Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Baby Steps

I've been making noises about getting back on my bike more for a couple of weeks now. I told a few too many people my plan so this morning I actually had to follow through.

The plan was simple. Start riding my bike to school. Not the 'ride to Cascade campus a few miles away and take the shuttle' ride, but the 'get off your lazy butt and ride the 13 hilly miles to Sylvania campus' ride.

In my sadly out of shape condition, I wouldn't think of doing this on anything but my trusty road bike, even though I don't normally like to commute on it. Things were going to be challenging enough already.

Last night I even got her down, filled the tires, lubed the chain and put the fenders on, just so I wouldn't have any excuses.

I made the trip in about 1 hour, 20 minutes and it confirmed without a doubt that I'm in sad shape.

Class is supposed to be two hours, but usually runs short--but I was there the full two hours today and a good thing too. I needed the rest. The whole round trip was 26 miles and when I got home, I was whipped. I had planned to do more homework tonight, but it's been all I could do to hold my head up. It feels like it weighs fifty pounds (shut up Traci) and when did my eyelids get so heavy?

In another way though, I feel fantastic. I've missed that pleasantly sore feeling that means I've actually used my body for something. I'm also not as cold. I'm wearing one layer of clothing for the first time in what seems like months. We've been sitting around the house with the heat on 70 most of the time, still shivering and putting on extra clothes and I'm sure it's because we're not moving as much as we used to.

I've missed the other perks of a long commute too, like getting to really notice the environment I'm moving through. I can check out the bikes of other commuters without worrying about running someone over. I can enjoy the little bit of sun that made it through our partly cloudy day. I got great views coming down Terwilleger and stopped to take some pictures.


And then there's the little gems that spring up in passing.

Little Dino Says... There's also the frustration of getting passed by other bikers, but that's just good motivation.

Speaking of motivation, I have another one--I kinda said I'd race at least a few PIR events with the team this summer and there's no way I'll survive if I can't handle my basic commute without barfing up a lung. Not that I'm going to win anything, but it'd be nice to not get dropped on the very first lap.

Now I just need to get back to the point where the traveling itself doesn't ruin me for any other activities.

Sadly out of shape but back on the road to recovery.

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