Well, I finally psyched myself up and got out on the bike for the first time this season. I was going to go yesterday morning, but a confluence of events (including the fact that I hadn’t prepared the bike) would have delayed me longer than I like. When I go out on the weekends, I like to get out early.

My bike’s saddle had developed an edge rip over last season. I still had Melissa’s old saddle in storage, so I took that out and replaced it. It was the exact same model, since we have identical bike models (although mine is an XL frame and hers is an XS). Once that was on I hit the road.

I was out at about 7:15; it was in the low 40’s and I had adequate clothing for everything but my fingers. About 10 minutes and numb fingers later, I gave myself another 10 minutes to warm up my fingers or I was heading back. Luckily my blood started pumping and my digits (and everything else) warmed up just fine.

I did my normal ride to the square in Hummelstown, which usually took me an hour last season. I shaved that down to about 45 minutes right before Bike Virginia 2005. My dad plotted the ride and it’s a great, compact workout. For other, longer rides, I added a ride my neighbor Tom shared with me onto it to make it about a 30-mile ride that takes you past some great farmland. I should find a way to plot both rides into an online mapping service to share.

Well, anyways, this time the ride took me about 1:15-1:20. My computer is not working properly yet so I don’t have the exact figures. Being my first ride of the season, I was pleased. I wanted to stop a little more frequently than normal, but I never walked the bike & I didn’t ever feel like I was overloading myself. My legs were fine, but my cardiovascular system can use some tuning up so I’m finally going to get on the treadmill like I’ve been meaning to. I’ll load up on some podcasts to make that kind of mind-numbing exercise tolerable.

My dad has shared some great biking wisdom with me, but here are the two things I always come back to (with my own corollaries):

  • Keep your pedaling cadence at about 60 revolutions per minute. (Shift up, down, coast, or stop as necessary.)
  • Never stop at the top of a hill; keep going! (Or you’ll miss out on the full thrill of the rush you’ll get on the way down.)

And, assuming you’re ending up where you started: there are no dishonest miles.