Well, the wheels are turning and the miles are racking up, but I’m getting nowhere. At least not literally. I am continuing my bike riding indoors this winter. I was not able to complete my century ride training last fall due to lack of daylight. Once the weekend rides reach 4-5 hours worth of riding, you need a significant amount of daylight so you can get it all done between sunrise and sunset. The century ride (100 miles) would’ve taken me around 12 hours, and there just isn’t that much daylight in November when I originally planned to do it.
My husband and I did a test-run in at dusk in October just to see what it would be like if I had to start and/or finish my ride when it’s dark. We stayed mainly on the bike trail to avoid road traffic. I have a headlight on my bike that I was depending on to light our way, but I was sorely disappointed. I think bike headlights are made to be seen and not for seeing. The bike trail that night was extremely dark being in a heavily wooded area with no street lights or yard lights in the surrounding area. We rode slowly and carefully because we could barely see the trail and we knew in some areas the drop off on either side was steep. We made it back safely and promptly decided that riding in the dark, even far away from vehicle traffic, was for the birds.
What to do?? When I ran out of daylight and decent weather, I bought a used stationary bike from Craigslist. It is a Schwinn 123 and has magnetic resistance, which is VERY quiet. The bike has many workout programs in it already as well as a manual option. There is also a small fan on the console, but I broke that already so I just use a box fan on the floor, which works better anyway. The stationary bike IS NOT the same as a real bike — it doesn’t look or feel the same. The pedals feel different and are set further apart than my real bike. The resistance is good, but still not quite the same as riding real hills. And let’s face it, riding indoors can be incredibly BORING. But…..this is what I have and I’m going to make the best of it. Watching old shows on Netflix while I ride helps. Right now I’m working on The Wonder Years. 🙂
This week I started a new training program using MapMyRide. I’ll gradually build my miles between now and spring. By the time the weather starts to shape up I will have a better idea of when I might be able to do my century ride. I think mid-summer (late June?) is a good time to shoot for so that I have enough time to reschedule if something doesn’t go as planned. I will probably not be posting training updates until spring/early summer, but if you have any questions, shoot me an email or leave a comment for me. I would love to hear about your own training plans, whether you’re biking, running, or whatever. Have a safe, happy, ACTIVE winter!!
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