August 19, 2010

Riding vs. Commuting

This morning I went on a ride before commuting to work.  The ride was pure pleasure.  The commute was fun, but felt old. 

Ten miles of riding at an easy pace was the morning order.  My neighbor, riding an old bike that he resurrected last year to try cycling, joined invited me along.  We rode at his pace, which was decent, and had a nice chat. 

Near the end, as we climbed out of the river basin, he said, "You don't have to wait for me."
To which I responded, "Yeah, but now I'm interested in what you do for work."  So for the next few minutes I quizzed him on the intricacies of his work while he slogged to keep pace up the hill.  Actually, he did really well.

For me, it felt so great to make time to ride with someone, that even if he were pushing me beyond my limits, I still think I would have had a great time.  I like doing many activities for the social aspect.  I like doing some things enough that I will do them on my own also.  Lately, cycling is my lone wolf sport, but I really enjoy good company for a ride!

August 17, 2010


Last night a neighbor of mine invited me to join him on a morning ride before work.  I jumped at the chance, despite the fact that it will force me to be late to work that day.  Today I cannot suppress the excitement that little ride has ignited in me.  Having done very little riding at all anyway, and most of what I have done alone, I'm thrilled at the chance to go out with a friend. 

I don't know why, but having company - and particularly company that is familiar - makes cycling much better! 

August 16, 2010

Cyclists are Climbers

Perhaps not all cyclists will assume the title of "Climber" because of what such a title might mean, but I suggest that unknowingly, every cyclist is a climber. 

I just spent the weekend backpacking with a group of scouts.  The trail we hiked began at a steady uphill grade and commenced for 6 miles like that.  At the 6-mile point, however, the trail turned UP.  We then climbed 2000 feet in about 2 miles. 

My preparation for this event consisted entirely of my daily commute on the bike.  I made no direct attempts at improving my hiking strength/skills.  Although I felt a dull and constant burn at my hips for the load I was carrying, I felt no pain in the quads for the work being done there.  In fact, when the boys were barely shuffling along with the heel of one foot rarely clearing the toe of the other, I was just waiting and walking and wondering how long it would take to dry my boots out after the rains of the day. 

I'm not saying that the work was not difficult, because the trail certainly took its tole, but I am claiming that my cyclista quads are great for climbing mountains!  So, although it may require a break from the bike, I believe all cyclists are climbers.