Biking Helps You Avoid Getting Sick, Right?

sickHere we are, well into March, and I haven’t been out on the bike yet this month. Weather, as I mentioned in the last post, has been terrible. And on Friday, when we finally had sunny, dry — if chilly — conditions, I came down with something.

What started as a tickle in the throat Thursday blossomed into a full-blown sore throat and deep cough Friday. The cough is still with me Sunday, and now the rain is back again.

What kind of a bike blog is written by a guy who hasn’t been riding his bike?

A short one, I think. I’m going to pour another hot cup of green tea and lie down.

Waiting for the Weekend

The polar vortex has moved on, and Central Texas is enjoying unseasonably mild weather today. I’ve been waiting for this day, because it’s my last one before spring semester begins. Actually, I’m still doing a lot of course prep work, but I’m doing it from home, so it feels like I’m taking the day off — even if I’m not.

It’s been too long since I’ve ridden the bike. I watched the forecast eagerly as our record low temperatures started to climb, and when the forecast high for the weekend was predicted to be 70 degrees (21C), I got almost giddy with anticipation.

But the light rain, drizzle, mist and fog we’ve had for the past few days is continuing. There’s standing water in the street near my house. The ride I’ve been waiting to take all week is being put off again. (Yes, I could go out and ride in the wet, but I don’t do that sort of thing, as readers of this blog are well aware. Besides, we have so much nice biking weather around here that I can easily wait out a dreary one.)

But this won’t be a bike-free day. It’s a great opportunity to do some major bike cleanup, chain lubing, and seat bag checking. I discovered to my chagrin last week that I had not put a good spare tube in my wife’s seat bag. She doesn’t get many flats, but it has happened. A trip to the bike store is in order, because I need to get her a new tire, anyway. (Update: They didn’t have what I was looking for, so I had to backorder it.)

So I’ll putz with the bikes as I think about the good riding to come, all the while hoping that by this afternoon, the gloom clears away and I can get back on the bike for a quick spin.

(Update: It did clear, and I got out for my first ride in seven days. Cut short when I remembered we had an appointment for my beagle at the vet. She’s 12 years old, looks great, but has developed a heart murmur.)

October Washout

Well, here we are at the end of October, and I have this feeling that my biking efforts are falling short.

October ends in just a few days. I probably won’t get in another ride before the end of the month, so I’ll wind up with a total of 184 miles for the month.

Pitiful.

To be fair, there are reasons for my woeful performance this month. First, we’ve had a lot of rain. In fact, we had quite a thunderstorm in the early morning hours today, and I wound up canceling my participation in our club ride. In fact, the whole club ride was canceled, with several people getting in rides as the day wore on and the roads dried out. I went out about 2:30 this afternoon and did a 17-mile ride just on area streets.

The rain has been welcome. It’s eased our drought somewhat, although a PR type for the local water authority reminded everyone this week that a green lawn does not equate to an end to the drought. I’ll take as much rain as we can get, even if it does interfere with my cycling.

Then, there’s a tendency to ride fewer miles than usual. Last week, I was on my own instead of riding with the club, so I cobbled together a nice ride, but it was only 24 miles — well short of the 30 miles plus I expect to do on Sundays.

I notice, looking back at my riding log, that I have ridden 30 miles or more just once this month — and that was the first ride of the month. And that was for exactly 30 miles.

I also find myself riding only on weekends. I got in a Tuesday ride just once. Otherwise, it’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday — and one week, I didn’t even get in a Friday ride. Mileage is generally down — not just on my Sunday rides. Instead of rides in the 20-plus range, I’ve contented myself on a couple of occasions with rides of only 12 or 13 miles.

It’s easy to blame the weather. As I mentioned in my last post, our remodeling project has cut into riding time, too. But I think the main reason I’m riding less is that my body is telling me it wants a rest.

I’m not the greatest a pacing my rides. I typically don’t follow a fast workout with an easy neighborhood ride, or a long ride with a short one. The pace on most of my rides is roughly the same. That can wear down a fella.

So, I guess I’ll chalk October up as a rest month. Next weekend, I’ll try to build in some more miles to my schedule, depending upon how crowded my schedule is. Then we’ll see if it’s been the weather to blame — or myself.