Saturday, September 25, 2010

new goal: sunday bike rides

So, in the midst of our 14-mile bike ride this past Sunday, I had a thought: What if Patrick and I make weekly bike rides a thing? And what if I push myself a bit and say they should aim to be at least 20 miles?

reasons i love this idea
Spending time with Patrick, on a bike. My husband has loved riding since he was in high school (middle school?). I grew up in a house of cycling boys, but I never picked it up myself. So I have the tools to join in, I just don't. Well, I think Patrick would feel all warm and fuzzy if he could share in one of his favorite past-times with his wife. (I also plan on helping him brew beer, but that's a whole other blog entry.)

Getting my butt used to being in the seat. The notion of just getting on a bike and going ... it's so appealing. It's liberating, it's exhilarating. But when I get on a bike now, my butt gets sore and fast. My legs wear out easily. Labored breathing, squinty eyes, sweating, grimacing. A whole bucket of things. I figure the more I get on the bike and set out on a long ride, the faster those things will fade back. I doubt they'll go away, and if nothing else I may simply get used to living with them. But the bottom line is that I'll be able to focus on the liberating and exhilarating.

The landscape from a bike. How about soaking up the sounds and smells of a place? There are no walls (or rolled-up windows) between me and what I'm passing alongside. And the landscapes themselves will be different. Patrick'll plot out our routes and I'm certain he'll choose as many back roads as possible. Life is better on a back road.

short-term plans
Sunday, September 26 - Patrick's going to put the finishing touches on Stinger today (so excited!!), and we may head out to House Mountain. Some challenges: Patrick's sick today, so he might not be well enough to hop on his bike; and this'll be my first ride on a road bike. CAN I HANG??

4111Monday, October 4 - Our two-year wedding anniversary! So we'll shift our Sunday ride to Monday. The day will go something like this: I'll bake that morning, come home, hop in the car and we'll head to Cades Cove, armed with a picnic lunch and snacks. The loop is 11 miles, and we may even park our car in Townsend to add 9 miles to and 9 miles from the park ... total of 29 miles!! Not to mention that the ride to the park will include a steady climb up the side of a small mountain (if I remember correctly). We'll picnic at Cades Cove, and when we get home, make each other our traditional dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu (made by Patrick for me, by the way), and I'll make him a surprise dessert (top secret!).

long-term plans
I'd love to steadily add about 5 miles to these rides as I feel like I'm ready for a new challenge. And one day, I'd love for these to be 50-mile rides. I have no idea if this is more than I should be able to expect of myself, but I'm not ready to impose limits until I actually push up against and am pushed back by those limits.