Ride 2012-26: Enough With The Nice Weather

That’s it. My body simply cannot take it any more. All this nice weather is taking its toll and a steady stream of riding means that my legs are working overtime.

My 40-year-old body is no longer designed for solid stretch of rides.

Of course, it has only been three straight days. But, those days have resulted in over 60 miles of riding. For many cyclists, that really isn’t that much. But for me, at my current state of fitness, it’s probably twice as much as I should ride.

Monday after work took a new direction this year in that I needed to be concerned about over-heating during the ride. All of the past rides in the spring focus on the right combination of clothes to keep warm. But, with temps in the mid-80’s, warmth is easy to come by.

The ride took me over the usual West Metro roads and into Loretto. Near the town, there is an ugly stretch of road that can hardly call itself “paved”. It has so many years of patches that it’s difficult to know if any of the original tarmac is still there. Plus, it has a nasty hill that approaches 10deg of slope and is a beast to climb.

It was also along that road that I picked up a follower. In a perfect world this wouldn’t bother me, but instead I became a little fixated in his location. He remained a good 1/10th mile behind me and stayed there for at least 5 miles. I even slowed my pace a little in hopes that he would just pass me and get it over with, but he stuck to that same distance.

Once I either lost him or he turned a different route, I picked up another rider going my same pace. This new rider was about 1/2 mile in front of me and also became a fixation for me over the last 8 miles of the ride. I would reel him in closer, only to poop-out on a hill and have him pedal away. I finally caught him right at the point of me turning off the main road and heading toward my house. That was probably for the better, as I really dislike passing other cyclists. The moment is always too awkward.

Those other riders placed an additional toll on my legs, as I adjusted my pace – not for my own good feelings, but to maintain some fixed distance away.

This is the very reason I don’t care to ride with lots of other cyclists on the road. Whether they know it or not, they mess up my whole “zen” of riding the bike – even in nice weather conditions.