Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You can run with the big dogs or sit on the porch and bark. (Wallace Arnold)

When you start riding again after getting yourself hurt in a crash, you have to get over the Annoying Introductory Bump. The first time back on your bike is scary and off-putting because you don't know how it will be. So you finally get out and ride, and you don't embarrass yourself. In fact, you feel great about having done it. Some people take the Bump gradually; some just go for it. I'm with the folks who just go for it: you get past any pain and anxiety faster.

Sunday we rolled the bikes through the lobby, waved goodbye to the lobby staff, and pedaled down the street. The first miles went well. We wheeled south through Coconut Grove. Our destination was Black Point Marina northeast of Homestead. Along the way we waved to several groups of riders we knew. Al held the speed in the 17-19 mph range for what seemed like forever. Then, after passing Deering Estates, he inched the speed up a notch or two. We stopped at Black Point Marina for a short break, then headed back. Easy peasy. The only issue I ran into was using a water bottle. My shoulder argued with me when I went to pull the water bottle out, and I got even more argument from it when I lifted the water bottle to my mouth to drink. I experimented with different ways to get it, even trying to do it left handed. (My solution was simple. Pray quietly for stop signs and red lights and drink then.) The last 7 miles were not my finest. The legs simply lost their will to work. But, with me moving up close and drafting Al, we pedaled home. We rested the next day and repeated the ride on Tuesday, this time doing loops on the Rickenbacker Causeway. With much better results. Then we went out again on Wednesday, this time with a friend along, once again heading south to Black Point Marina.

It is official. I am over the Annoying Introductory Bump. Now I'm back to chasing Al down the road. Which is always fun: any day, any distance, any speed, any weather.

Last year we got our mileage up to a level we like, riding 4 times a week for 50 to 75 miles each ride (about 250 miles a week). It's a sweet spot for us. It's the level where we feel great, sleep great, and have the time and energy for the rest of the stuff we like to do. For 5 weeks I've watched Al head out on bike rides without me.

It's good to be back.