Brian is back on the bike

Based on a t-shirt that I own, I thought I’d make my announcement in a similar fashion. After not riding for over a month, I’m back on the bike.

My intention was to get out for an easy-pace ride for about 30 minutes. I definitely got 30 minutes in, but there wasn’t anything easy-paced about this ride after the first 5 minutes. Although I started off slow, it felt so good that instead of maintaining a slow speed, I decided to kick it up a notch. Perhaps I did that a bit too soon.

I live on a residential circle drive, so I tend to think that I have a short loop for easier riding. I completed one loop and felt pretty good. So I branched out a little further and rode around the neighborhood. Since the area is mostly flat, I didn’t think much about the ride.

I then decided to go further east. There is at least one short hill that could give me a little workout. While riding in that area, I discovered another little road – that “little” road turned into a long climb. I pushed myself up it, feeling my chest heave with every breath. I even stood out of the saddle. Although I was somewhat winded, I wasn’t done yet.

I rode back home and looked at the riding time on my computer: 21 minutes. That wasn’t long enough, and I still had some ride left in my legs. So I went back out and decided to ride in traffic. The ride would involve only two roads, one with a bike lane, and the other with a tall and steep climb. Riding in traffic wasn’t bad on the first road. But the climb after turning right proved to be a challenge.

I started the climb seated. But as I approached it, I felt the need to stand out of the saddle and really work up this hill. Just slightly past halfway, I could feel my leg muscles really wrenching every last ounce of strength from themselves, but I persevered and continued to dance on the pedals. The top of the hill couldn’t come any sooner; after making it up there, I plopped down and tried to catch my breath. For the first time since I could remember, my chest actually hurt from exerting myself. Every breath was tight; my heart was pounding, and my legs felt like they were ready to give up and fall off.

I turned off the major road and onto a residential street. As I pedaled up a short incline, the dreaded bonk hit me. Barely a mile from home and only 30 minutes on a ride, and I was already done. Fortunately, the ride back was mostly downhill.

I rolled home, turning into the driveway. As I got off the bike, I spent a minute still trying to catch my breath. I downed a lot of water, but that didn’t help with the emptiness that filled my physical feeling. I got inside and took down a glass of recovery fuel (chocolate milk). It took me a while to start feeling better again, but I had somehow pushed my lungs to their limits.

I’m already looking forward to my next ride. Like Lance, I’m back on the bike. Are you?

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