Lessons learned…

29 04 2010

I learned a few things on the ride to Colorado; things I thought I might share.

I learned I’m not “in shape.” Sure, I’ve been riding nearly every day for the last two years; commuting to work, riding for pleasure, riding to burn fat. I’ve lost a great deal of weight and I feel much better. However, I’m not what anyone would consider in shape. I need to do a great deal more structured riding before a trip like this to get myself into proper condition for such a challenging endeavor.

I learned I need to train for a ride like this. When I say training I mean a structured approach to riding which will emulate many of the challenges I would experience on a long distance ride.

I learned I need to do more climbing rides. I need to begin challenging myself with climbs regularly, rather than avoiding them. Pleasure rides are one thing. Training rides serve another purpose. I need to begin deliberately riding routes with more climbs in them, even on days when I ride to work (when I get a job, of course). I used to commute only five miles to work. I would regularly go in early to drop my work clothes, then ride another 15-20 miles before returning to cool down and get ready for work. I’ll have to begin adding climbs to those rides to strengthen my legs.

I learned I hate the wind when it’s in my face. I take a strong head wind very personally these days. I become truly offended when the wind slows me down.

I learned I love the wind when it’s at my back. God I love a good tail wind. Push, push push me baby; especially uphill!

I learned riding in a dust storm is more challenging than driving a car in one. Trying to out run a dust storm turns out to be not such a good idea.

I learned camping out is not always as fun at 55 as it was when I was 15. I woke up pretty sore on a few of those mornings. Need to get a better sleeping pad for future tours.

I learned I could overcome most, if not all of these things. I actually surprised myself with my ability to overcome some of the challenges I faced. I guess I’m a little bit toughter than I thought I was. I had bad days, sure. But I overcame them. Sometime with help, sometimes on my own, I overcame them. I’m proud of that and it allows me to believe I’ll be able to do something similar again.





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