Sunday, July 5, 2009

Riding now and then

So, my ride on July 4th went well. I rode probably around 30 miles during a 3 hour span with a 30 minute break in the middle. That's probably not much for someone who trains regularly, but it was more than enough for me. I think I made it less than half way to the Columbia River Gorge, but it's OK. I enjoyed the ride anyway. When I used to race in my college years, I rode at least 5 times a week and 30 miles was the short ride and I did that in an hour and a half without stopping.

From cycle mumbreeze

But, now it's all different. Back then, after like 3 years of training and racing, I burnt myself out riding so much. I wasn't really enjoying riding, but I was doing it like a chore to train, so I could get better at racing. When the results didn't come, I lost interest in it. I still don't have the desire back to ride so many miles day in and day out, but I'm really enjoying an occasional long ride. I don't have any goals in mind like to train for a century or a race, but just riding in itself is reward enough. Of course, a sustained physical effort can be quite demanding on the body, so I like to reward myself even more by taking a nice long break and feed the body. I brought a sandwich, an apple and a thermos full of coffee. Back in my racing days, I would never have thought of carrying that much stuff on a ride as it would weigh me down. I might have brought a banana and some fig newtons, but not a pannier bag full of stuff. Anyway, so I took a leisurely break at this park and just watched some squirrels and airplanes flying overhead. It's nice to just sit and let your mind wander a bit. The nice thing about bringing food is that, the load is always much lighter on the way back. Though my body really felt at the limit towards the end of the ride. This was only like the third ride since I started riding the road bike again. Anyway, it felt good to ride. It's been a little more than 2 years since I moved to Portland, but I'm still discovering new places by going on long rides. Where will I go next time?

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