16.9 Miles

by J.D. Roth

16.90 miles 1:05:49 (15.40 mph) 33.4 max 24 deg celsius

An amazing ride!

I didn’t set any kind of speed record, but that wasn’t my goal. This early in the season, in the kind of shape that I’m in, I wanted to complete a ride of moderate length comfotably (and enjoyably). I exceeded these goals in every respect.

My speed was not half-bad for my current fitness level. Better, I was never exhausted or frustrated or in pain during the entire ride. I took it easy. I’m a competitive person and too often I compete with myself. I force myself to go faster faster faster when there is really no need. When bicycling for fitness one only needs to maintain a comfortable aerobic pace. I did that today.

Later in the season, when I’ve dropped twenty pounds and developed some leg muscles, I can attempt to kill myself by setting speed records. I don’t know why I do that to myself, but there’s no stopping it. I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed my ride today, though. Maybe I should take a lesson from that.

Why did I enjoy my ride today?

The weather conditions were perfect: sunny, but not blazing, and about 75 degrees fahrenheit with variable breezes. Light traffic. The birds were out and singing. The fields were newly plowed and the lawns newly mowed. The dogs were out but too lazy to give chase; they like the sun, too. I prepped for the ride properly (eating at the right times and drinking a liter of water in the two hours before starting). My mental attitude stayed positive throughout.

This is all important early in the season. Now is when it’s difficult for me to maintain commitment, yet now is when I need commitment. If I begin to slack on my rides during the last of April and the whole of May, then no real riding will get done during the summer. However, if I establish a pattern of riding for pleasure, I’ll be ready to ride every morning.

Hell! I want to go attack the Central Point hill right now! I want to add another ten miles, taking on the biggest ugliest hill around Canby!

I’m not going to, though. I’m likely to injure myself and/or cause myself to rationalize away riding tomorrow. That’d be a shame.

Updated: 24 April 2001

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
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