The other day while riding along talking with friends on the New Year’s Day group ride, many folks (myself included) were talking about how the dawn of the fat bike has made riding our trainers all but a thing of the past. So far this fall/early winter I have spent a whopping four minutes on the trainer. I tried, but I just couldn’t do it. When forced indoors for physical activities I’ve been more than content with running intervals and jogging on the treadmill and strength training. You just can’t beat the mental rub and a tug of riding your bike outside, no matter what the weather, and I wasn’t going to sully that feeling with time spent pedaling and going nowhere for no reason.
Then yesterday happened.
Yesterday, for whatever reason, I spent much of the day avoiding “the black dog” between errands before I finally forced myself on the treadmill for a couple of miles and on the bench to lift heavy things for no reason. As I was doing my sprint intervals–something I rather enjoy doing–I couldn’t help but notice my road bike affixed to the trainer to my left. As I walked and cooled down from the interval I first noticed that the tip of my bike’s saddle was pointed too far up, and if I did ever climb back on it I would surely nudge my prostate up into my rib cage. Then I started thinking a LITTLE bit about what I want to do this winter in preparation for the spring and summer. Do I want to do any racing, or do I just want to keep on doing what I’ve been doing the past couple years: logging hours and taking photos. Then it was time to sprint again…
What I came up with during that sprint was that I don’t know if I’ll race in 2016 or not, but I DO know I liked me better when I did. Even as a crap racer, I ate better, rode better, looked better and felt better about myself. I decided that even if I don’t do a single race in 2016 I want to eat, “train,” and ride like I plan to do a shit ton of them.
Along with being a depressive who has taken to eating like crap and drinking too much in recent years in attempts to make not having a career look cooler than it is, I am also a realist. I know I won’t be down thirty pounds, back in my old jeans and lining up to do any hundies by May. I know I am going to feel like shit at times and I will want to say fuck it nearly every day. I will convince myself that trying to get back into race shape is like pissing in the ocean and I will want to run out for a large pizza and a twelve pack. I know that if I do race I’ll no longer be fighting it out in the Vet-Expert mid-pack, I will be trying like hell not to be DFL. I’m also pretty sure I won’t be trying to fit into any of those “race cut” kits I own. Having said all that, I really don’t care. I’m tired of making excuses and trying to suck in my beer belly while talking with friends about how their races went. I want to have a glimmer of that old me back, whether I actually line up to race or not.
Then today happened.
After my morning duties were done I grabbed a mug-o-coffee and headed down to the Stankment™ to set about fixing that saddle on my road bike, a job easier said then done due to a seized bolt on the Thomson post. After that it was time to search through the mess on my workbench to find my heart rate monitor strap.
With those two things accomplished I headed back upstairs, cursed the twelve degree temp and hard as a rock piles of chunky snow and ice and set about finding a kit to stuff myself into. Yep, even after I JUST blathered on to friends about how I don’t ride the trainer anymore, I was climbing on board for a quick 30 minutes that included seven minutes worth of puke bucket intervals. I was pissing in the ocean, but damn it felt good to take that piss. Well, except for the burning quads, that made it feel like pissing in the ocean with a raging case of chlamydia.
I don’t plan to ride the trainer that much, and will limit the mind numbing boredom to thirty to forty-five minutes with a plan in place. No more spinning along for an hour or more just to do it. If I’m going to put myself through the hell of the trainer, I’m going to do something worthwhile and get the hell off of it!
I by no means will be forgoing my rides out on the dirt roads with my camera in the coming months, but I do hope to keep motivated and maybe not ride quite so many junk miles in between shots. Who knows, maybe I’ll even find myself on a starting line somewhere? However first I hope to find myself outside for a ride, that riding the trainer stuff sucks!