By Threes – Jan 29/30, 2014 (day 9/10)

January 30, 2014

Twofer post today as I didn’t log yesterday’s ride yet.

On Wednesday I got in an 18+ mile ride on the trails near my office.  We’re fortunate in Overland Park, KS to have a nice system of paved bike trails, on which I’ve ridden many times in the past with my sometime riding partner Mr. V.  This evening (a fairly nice day with a departure temp of maybe 40ish degrees) I got in an 18 mile loop – more or less – on the eastern portion of this system.  It was a fairly windy day, with a tailwind for much of the ride out & a headwind for much of the return (the trail snakes around and back on itself a couple times, which is usually a blessing from a wind perspective, as you’re never relentlessly riding into the wind for a LONG way). A brief loss of my bearings on the trail led to my abandoning it in an area I knew to be close to familiar office complexes; I navigated a combination of roads & sidewalks back.  I capped the ride with a quick stop at the Subway across from the office parking garage where my car awaited; returning, I threw the bike back on the rack and had a very contented drive home.

Two quick notes on this ride: one, definitely getting MUCH more comfortable with the new pedals/shoes.  I had to clip & unclip several times on this ride and work in & out of traffic; I navigated it without issue and really without too much nervousness.  Second note, on the return trip, in a last-second blur of exuberance I blasted up a short but quite steep little hill that juts off the trail and up to an apartment complex perched above.  One of my remaining uncertainties with these pedals is the tackling of very short, steep climbs, because in the past I’ve had to bail out and walk part of the way up these if I run out of gas, and being not the most coordinated person ever to sit on a bike, I’m apprehensive about how this will play out while clipped in.  But I boldly attacked this little hill, and even though, halfway up and with momentum dropping I was thinking “man, this is really a stupid idea”, regardless I kept the legs turning over in a low gear and blasted to the top without major issue.  A real confidence booster.

Today – Thursday, day 10 – I got in two different, short rides.  I brought the bike to work (on the rack on the car) in order to ride over to Chipotle for lunch and back (VERY windy day – 25ish mph), and that’s what I did, ending this 3.4 mile round trip with a little counterclockwise ride around the office circle.  This is the same route that had me huffing and puffing about a week before, and although I still am not flying around it, it’s already simpler now.  My last-year’s form on the bike is returning rapidly.

Second ride today took place after I got home.  Dark had already fallen, but it was still relatively nice out, a few degrees above freezing, and with only a 10ish mph wind. I got in 8.6 miles here in Ottawa, just riding south on 59 highway for a few miles and then turning back.  The tailwind, while not really strong, nevertheless combined with my rapidly-strengthening legs to really push me along on the first half, hitting 20 mph (which is fast for me) at some points; and yet, the return into the wind really wasn’t GREATLY hampered.  My recent habits of good clean eating/drinking, an increasingly greens-based diet, plenty of rest, smart supplementation, and exercise is really improving my fitness at a good pace.  I am quite content.  I have, as they say, planned the work; now all I need to do is work the plan!

Next couple days they’re calling for 1-4 inches of snow, with some mix of rain and freezing drizzle.  It’ll be a challenge to the “By Threes” streak; but I’ve allowed myself the flexibility to ride indoors if it is NECESSARY.  I’ll try to ride outdoors if at all possible 🙂

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