#bikehour – 1/20/2015 and 1/21/2015

January 21, 2015

#bikehour for 1/20 and 1/21 are in the books. Up to five days now of minimum-10-mile rides.

Tuesday 1/20: day 4 of streak.

Got in 10.6 miles. Started out around 4:30-5 AM, in Ottawa. Rode a simple southerly route that I refer to as “airport road”. 59 south to an east turn on Rock Creek Road, one mile there and then a southerly turn onto Montana road, which here acts as a frontage road running beside a small, private-plane airport. Just over a mile to the airport, and return.

Legs felt pretty heavy and leaden, and yet, paradoxically, empty, to start and really for most of ride. That hilly 16.8 mile ride the prior day pushed me. Again, keep in mind the context here. I have in the past, and will once again, be able to ride a hilly 60-70 miles without much issue, but right now, after a *long* fall from those good habits, I am in rebuilding mode.

Gear note to self: Temperature was 32 degrees at start. Wardrobe was the faux-wool top, over which the light rain/wind jacket. Shorts (no leggings), faux-wool socks, and the black full fingered gloves. I felt quite comfortable and never got cold or hot.

I also wore, for the first time, my newest purchase – a pair of Craft brand cycling shoe-cover booties. In a future blog post I will share a picture or two and a small writeup. These certainly helped to keep my feet pretty comfortable. Granted that at 10.6 miles it was a shorter ride.

Notable music: I am writing this 36 hours later and honestly cannot recall exactly what came onto my Pandora mix station on this ride. I do recall exactly one song, which I like a lot, but I don’t know its title…not exactly helpful 🙂

Wednesday 1/21: day 5 of streak.

12.4 mile ride. Noteworthy is that this is the first one of the streak in which I began once again to feel in tune with the bike, versus fighting it. This is a feeling (a wonderful one) that I was familiar with prior to my long hiatus, and which I’ve not felt in several weeks, probably closing in on 3 months. Great feeling, like wearing an old comfortable pair of jeans once again.

I traced a route fairly similar to the one from, I think it was, #bikehour day 1. More or less reversed course, plus an extra mile or two. Up north to 68 Highway, east a few miles to the Wal Mart distribution center, one small loop in their parking lot and then back; then up Montana/Davis, to Sand Creek, back to 59 Highway and back.

I started at same time as yesterday – roughly 4:30-5 AM. This time, at about 28 degrees versus 32 yesterday, it *felt* noticeably colder. Gear note to self – I wore the exact same outfit today as yesterday (plus remembered to apply lip balm!) and it worked fine – but if the temp were maybe 4-5 degrees colder, OR if wind were a little more forthright, OR if the ride were perhaps 5+ miles longer, specifically the hands might have been getting chilly. Now I find myself wanting yet a third pair of winter riding gloves, in between the full-fingered black ones (which I wore here) and the full-on winter gloves (which I’ve worn in 20-degree weather with single-digit windchills and felt comfortable). This “middle pair”, if I can find & acquire the right ones, will add a new layer of flexibility in terms of outside temp, wind chill and ride length.

I continued to discern notable progress on this ride. My legs were quite a bit livelier than yesterday, I felt less like stopping to take a break, arms were a lot less weary, etc. Things are moving exactly in the direction they need to be.

I can’t wait to ride again tomorrow.

Notable music: “Walls” by Tom Petty started the show. This song’s lyrics has always reminded me of my mom. An EPICLY long song by Fields of the Nephilim (I think it is “For Her Light”) carried me through a huge portion of the ride. It literally felt like this song was playing for half of the ride. Pictures of You by the Cure, another longtime favorite, came on in the last minute or so and was still playing when I reached home.

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