Posted by: twistsoffeet | April 27, 2011


I have always enjoyed riding a bicycle, but it really has not been fun since I was about fourteen years old.

However, now I am finding my rides are fun and I look forward to riding my bike every day.

Some days I wake up and I am sore and stiff, not so much from riding but from my job.

I could very easily decide that I do not want to ride that day, but instead, I look forward to getting on the bike and riding to loosen up some of the sore muscles. I do this on my way to work, but that is in the dark and only a couple of miles, so it never really has given me the time necessary to develop into a fun ride… but it does help me to loosen up a bit.

After work I get a chance to really ride and have fun. When I am on my bike, even though I am always very aware of my surroundings, I also have an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts and my music. The music is always there in the background providing a rhythm and cadence for my ride.

My thoughts just seem to flow in every direction.

I don’t mean that they are scattered and hectic, only that I am able to think clearly about anything that happens to pop into my mind.

I have never been a multi-tasker.

I have never been able to walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time.   And while climbing, I was always focused on the climb and not on conversation or on other things bouncing around in my mind.

I have read many articles and books by other riders and they always talk about being totally focused on the ride, where they are going, and what is in their path.   Very rarely do they talk about enjoying the thoughts in their head.

I, on the other hand, have found myself very happy with the thoughts as I ride. But I don’t become so absorbed in thought that I forget where I am and get stupid and careless. Instead, I have found that all my thoughts flow so easily and clearly that I am actually more aware of everything around me simultaneously while thinking clearly about everything else that happens to inhabit my thoughts.

I have finally become a successful multi-tasker, at least in respect to my thought patterns, while riding my bicycle.

Speaking of riding, my training is really going well.

I ride seven days a week, but to be honest one day is only about a total of four miles to and from work. For two days, I ride a minimum of 40 miles, and for three days a minimum of 60 miles– although it usually is about 70-75 miles.  On one day, I ride 100-140 miles.

I am averaging about 17 miles per hour and a 140 mile ride takes about 8.5 hours, possibly a little faster if I push it, but it is rare that I push it hard on a long ride.

The good thing is that I have trained to a point that other than my butt being a bit numb or sore after my longer rides, the rest of my body has not been overly sore.  Definitely not what I would have expected.

I know that I will not be able to push this many miles while I am touring. Mostly it is because I will be pulling a trailer and my bike will be loaded as well.  I should be able to do 50-60 miles most days at least until I reach the mountains.

Some days will probably be long mileage days of 100 miles or more, but those will probably be rare. Even so, I still have realistic goals and will be happy with 40 mile days. This is a tour, not a race.

I actually am looking forward to long days in the saddle. If I ride for only four hours at 15 miles an hour, it is still 60 miles.  If I ride only 10 miles an hour with the trailer for six hours, I still ride 60 miles and have less down time where I am wondering what to do with myself.

After I cross the Mississippi, I will feel more comfortable sitting around doing nothing or reading my Kindle for PC books; but until then, I really do not want to spend too much time doing nothing during the day. I could rest or even sleep, but it will probably be too hot.  Although rest and recovery are critical in any physical endeavor, they can also have a negative effect if I do too much of it.

Besides… as I said before, I am really beginning to really have fun just riding my bicycle.


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