Resolution and Resolve [published 1/3/10]

The grand delusion of the New Year is that the slight shift of the calendar will produce a seismic revamping of habitual behavior. A year ago, launching into a new cycle of life, I also launched a blog about cycling, one of my life passions. As a skeptical relative pointed out, however, the test of a blog is whether it has any staying power. And mine, apparently, did not. It lasted three or four months, and underwent one aborted revival, the results of which remain on this blogsite.

But I still have many things I want to write about cycling and related aspects of human experience, so I reactivate this blog at the most trite time of all, the first of the year. I do this in the face of frail failed Resolutions, as a personal challenge. Writing today is especially ironic in some respects, because it is very windy and frigid (for this part of the world), with wind chills in the single digits. I blogged last year about the difficulty of riding in wind, and adding this degree of cold makes riding impossible. The question is whether frostbite or lungburn would get me first.

Anticipating such difficulty, I have set up a mag trainer indoors. I already have an exercise bike, but I wanted an experience closer to real cycling in matters of position, stress, and “feel.” To simulate a bike ride convincingly, what you’re sitting on needs to have a real saddle and real pedals. So I am using my Jamis Coda click on “Specs” above for details), with a somewhat worn tire on the rear wheel and mounting a more comprehensive bike computer to go with my heart monitor (one nice feature of the exercise bike is its comprehensive computer monitoring). The trainer itself supports the bike’s rear axle and applies a magnetically controlled pressure on the bike’s rear wheel in the form of a smooth steel cylinder. The bike wheel rolls against the cylinder’s resistance.

Now I can work on some specific metrics—such as spinning, knee position, cadence, and saddle position—rather than acquiring the bad habits the e-bike can seduce one into. Christmas has provided me with some new DVD bike racing material to watch as I ride, and motivation is high. So let’s see where the stationary bike leads until we can be on real, rather than virtual, roads again. The Muse tells me that writing regularly creates the addiction to more reading, thinking, and writing, so allons-nous.

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