This morning, right after Dana got out of the shower, he dumped the contents of his bicycle clothing drawer onto the bed. He pawed through it, choosing the best shorts, the best shirts. How much does each thing weigh? He started muttering about whether he should weigh his underwear.
He is way too excited about this trip. But the way he figures it, the more time we spend planning, the more time we are actually enjoying the trip. So I am working on enjoying this trip. For him, and for me, but mostly for us. And I figure if I get into better shape, I will enjoy it more.
Not that I’m not in decent shape. Granted, I am big, way bigger than I should be. And by big, I mean fat. But I’m strong, and I work out, and play tennis, and ride my bike, and hike, and lift weights, etc. But I’m not in “riding my bike for 2200 miles” kind of shape.
One of the most challenging aspects of long distance cycling is that it is, literally, a pain in the ass. The best way to avoid this is to condition your ass, which means riding through the pain at the beginning of the season, so that eventually you are numb to the pain. So we set up a bicycle trainer in our family room, and I started to ride it a few times a week.
Of course, the bicycle trainer, like our panniers, is over 20 years old. And while I think it’s still perfectly good, Dana wanted to buy a new one. Which we did not do. And maybe that’s why he never rode the trainer, not even once, all winter.
Or maybe it’s because riding a bicycle trainer is boring. Like watching-paint-dry boring, but with more ass pain. I found that I was more likely to train if I was hooked on a TV series. So I watched Breaking Bad and Nurse Jackie, and even a few episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
But really, I’m not a big TV watcher, so I’m glad spring is finally here. A few days ago, I went for my first training ride. It wasn’t much, only 10 miles to the supermarket and back. But it’s a start. Today I rode almost 20 miles, with the panniers – which actually have some birdseed in them! Dana brought his bike to work, so he can train during the warmest part of the day. He will be in better shape than me instantly. He is much better on a bike than I am. Oh, well.
But for me, training for this trip feels like studying for finals in college. Just keep putting it off, there’s always tomorrow. Then the day of the test arrives, and I’m sitting there freaking out because I haven’t studied at all. So I’m probably going to be in serious pain the first week of our trip –like a D-on-the-midterm level of pain.
Cousin Fred said:
Reading your blog is a delight and worthy of “formal” publication as suggested in a previous comment. Like Dana I’ve always found the gear buying and micro planning as much fun as the actual trip so keep on blogging. We’ll be looking forward to your upcoming posts.
“may your ass be numb and may the topography be ever in your favor!”