We rolled the bikes to the elevator and headed downstairs. The lobby guys did their little head nod thing as we passed. Another dawn, another morning out on our bikes. This is one the joys of not being young. Among the young, only cycling pros and the unemployed have the time to ride this much.
Which brings me to the issues of the day. How much is too much? How much rest time do we need? Are our goals different now? We've been on our current fitness level for some time. Should we up our game?
Now that we don't have water skiing as our alternate activity, our bike mileage has increased. Our current routine is five days of biking and two days off the bikes. The full heat and humidity of the South Florida summer is here. Can we continue the higher mileage 5/2 routine? Even with all the biking days we lost this month to workmen and appointments, July will still be a 600+ mile month. It doesn't feel like too much.
Al wants us to be faster and stronger. That means upping intensity on rides, troublesome in heat and humidity. So we've been talking to people, here in Miami and online. Some cyclists our age, since they understand the changes that come every year as you get older. Some touring cyclists, some racing cyclists, and some triathlete types. It is interesting to see the differences in their views and advice.
We've sifted through their comments. It seems that we don't need a completely different routine, just tweaks to our current routine. First tweak: we've started using electrolyte supplements on all our rides, not just on some rides. It helps. Next tweaks: varying the intensity of some of our daily rides in a structured way and setting up a short time trial route which we'll use periodically to monitor our progress.
We're not athletes or even fitness aficionados. Cycling makes us happy and content. Any day is better with a long bike ride. We know talented
cyclists, and we are not them. We are avid
cyclists. We are not likely to ride with the fast guys, climb rapidly (without wheezing), or ride 10,000+ miles a year. Our primary goal is to do what ever it takes to keep riding our bikes and touring for many, many more years to come.
When I look at my white carbon fiber road bike, I can glimpse a shadow memory of my first bike, a blue Raleigh Sports Tourist. I bought it new in grade school, depleting every penny in my savings to buy it. It made me happy, too.
Today is Saturday. Another Saturday, another Everglades Bicycle Club group ride. Have you ever had deja vu?