Shapely lies

As part of my “get into a shape” project, I rode my Schwinn World Avenue One to work today. I spent a fair bit of time route planning and drove numerous routes with the Jetta during the last month. I found several good choices, all about the same distance, 10 miles. This morning I hopped on my bike and rode off into the 47ยฐ drizzling grey morning. I arrived at work in almost exactly the time I expected, 40 minutes. I based my math on an average speed of 15mph and was quite pleased at realizing my goal.

The sense of accomplishment was not to last. I had fallen prey to the greatest of cyclist delusions. When a cyclist happens to be catching a small but favorable wind, the typical response is something like, “wow, I’m feeling particularly vigorous today.” During all my exploratory drives in the Jetta and during the ride into downtown this morning, I had failed to notice the elevation changes. It turns out that riding into town is pretty much downhill the entire way. The ride home was painful. And slower. Much slower.

6 Replies to “Shapely lies”

  1. As I read your post, I kept thinking of my time there traveling out to the zoo, said to myself, that seems to be a bit uphill as I remember. That’s a bit like riding from lake out, those hills are killers!

  2. Hmm…seems I remember someone telling me that if you did not have the dry heaves at the top of the hill, you were not trying hard enough.

  3. I don’t recall having made such a comment. Yes, sure, I recall standing atop a hill waiting for the “more mature” members of our group to make it. Simply being at the top of the hill waiting was a sufficient boast.

    You, on the other hand, may have needled out a comment or two because I was neither sweating profusely nor huffing, puffing, and dry heaving. Like you old guys.

  4. You’ll get used to it.
    Just do it for a couple of days.
    How many meters of altitude do you have to make?
    Besides, it’s on the route home, so you can shower afterwards ๐Ÿ˜‰
    10 miles is a very good distance. If you do that every day, you’ll be in top shape in just a month, believe me (I do 2*10km a day, with 5 being downhill. The uphill home has about 200m of altitude).
    It’s one of the best things to do, because biking doesn’t put so much wear on knees etc. like running does.

  5. After four weeks I’ve shaved 10 minutes off the return commute. My leg muscles are just sore after the ride home, instead of vehemently protesting the entire way home. Progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My house is at 147m and work is at 20m elevation. 127m (417ft) wouldn’t be too bad spread over 15km except for the hills. The first hill is a warmup 20m and then a brutal 100m climb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *