When is Riding much more like Exercise

Anyone who has spent any time reading 10,000 miles knows that I thoroughly enjoy riding the bike.  It’s fun, it relaxes me, and helps clear my mind after a hard day (Week, Month) at work!

This is one of the reasons it’s a great form of exercise for me. There I am, outside, pedaling away, checking out my surroundings, enjoying the scenery, talking to other cyclists, occasionally taking pictures, OH and getting exercise as I go.  I measure my rides in miles, not time, but, if I can crank out another 45 + this weekend, I am working out over 3 hours straight without my brain knowing I am working out.  (My legs do though!  Trust me.)

I had two rides this week in which I didn’t feel the ‘fun’ factor.  In both, I felt, almost like I was at the gym.  To explain it better, I really did NOT enjoy them

These were not my indoor riding sessions on the rollers.  Even with a movie, those aren’t anything to write home about.


As a matter of fact, I am not sure when my last ‘indoor ride’ was.  I’ve been able to crank out the outside miles these last couple of months and I am very happy about that.

So, since I was outside, what am I whining about?

Well first a bit of background.  I like to ride 3 times during the week (at least).  Normally this entails putting the bike on the back of Michelle’s car and driving to work.  Then I ride home.  Its 17 miles, a little over an hour and a good hill at the end.  PERFECT!

However, this week was weird.  I had to move my night with the Manchild from Tuesday to Monday (he had a dentist appt).  This meant that I did my “Walking Stairs” night Monday night.


No big deal, except for three things.

First, my longest ride of the year so far (48 milee) was Saturday.  So my legs were tired when I took my first step.  I also had had a cold over the weekend, so I wasn’t 100% (85% at least though).  And finally, Michelle and I had a messed up schedule this week.

This Friday I have a major dental appt.  So no option of riding that day.  Both Tuesday and Wednesday, we had things we had to do after work.  Which means no riding home those days.  This means only Thursday afternoon was an option.  One afternoon is NOT 3 times a week!

This calls for Plan B! I would get up early on Tuesday and Wednesday and bike INTO work!  To do this I have to wake up an hour earlier.  Which was even rougher since I worked out on Monday night.

To recap, I finished my stairs at 9 PM, and I was on the bike at 5 AM.  A pretty quick turn around.  To make matters worse, my dry but chilly morning (according to the weather person) was cold and raining!  I had to stop part way through to change to the more waterproof coat.

As I was about 20 minutes into the ride, suddenly something occurred to me.  I was cranky.  Shoot you might even say I was in a pretty piss poor mood. (pardon the language).  It was cold, wet, a head wind, and I felt like I pedaling in sand and getting nowhere.  I even stopped to check the tires to see if I had a flat.

I wasn’t having fun, and it occurred to me that I was having to force myself to keep going. Well, there was also the point I was halfway there and no where near a place Michelle could come and get me.  I HAD to keep going.  The crankiness continued all the way to work and until I hit the shower.  After I was warm, dry, and eating life seemed better.

It bothered me some though, because I am never in a bad mood in the saddle.  Even if I leave work mad, I am smiling soon after hitting the road.  This was not normal.

OK, today was the second bike to work. It was  still raining, but I threw the panniers in the car with Michelle.  This meant the bike was MUCH lighter.  But the conditions were the same.  I wasn’t as unhappy as the day before, but it just wasn’t fun.

So the point?  It seems to me, that riding in the early morning, at least this time of year, is not as much fun.  I have to MAKE myself get out of a warm bed, get dressed and brave the elements.  This is not enjoyment, this is exercise.

HOWEVER, and this is important, there is something I have to add.  Even though I was grouchy, not having fun, and had to force myself to go, I realized something else.  There is no way I woulda been out in that crap for any other exercise.  If it were jogging, outdoor yoga, or even walking to the gym, I would have snugged back up with Michelle and stayed in bed.

Being willing, but even more so, actually pedaling for over an hour in crappy conditions, not once but two days in a row at oh dark thirty, just shows I am cyclist.  Maybe one that is a bit short on common sense, but none the less, someone who was meant to ride.

I will say, I prefer DRY morning rides though!

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