes. I guess part of the deal why I never ride in the winter is because I only ride road bikes. Perhaps if I was into mountain biking I could find things to do on a bike on warmer winter days that I might enjoy. The attraction for at least getting out on the nice days is growing on me as the years pass.

I suppose it’s because I have given up on any hope of actually enjoying winter as a season. This frees me from the guilt and gives me license to begin to enjoy what I can.

Enough. Off to put the exercise bike trainer in front of the tv in the spare room.

It Pours

When exactly did we get to the place where the doctors that had been telling us for years that bacon and salt and eggs and butter were terrible for us have done an exact one-eighty? Now it seems that salt is fine for you and the perfect breakfast is eggs and bacon, preferably cooked in butter.

How is  a body supposed to know who to believe when you have questions about health and fitness when the “experts” change their minds every generation or so. Next they’ll be telling us that the best health regimen will no longer be lifting weights and getting in a bit of cardio, but to sit on the couch, watching reality television and eating bonbons.

I jest only slightly. No one has ever really changed their minds on the benefits of exercise for health and good living, though they have yet to decide on exactly what exercise is best and how much you should do. Fortunately they seem to have landed on the idea that any amount is better than none.

That takes a lot of the pressure off. Knowing that you don’t have to go out and run five miles a day, or engage in jazzercise 5 days a week is a big relief. That kind of commitment can be hard to fit into a crowded life, especially if you believe that one important concept for living is to have some balance. You need down time as well as effort in your life. The concept of rest days extends farther than the realm of heavy weight lifting.

So it seems that the best plan is to try to eat a healthy balanced diet, get a bit of exercise – as much as you can comfortably fit in to a life that leaves room for the other important things like socializing with other human beings. It is undoubled that having good social connections  adds years to your life. That is one of the reasons that married men tend to live longer than unmarried men. It’s not what you would think, too much alcohol and too few vegetables, it’s loneliness and depression. Having your very own social secretary on the premises adds years to your life because social connections are that important.


When It Rains

If you like to stay in shape by riding a bicycle, but really have a thing about riding in inclement weather, what are you going to do? You could spend the money to buy and exercise bike, but that seems a bit like overkill. Why would you want to have a piece of equipment taking up space in your house or apartment like that. Especially if you are likely to only be using in sporadically?

A better option might well be an indoor bicycle trainer. These small units are perfectly designed to compliment your training regimen. Many different styles offer many different ways to train, depending on your preference. All of them to one or extent or another offer different levels of difficulty so that you can choose a regimen that suits you.

stand trainer

There are obvious advantages besides the space saving aspect. You get to train on your own bike and replicate the exact circumstances you would encounter when actually being able to ride outside on your normal course.  With a bit of ingenuity you should be able to come close to duplicating the exact courses you would be riing on if the weather was decent. Beyond that you should be able to invent imaginary courses designed to take your training to the next level.

If you are serious about staying in shape, or if you are trying to get yourself ready to take your training to the next level you need to consider the advantages of a good bike trainer in the near future.

Imagine that the next time the weather lets up  you don’t need to spend a few days, or weeks, getting yourself back to the shape you were in before you had to take a break from training. Or that the next time you attack that difficult course you had laid out you found out that it wasn’t as difficult as you remembered.

So next time you need a workout, bring in your bike, take a moment to get it set up on your stand and get in the good workout that you need. And continue to realize the benefits of getting and staying in shape. You will thank you, and so will your loved ones.

In fact, you should share your love of riding with those you love. Perhaps with a little time, it can become a family thing.

Off To The Races

I don’t get to go to bicycle races very often. (To be honest, unless someone I know is in the race I get a little bored). But I do get to see them on TV.

I love to watch triathlons. Not just for the biking, I also like the drama of the mosh pit of the swim, the road races, and the pathos of the running race. The elation of passing other runners on the why to the finish line, meets the agony of the wall. I remember seeing at least one race where the winner collapsed a hundred yards from the finish. He didn’t give up, he staggered on until he wobbled to the ground just feet from the finish.  You can’t get more drama than that.

Still, impressive as the triathlon is, the off road triathlon takes it to a whole new level. Throw in a mountain bike and some really really rough terrain and you have fitness on a whole other level. Nothing like watching someone bomb down a mountain path at warp speed to get the adrenaline pumping, even if it is vicariously. I am green with envy when I watch these.

I will never be that fit, and even if I ever was, I wouldn’t have the guts to cruise along a ridge with a huge drop on either side. Heck I couldn’t do it even if there wasn’t a ribbon on the line.  But all of that aside, I admire the level of fitness. And I can actually aspire to some approximation of fitness.

So that’s part of the plan. I don’t know if it will involve a mountain bike – I may be a bit too accident prone for any such thing. But there are hills on roads too. And much less likelihood that I’ll hit a root and fall over.

Woman with abs

You get your motivation wherever you can. Some of mine comes from watching superhuman athletes attain levels of performance that I could never aspire too. Throw in some fitness videos of svelte women with abs and a Queen song or two and I’m good to go.




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