New Year’s Rides

Just a collection of thoughts and observations about the rides I have taken yesterday and today, the first of the New Year.

  • I began riding seriously as part of a determined effort to get in shape and lose weight.  That was about nine years ago.  In 18 months I lost 40 pounds, gradually but steadily.  Over the last three or four years I have seen my weight creep up just a bit, perhaps five or six pounds above my lowest sustained weight.  This year I’d like to drop at least three to five pounds from last year’s weights.  But I also want to ride for riding’s sake, not just for my health.  How much, I wonder, does age modify what results we should expect from such exertions?  And how do I keep from being overly conscious of this one aspect of riding?
  • It’s always difficult for me to transition into riding in cold weather, even though I have the gear and enjoy the season.  By January, though, I am refocused enough to appreciate high temperatures that hover around 50°.  The average high for the date is about 42°.
  • Most folks must really dislike cycling in the cold.  Yesterday I passed 2 riders, was passed by 1, and saw about 20 coming the other way.  Today I passed two and saw 9 coming the other way.  Long stretches of empty trail and road on trips totaling about 46 miles.
  • Those riders who are out are serious riders of two kinds: (1) excellent recreational/competitive cyclists and (2) people who use a bike for basic transport.  Polar opposites, but common in their being on the bike.
  • Yesterday the forecast was for sun, with some high cloudiness by afternoon, with a high in the upper 50s.  In fact it was solid overcast when I went out at 11 a.m. and before I got home there were cold raindrops in the 44° air.
  • Today the forecast was for some morning sun, with cloudiness increasing by mid-day and highs approaching 50°.  I went out at 10:15 in bright sun, and there were no clouds at all for the entire ride.  The high during my ride was 46°, and it peaked out at about 52° later in the afternoon.  Go figure.

I am focusing on making 2013 an excellent year for riding, for health, for wholeness of body and spirit.

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