Thursday, May 13, 2010

Into the Swing (Spring?) of Things

Spring has now officially arrived, pretty nice weather for the past two weeks or so. 40s in the morning and 60s in the afternoon. The wacky, windy, wet, 42 degree weather of the past few weeks seems to have disappeared for good. We hope.

I've ramped up my mileage to 100 - 150 miles per week, my usual amount. As the season fully kicks in, I'll occasionally get a 200 mile week on the record books. Most of the mileage is via commuting. Nothing better then riding a bike to work for health and financial benefits, plus all around goodness. Besides the fact it's fun and keeps the mental outlook balanced. And it's a good excuse to own some decent bikes - true?

Man, I'm getting old though - can feel the difference every year. I've ridden somewhat through the winter, but it's never the same as riding during the "season". I'm still in the semi-painful stage of building up some base miles. Some days I'm dragging like a bag of cement. Other days, there's a glimmer of hope and the legs feel sort of okay. It takes me a solid of month (or longer) of riding 100+ miles a week to even feel even sort of fit. I'm getting there.

Bike commuting is good and bad for building up miles. Good in the sense, there's no way I could get that kind of mileage any other way - just too busy with work and family life. Bad in a sense, some days you're toast and ride anyway - probably not recovering enough. Lately, we've still been living with one car, which forces the issue a bit as well. No choice - gotta ride. That's kind of cool though - no?

It also helps out my commute team at work. Pretty strong team and we're doing well in the Commute Challenge. When I checked this morning, we were sitting in 29th place overall for mileage, out of 1000+ teams. Not too shabby, eh?

Riding into work this morning on the Burke-Gilman Trail, talked with some dude riding an older Yeti road bike - titanium. Looked sweet, all bare titanium and white decals. No chance to grab a picture. With the Commute Challenge in full swing, can notice the difference in bike commuters - more of us. Awesome.

On the ride home, stopped by a booth set up by the Cascade Bike Club, on the side of the Burke-Gilman Trail. Music, some freebies, shirts for sale - good to see people out. Cascade is the largest bike club in the U.S. with 12,000+ members. Gives you a hint how bike crazy the Seattle area is. This is really a great place to live, trust me on that.

Big club means official table covers.

Welcome to my tent. Free bike fittings, live music, mingle with fellow bike geeks.

The ultimate commuter. Oh carbon Ibis, how I dig thee.

As been the routine for a few weeks now, I'll ride to son Ian's Little League game or practice on the way home. They play at two different fields. One is directly on the way home, so when the family piles in the car to head back to the house - I continue my ride (and usually beat them home). The other field is out of the way a bit, so I'll load up the bike and share the car ride for the remainder of the trip home. Not a bad set up. Second car? Why bother?

The riding continues tomorrow.....


  1. Bravo. Iowa needs some of that bike Seatle enthusiam. Often I am the only biker I see. Oh and regarding getting older, who ever said age is just a number just hasn't gotten old yet.

  2. As mentioned, many bikers in the Seattle area. Lots of shops, events, races, commuters, fixie hipsters - you name it, we got it. Its almost impossible to not see another biker on a ride - road or dirt.

    The not exactly crowed Iowa pictures you post are cool in the other extreme. I think it would be fun to ride those open looking places.

    Yeah - the old thing. I'm a "young old" at 48, almost 49. Hard to believe 50 is around the corner. After fighting it to the death, had to get reading glasses this year - what a pain in the ass! Oh well.

    Riding wise, I'm slower (though I was never really fast) and take longer to recover. Some days I wake up and feel like I've been hit by a truck. Still, on a good day, can ride pretty well. I'll still do the occasional mountain bike or 'cross race to completely get my ass kicked. I still dig it and that's what counts.

    It also hard to not feel a little smug being around other dudes my age, who do nothing physically - and look it. Being addicted to bikes is a really good thing.