I'm not fond of New Year's resolutions. They're either way too lofty or simply ridiculous. At least, that's what happens when I attempt to make them.
The year 2009 was a breakthrough for me on the bike. As I was under-employed for the entire spring/summer/autumn riding season, I made it a point to be on the bike as much as I could reasonably be; meaning I was cranking out roughly 150 miles or more per week. For the first time, I logged over 1,000 miles in one season. That's a really cool milestone to pass.
I made the decision to not race at all this past season. I didn't want the pressure of getting up and performing on command. Instead, I focused on putting on the miles and enjoying myself while I was out there. It was, I think, a good way to approach the summer.
Along with consciously increasing my mileage, I began to notice how my body reacted to this increased amount of riding. I definitely lost some weight, I gained the coveted "calf-notch" and some nice leg-muscle definition, the laser-etched tan lines that cyclists are known for...
Oh, I was (still am) really psyched about this: My balance has improved so much that I can now ride with no hands on the handlebar. My friend Sheryl thought it was quite amusing when I triumphantly showed off this new trick on our Wednesday night ride. "You've never been able to do that? My kids can do that." Thanks very much, you sure know how to boost someone's confidence. ^_^
Other riders also noticed and commented on my love/hate relationship with hills. I like to climb, sometimes. Most of the time I climb the way I do because I want to get to the top as quickly as possible. I love standing out of the seat, the cadence of my feet as I tick over the cranks, and the triumph when I finally come over the crest of a hill. The thing is, I tend to get twitchy and attack too early, regardless of the situation. The joke goes something like, "Look C, it's a hill; Attack!" And off I go. Yep, I'm going to have to work on that.
So, what do I want to shoot for this year? Beating 1,500 miles would be pretty awesome. Here are a couple more ideas for myself:
-Figure out how to time a sprint and execute correctly
-Work on not attacking hills too early & blowing up halfway through
-Write a new weight-lifting program and figure out a cheap way to follow it
-Run on the treadmill when I can't ride outside (I'm so sick of the cold weather)
Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.