07 January 2012

Back in the Saddle (sorry....poor joke)

I took about a month off from cycling.  I tore my quad during thanksgiving week and was using running as a rehab.  Well, that's my story, but in reality I was pussing out from the cold and running is an easier way to stay warm during workouts. 

But it was 60 degrees on Thursday and it was time for the first bike ride of 2012.  I had not done any exercise in over 7 days in an attempt to heal a reinjury to my leg.

According to the book Outliers, Malcom Gladwell makes the argument that 10,000 hours of work in your field is the average amount it takes to be a superstar.  My explanation is an over simplification, but you get the idea.  Ride a bike for 10,000 hours like Lance and you become part of the machine.  Play piano for 10,000 hours and you are a virtuoso.  In sports we talk about muscle memory.  We all know that you get muscle memory through doing your sport over and over so it become automatic.  Need an example?  Ride singletrack behind a novice.  They swerve and over compensate for trail obstructions you don't even notice when you ride.  The same phenomena can be observed when riding behind a newbie on a road bike. 

I went back at the end of the year and looked over my mileage for the past 8 years.  I am at close to 3,000 hours on the bike.  While not 10,000 I am not a pro either.  What this has bought be beside killer calves and effienct cardio, is wicked muscle memory.  I'm not special, you have it also if you ride regularary.  After 10s of thousands of cycling miles over the past 8 years, you tend to have things happen automatically. 

For my first ride back, I was keenly aware of those things we all do and never notice....and they all felt wonderful.

Visual check of my quick releases..burp before adding air.....water bottle check....brakes closed?.......chocolate foot in first.....then the first push and glide before seating. 

the click as my left foot effortlessly found the SPD-SL.....the first few mashes on the pedals to get up to speed.....the instant drop of 10 degrees or more as the cool January air blows onto my face....the warm up burn as the embro wakes up on my legs...........the auto hold of the reset button on the Garmin......glance over my shoulder as I ease onto the road....my hands know exactly where to go on the bars....the automatic brain load as I visually see todays route and mentally suggest changes depending on wind direction and speed....the increase in breath rate and depth....yeah.

Fuck yes....I love to ride..

1 comment:

  1. Hello. Just found this a month ago. My kid (17) has shown interest in riding. Do you know of any "trails" within Wichita that he can get started on first? Thanks!