Still riding…

…but mostly solo. I’ve had a harder time than normal adapting to this crappy weather that we all knew would come sooner or later. Normally I spend October and November getting accustomed – even though the weather begins to turn during that time, it really is my favorite time of the year for riding as I enjoy crisp air, turning leaves, and temps neither too hot nor too cold (not to mention end-of-race-season form and freedom from structured workouts!). Breaking my rib in mid-October took a 3-week chunk right out of the choice part of that period – for the 2nd year in a row! Once I was able to start riding again, the double whammy of lost form and gained weight were even more annoying than the lingering pain. The pain is gone (mostly) and the form is back (sort of), but the weight remains! Looks like I’ll be making that most pedestrian of New Years resolutions for the first time in several years.

I guess I am owed bragging rights for continuing to ride despite all the recent wet weather. I’ve stopped worrying about getting my bike dirty – or even cleaning it after it does get dirty for that matter. Better to just keep the drivetrain well-lubed and view the rest as a badge of honor. I don’t see many people on the roads – perhaps they’re all on their trainers watching TdF videos. Of course, even I won’t ride in freezing rain, so last Sunday I bagged the BugMan ride for the first time since… I don’t know. I got in an 11.5-mile hike in Iron Co. the day before though, so I didn’t feel too guilty. I’ve doing a bit more hiking – this is the time of year to do it, and it’s a great way to get in a good workout even when the weather is bad – especially with the rugged terrain we have available to our south.

I also started doing step aerobics again. I used to do this regularly before I started bike racing – it’s a good, fun workout that really builds core strength and flexibility. I was shocked how much of that I had lost when I did it again for the first time, and I want to regain it again – I figure it has to help when we get back into the race season. It’s also another option for when I can’t ride due to weather.

Running will be the final piece of my off-season cross-training puzzle. I haven’t started back up again, but probably will this weekend since snow is expected. I really do enjoy running once I get my legs underneath me – it’s just hard to keep up with it during the season, and my experience is that if I can’t do it more than once per week it’s just not worth it.

So, between hiking, aerobics, running, and my iron will to ride outside regardless of how cold it gets, I shouldn’t ever have to resort to that most gawdawful of all winter training tools – the stationary trainer!

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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