Winter Cycling…

There’s plenty of winter left, but I’m tired.  Tired of skiing?  No way.  Tired of driving?  Way, much.  The Sugarloaf Marathon was a great race, but 1000 miles in 3 days pulled my cork.  This weekend, despite good conditions, I couldn’t muster the energy to driver to Lake Minnewaska, a mere 90 miles, yea, a veritable drive to the corner store.

Instead, I broke out the bike.

In an effort to keep pace with my friends who are hard core riders, I’ve been taking cycling classes this winter from Rod Murray of Body 4 Life.  Rod is a personal trainer and certified cycling coach.  At his facility in Morristown, he’s led twice-a-week classes on indoor trainers this winter.  Rod’s training sessions prepare one for bike racing.  The first time I went in there, I was intimidated: everyone else was a much more accomplished cyclist than I.  And I didn’t get to every class – hey, there was skiing to be done!  But although I can get away with skiing for the most part, my knee still won’t tolerate an hour’s run, and spring is coming.  So it looks like those big workouts will again be on bikes this spring.

On Saturday, after a warmup, Rod led us through various drills that simulated a long climb, one-legged drills, and acceleration drills.  Riding on my own, I’ve always tended towards easier gears and high cadence.  Keeping pace with the metronome on big gears was devilish, to say the least.  In the banter as we broke down our bikes at the end of the session, I said I was a fair weather rider, you wouldn’t find me on a bike below 50 degrees.

So I lied; I’d make a good politician.  But I wanted to apply the indoor lessons to the road.

On Sunday, I procrastinated until the sun was high.  By mid morning, it was still cold, albeit sunny.  Bundling up with more clothes than I thought possible to wear, I set out.

With no route in mind, I set out towards Chester.  A road I hadn’t been on?  No problem, check it out and see where it goes.  New hill?  Fine, no problem.  Early on, I went hard up the hills, thanks to Rod’s classes.  The last couple of hills, Woodland Road and Millbrook, weren’t fun, but hey.  It was the first day of riding.  And  I found a new road which might supplant Lake Denmark for roller skiing.  Based on my pre-Sugarloaf roll, this winter has taken a catastrophic toll on Lake Denmark Road.  But that’s another story.