December 2nd, 2012

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

A Brief Update on Bike & Fitness

Since the last post, I've had progress on several fronts with the bike and riding. Thanksgiving week was pretty much a bust, as I was working on the feast and then recovery therefrom, but on the Saturday after Thanksgiving I rode the short loop in reverse (a harder direction due to longer uphill leg) without stopping, and then early in the week did two more-than-half-mile rides on the land. On Thursday, I took the bike to the city to have a bike computer and rear-view-mirror installed.

These have made a huge difference. The rear-view mirror has given me more confidence about riding on the street (our streets are so narrow, especially the one easiest for me to ride on--the others are across a highway.) I had been avoiding it except for once a day at the quietest time. I rode the full length both ways on Thursday when I got home from the city, and twice Friday and today. Since it's easier to ride on the street than on the land, I can ride farther.

The bike computer, meanwhile, gives me an accurate measure of the distance traveled, which is allowing me to "map" the rides both on the street and on the land, and plan for rides of specific lengths. (I now know that Short Loop is 0.48 miles, for instance, not the 0.45 I was estimating from Google Earth.) Combined with more confidence about riding on the street, this means my distance has shot up. In the three days this past week before I got the bike computer M, T, W), I rode a total of 2 miles. In the three days since getting the computer, I've ridden 5.85 miles, and two of the days I rode more than two miles/day. (Thursday, I didn't have that much time to ride when I got home from the city.) Today I rode part of the Dry Woods trail I had not ridden before, and part that I'd ridden but not confidently. Some of it is still very difficult for me--practice will fix that. From where I start through the Dry Woods trail to the west grass is 0.31 miles; because I ride into the back yard (but start out in the horse lot) the round trip is 0.64.

My legs are feeling it (which is good) but not really painful (ditto.) This week's goal is 2 miles on pavement and a half mile or more on the land every day (weather permitting; we have fronts in the forecast.) I also want to work toward doing the two miles on pavement in one ride, not two separated by a rest, so I can do just two rides a day--a pavement ride and a land ride.
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