Over the last six days I’ve biked 112 miles, including my abbreviated, rainy-cold-windy birthday ride. I haven’t been very fast, but that’s always been true and is to be expected coming off of driving a car for work for the last while. It’s been an adjustment from having the luxury of a automobile to having to make the effort to get the legs going on the bicycle. Being in between jobs makes it far easier to find the time, although I frequently did 100+ miles per week with a full-time job. Cooler temperatures (on some days) have also helped. So if you’ve been in a similar spot, you probably know that it’s not easy. But is possible to get back in the groove. Remember the tortoise and the hare: fast and furious may be fun, but slow and steady wins the day.
From the half-mile dash in the rain to the nearby movie theater to see Stephen King’s captivating IT Part 2, to multiple 10-14 mile trips running errands and going to an appointment, I have been cranking it up, so to speak. With no car, go far it’s either biking or the bus, and the bike is the better choice (and often faster than Crapital Metro). While I’m not winning any races, especially because I’m not entering any, I’m out there biking and every minute of the cooler temperatures which finally arrived in Austin.
You can see the graphic for the last four weeks shows half of my normal output (100 miles/week). But the big deal is the total mileage number of 18,000+ which began at the very end of 2015. For this year, 2019, I have almost 3,400 miles, so over 1,100 to go to meet the same amount I rode last year. That takes discipline and dedicatiin to my goal. And those numbers don’t include walking, which put me over 5,000 miles total. So I’ll take it, and hope to keep going.
While the heavier front tire and a few extra pounds from sitting in a car are slowing me down a bit more than usual, I am just glad to be biking. Traffic is still bad, drivers are still careless (though most are smart enough to avoid wrecks), and the weather keeps changing from 95 one day to 65 the next with wind and rain. Water from the sky in parched Central Texas is welcome, but not when biking. Also, parts on the bike have worn down so I need replacements, and regaining fitness simply takes time. All that comes with the territory of being a car-free cyclist. The most important things will be to find and make the time to continue as I’m able assuming I’ll be forced to go back to work (ugh! as if writing and biking aren’t work!), and to not overdo it.
It’s only been six days, though, so I’m cautiously optimistic, or recklessly pessimistic if you prefer my turn of phrase. The probability is that one’s job, weather, responsibilities, social engagements, health, whatever — all conspire to keep you down. The person with goals will do her/his best to make up for lost time and to do SOMETHING. (See my previous post for more on that.) Be like a shark and keep moving forward.
What keeps you coming back for more biking or whatever it is that you do?
How do you handle making a return to your activity after time off?
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