No matter what I do, there inevitably comes a true seasonal tipping point. For me, this last week has been it. Outside riding is on the wane; I am back on my e-bike. Whereas I don’t do much stretching before I ride outside or inside in the summer, in the winter before mounting the e-bike I have a ten-minute routine, much-needed to make up for the lack of constant muscle movement I get on an outdoor ride. For example, indoors I never have to turn my head and body to look behind me for oncoming traffic.
Just a couple of weeks ago I was still in summer mode, hitting a couple of stretches of four out of five days on the bike. Then things happened. A day of rain; a Saturday museum class; a couple more days of downpouring rain; a wonderful weekend trip to celebrate grandchildren, anniversaries, and family; a monster storm with two straight days of tornado watches and all-time record barometric lows for non-tropical storms; three days of all-day conference commitments; weekend guests. Bingo! I will not have taken an outdoor ride for ten days, and only one or two in two weeks. Yesterday I rode indoors for the third straight day and got into my winter riding routine. It would take more ghoulies, ghosties, and thynges that go bump in the night than live in all of Cornwall for me not to take a ride Sunday afternoon before we start handing out Snickers bars. Then a week later I lose that precious late-afternoon light of DST, though I might gain a bit by being able to start earlier on cold mornings.
When I don’t ride at all for a couple of days, some of my muscles and joints start aching; when I ride only indoors I lose form palpably, even though the e-bike is better at keeping me in a steady, constant resistance level. Absent those regular, frequent outdoor jaunts maintaining optimum conditioning level is impossible for me, so when I do get outside I’m almost always in the mode of slowly building back my form. It’s a Sisyphean situation. However, if the weather holds and my schedule is gentle, I will be pounding the pedals into the Christmas holiday season, beginning on Halloween!
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2010.