I’m too tired to do cycling exercises today, thanks to the exercise of snow shoveling.  After some snow-blowing late yesterday, our driveway and walks were in good shape to benefit from today’s sunshine.  That is, until a couple of inches of powder flurried in last night.  That was easily scraped away this morning.  But then came the growing unlikelihood that our neighborhood would be plowed at all: no VDOT visits since December, school bus route changed so it doesn’t go up our street, “winding down” of snow operations, and impersonal “telephone tree” structure of VDOT phone system lacking the option of complaining to a real person.

So I decided I had to do VDOT’s work for it, and shoveled the 22” of snow beyond my driveway, in a pattern that fanned out to join the ruts left in the middle of the street by big pickup trucks and SUVs.  I did it in three or four shifts, since I don’t want to strain my arm and shoulder muscles too badly.  My cardio conditioning is pretty good, so I don’t worry too much about straining my heart.  I just don’t overdo it.  Now we’re probably in a position from which we could get out safely, assuming the Audi A6 Quattro would have adequate clearance of the rutted snow in the street.  That’s a very risky assumption right now.

So when the cyclist has exercised too much to exercise, what to do?  My solution is to settle down with a cup of hot coffee and read my cycling mags.  I get two, Bicycling and Cycle Sport America.  The first is written for people who ride bikes, and has articles about health; training routines; good bike routes; new bicycles, components and gear; celebrity cyclists; and weight and fitness.  There’s even a “Valentine’s Day Gift Guide” in the January/February issue; nothing says “I love you” like black-and-pink cycling shoes or an “i ♥ bikes” sleeveless T-shirt that says “harlot” on the shoulder.  Also, much as my heart beats for my Trek 2.1, they always review great new equipment to make me yearn, like the $1700 Cannondale all-carbon road bike, or the elite Campagnolo Chorus 11 drive train and brake set that costs $2000 all by itself.

On the other hand, Cycle Sport America gets me psyched for the 2010 racing season, that is already underway in modest races from Australia to Qatar.  This issue is great because it reviews the world’s major cycling teams, with detailed analyses of riders, past performances, and prospects for the year.  British in origin, the mag is especially into the new British pro team Sky, featuring Bradley Wiggins, who finished 4th in the 2009 Tour.  In addition to the glossy ads for super-classy bikes, this mag also has equipment reviews, including a set of wheels that costs over $2400, and a bicycle seat (no post, just the seat) that goes for $319.  I could spend a lot of money if I had it to spend.

So there’s a way to keep a cycling focus when the weather not only confines a cyclist, but also redirects the daily exercise efforts.  Back on my $60 bike seat tomorrow!

©Arnold J. Bradford, 2010

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