Okay, maybe yesterday’s post about cycling was a little harsh, but I have really been struggling with, what is ultimately, my best event.

The bike has always been my baby.  My hippie love child and warm blanket when everything else goes wrong.  But not lately.

Our estranged relationship may have started on the trainer.  Those 2-3 hour rides in the dead of winter were a new experience and frankly reminded me of walking barefoot on hot asphalt.  I poured on the chamois cream, but nothing seemed to ease the pain of stationary exercise.

After a month or so I finally got “used” to sitting in place on a bicycle while my dog sadly laid on the floor wondering why her daddy would do something so strange.  Eventually, I damn near even started liking the trainer.  My coach said, “Tough trainer rides build character,” and I was sold.  The pool of sweat below me was undeniable proof of a good workout and other than perpetually numb under parts, I felt great.

Then we started riding outside.

The first real outside ride was on Natchez Trace and it felt pretty good.  It was still early enough in the year, so allergies weren’t a problem.  Then, the Southern Bloom decided it would wreck me.536265_4814333965358_1613623106_n

A subsequent 3-hour ride left me with heat rash, blood shot eyes, and beat up bones.  I have done several mountain bike races on wicked terrain and never felt this awful after a ride.  The vibration, the extended aero position, and dust in the wind made me feel like I’d sparred with Mike Tyson in his prime and this pain uncovered a strange new fascination with getting back on the trainer.

So, as you can see, I am looking for my cycling happy place again.  I know my bike needs a re-fit, but is it that simple?  How can I translate my new found love of running through the pain onto the bike?

I’m gonna be honest, the 112 mile bike has me a bit concerned.  I know it’s one day and one shot, but 6 or more hours on my trusty Trek sounds like the last thing I would want to do right now.  It’s been suggested I get back on the mountain bike for a while, and I probably will, but if you have any other suggestions for finding my “bike Zen,” I’m all ears.

Zen and the Bike



3 thoughts on “Zen and the Bike

  • June 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I laugh as I read this….all winter I was miserable and dealing with a sore (a-hem) undercarriage from 3-4hr trainer rides…the last one, prior to Gulf Coast had me searching for a utility knife to either cut off my seat or slit my wrists…
    I couldn’t wait to finally ride outside…
    And then, I did….
    miles and miles and miles of heat, humidity, pollen, car exhaust….
    Last weekend at mi 48 of a 70mi ride I just stopped….bought a Coke and had a “Come to Jesus” moment
    seriously making sure this was what I wanted to do…
    then…I got back on that pony and finished what I started
    “If I make it here, I’ll make it anywhere” has gotten me through many o’ ride as of late 🙂
    I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll be just fine!

  • June 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Sometimes I have to play, i.e. do an activity without any goals and in a fun manner. I’m not a biker but I see how mountain biking could provide a mental break as well as a workout. You could also do a group ride or find a more exotic/scenic location. Or look for different challenges like sand or hills or an off road course. I wish I had more to offer but I don’t know any biking games. I think you’ll be okay too~

    • June 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Funny you mention that because last night I took my “just ride” training night very seriously… ie… I didn’t ride hard at all. I went up hills under control… never felt out of breath and never hammered the ride. It was almost night and day. I didn’t hurt… legs felt great… and I damn near enjoyed it… which is saying a lot because a few days earlier I was ready to throw my bike off the bridge! Thanks for the input.

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