Another beautiful spring day to appreciate today. It was so nice, I had to ask myself why I wasn’t making plans to go appreciate it? I had not yet picked up by bicycle from the bike shop Wednesday or Thursday. It seemed a little chilly at 61 degrees, so my resolve began to waffle. Still, the weather was so nice, and a day off, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go riding. If I passed it up, it would be another day that I didn’t go riding. I picked up the bike from the shop, bought some new cycling gloves to replace the ratty ones I purchased back in 2003 or 2004.
You would probably wonder why my resolve to go riding would waiver if I love cycling that much. That happens to me every time whenever I want to go exercising in any form. I start making excuses about why it would be a better idea NOT to exercise. It must have something to do with Newton’s 1st law of motion:
In the absence of a net force, the center of mass of a body either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity.
At these times, I try to remember a small piece of advice that I read in a bicycling magazine (yes, they do exist.) The writer stated that sometimes it difficult to find the motivation to go riding. You have to get the center of mass (your lazy butt) and apply some force to get it to move. You have to prep the bicycle. You need to get dressed. You need to get your supplies together, like water or an extra tube in case you get a flat tire. This doesn’t apply to riding a bike down to the general store. This is committing yourself to a few hours of rigorious physical activity.
So what is this sage piece of advice? If you don’t want to go riding, go anyway. Ride for five to ten minutes. If you don’t feel like it at this point, turn around. However, most of the time, you will be happy you decided to go. This advice has always worked for me. One time (and I do remember that day in particular) that I went riding, it was too cold and I turned around. Every other time that I have ridden for at least five minutes, I never looked back.
Acknowledging the fact that I am 30+ pounds heavier than I used to be when I was in my prime, it was still difficult to ride those first few miles. When I say difficult, I mean I was dragging my heavier self down the road. I was winded, I was slow, and I was lethargic. At three miles, I was tired.
After three miles, I felt better. I rode around Monroe, exit 8a on the NJ Turnpike, and back through Cranbury. In total, I rode 17.5 miles in about 2+ hours. Was I surprised? Very much so. I have not ridden in two years, and I am very much put of practice. What is more surprising is that I’m basically no worse for wear. My seat is still a bit sore, but nothing else hurts. I’m ready to again next weekend.
An acquiantance of mine, someone I met at a dinner party a couple of months ago has asked me to join her for this year’s MS Bike Tour, which I last did in May 2004. Back then, I raised $1200, and I’m still proud of it. This year, a childhood classmates/peer was diagnosed with MS. If not for any other reason, I’d like to ride this year in support of my friend.