Possible titles for this post included (the humorless should skip the intro):
- Biking Is Good for Getting In Shape to Escape the Zombie Hordes
- Coronavirus; Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Worse (Lily Tomlin)
- Can My Bicycle Get Coronavirus?
- Rome Is Burning — Like Literally, People Have Fevers
- COVID-19 – The Movie: Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Finally Portray the President?
- We’re All Gonna Die, So May As Well Ride Your Bike
- Anyone Know How “The Walking Dead” Ends?
- Coronavirus, Some Coronavirus, and Also More Coronavirus
I’ve decided to go in another direction, though, and write about something related, still health-related and less apocalyptic.
I’m talking about bike fatigue, also known as overexercise. If you’re a commuter, weekend warrior, or anyone who just rides a lot, it’s a not uncommon condition. In my case, I’ve biked every single day for five months now. Some days it’s been just a few miles, some days it’s been 30, 40 or 50. But it’s Every. Damn. Day. Most weeks I do 110 miles or more — as many as 175 one week in December — to make my goal of 5,500 miles this year. I’ve compiled this chart, but check my Strava feed if you don’t believe me. GPS isn’t perfect, but it’s close, and Garmin doesn’t lie.
There’s only one answer to this problem: I should stop biking every day and take a damn break! ). Rest is inevitable, and I do get some, often waiting until later in the day to go out. The days where I only do a few miles count as breaks to my mind. But, fitness goes away pretty quickly if it’s not maintained, so I’m loathe tondo nothing. As a fathlete who isn’t fast on a bike and wants to hit my mileage goals without having to do frequent big rides that take half a day, riding daily is the best way to do what I need to do. Except that all that biking leads to fatigue.
|3/1/2020||31-Miler on 3/1, 44 for the Day, 114 for the Week||31.01||889 ft||2:51:07|
|3/1/2020||Ride w/ Saurabh and Special Cameo by Bruce||4.07||66 ft||22:39|
|3/1/2020||Relaxed Really Rare Round Rock Ride||5.05||154 ft||30:22:00|
|3/1/2020||Missing 3.9 Miles||3.90||0 ft||21:40|
|3/2/2020||Afternoon Ride||3.79||0 ft||21:11|
|3/2/2020||Evening Ride||5.28||272 ft||36:01:00|
|3/3/2020||Missing .5||0.50||0 ft||2:09|
|3/3/2020||Morning Ride||0.70||0 ft||2:37|
|3/4/2020||Post-Hot Tub Biking Be So Hard Cuz I’m Like Totes Relaxed, Dudes + 1,002 Miles in 2020 So Far||7.14||335 ft||1:00:04|
|3/4/2020||Staying Dry on Bike Ride to Get Wet Swimming||7.23||46 ft||45:03:00|
|3/5/2020||BAD BOYS FOR LIFE||1.05||20 ft||7:37|
|3/5/2020||Pre-Movie Ride||9.09||157 ft||53:05:00|
|3/6/2020||Afternoon Ride||6.28||151 ft||39:20:00|
|3/7/2020||Pace Bike for Das Boot||27.30||699 ft||2:37:01|
|3/8/2020||50-Mile Solo Sunday Semi-Sentury with a Bullet! Big Ass Loop of Austin (B.A.L.A.)||50.16||1,539 ft||4:38:36|
|3/9/2020||Evening Ride||14.65||449 ft||1:39:30|
|3/9/2020||Looks Like a T, but 2 the Y||3.77||108 ft||22:59|
|3/10/2020||Afternoon Ride||1.19||30 ft||10:34|
|3/10/2020||Miles After INVISIBLE MAN||11.57||282 ft||1:12:27|
|3/10/2020||Evening Ride||3.86||20 ft||20:47|
|3/11/2020||Missing Mile||1.00||0 ft||6:00|
|3/11/2020||To the Library, the Only Place with the Truth (+ Free DVDs)||12.02||341 ft||1:14:23|
My daily walking and yoga are gentle, but since I don’t plan to stop my streaks, a complete rest day isn’t likely. (Unless that virus gets me.) The addition of swimming once or twice a week with a hot tub finish, which I’d like to do thrice is relaxing. The real nemesis remains sleep, or rather lack thereof. Like many Americans, I don’t get enough shut-eye. So the muscle and tissue don’t repair as well, digestion of fat is slowed, and reduction in the hunger chemical are not happening at the amount they should. I take naps but sometimes they don’t do much, or they make sleep even harder.
Here’s an old but good article on the subject:
For many Americans, we have a problem of over-scheduling ourselves. Jobs (or searching for a job, which is a job), taking care of kids, shopping, chores, appointments, and exercising all add up. Many people have to work two or more jobs and still don’t get by with the high cost of living, especially rent. Lack of health insurance, affordable health care and medicine, and a secure social safety net is a huge factor for many not in the 1% middle-class and poor. And now this coronavirus pandemic is disrupting society and the economy in major ways, and it’s just getting started.
In the grand scheme of things, exercising too much is a privilege and luxury. Although in another way, it’s not, because I don’t have a car. Transportation is either walking, a slow-ass bus, or biking. Taking a break is easier said than done. So, what’s a Dude to do? Right now, continue trying to not eat too late and not buying candy bars. Turn off the screens and read books. Try the herbal supplements again. Get up at the same time every day and reduce siestas to power naps of 20 minutes. When a job starts up again, I may have to relinquish my goal and even use a car (gasp!) again.
The benefit of biking so much is that at least I’ll have some conditioning to hopefully be immune to the virus. And it’ll give me a better chance to escape the coming zombie hordes. Wash your damn hands, keep calm and bike on, y’all!
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