I have not offered any New Year’s resolutions for many, many years. If you are overweight and dedicated to eating every cannoli and tiramisu that enters your sight line then it is unlikely that you will suddenly change. I know I am not going to let either escape me once I have them in my sights. Whenever possible the captive cannoli or tiramisu will be joined by either a cappuccino or latte. I do want to be fitter, firmer and cycle more in 2016 so I have a plan which is so much better than a resolution to be a good boy and to stop molesting innocent pastries and tortes. Of course, my plan requires some travel.
Last year I had two repetitive motion injuries which cost me several weeks off the bike. To avoid that this year I have added weightlifting and walking/jogging to my Winter/Spring routine. I am still riding on the trainer five days a week but the cross training should help avoid injury. So far I have been able to maintain three days a week of cross training. Once we reach Summer, I will focus on riding and not return to the gym until Fall.
I am terribly lazy when it comes to stretching. It just seems that once you exercise then a shower, food, drink and a nap should follow. Instead of resolving to stretch more I have enrolled in a yoga class. It is only one day per week but it is more than I would do on a promise.
In addition to being a little lazy, I hate riding when it is below 72 °F (22 °C). Cycling is a warm weather sport. God made snow for skiing not for cycling. Otherwise she would have given us cycling pants and parkas instead of cycling shorts and jerseys.
In early March, I plan to go to Hawaii for three weeks of cycling. This will give me a head start to the season. With the Tantalus-Round Top Drive route and the Diamond Head-Makapu’u Beach route I can also get in more climbing than would be possible in Monroe. This will also be a chance to visit our daughter and to help with her grandmother’s visit. Grandmother is almost 80 with an adventurer’s heart. Still, she speaks almost no English and cannot drive. I can ride early and then tour her about in the afternoon.
When I return in April, I have three weekday cycling groups I will join. I was happily surprised to find groups that ride during the week. This will keep me motivated and allow me to meet some people in this area. We moved to the area last May but then traveled for most of the Summer and part of the FallI so I still feel very much like a newcomer to Union County. I will continue to ride with the Waxhaw Velo Club on Saturdays.
I have also identified some summer rides to test my progress. First up will be the Beech Mountain Metric a classic mountain metric century that finishes at the top of Beech Mountain, a famed climb of past Tour DuPont rides. With 8000 feet of climbing it should be a good test of my fitness level. In August, I am going to ride the Boone Gran Fondo. It is a climb heavy one-day ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. There are some smaller events but these are the only two I am committed to riding at this time.
In between we will vacation with our daughter and her family in New York. She has encouraged me to bring my bicycle and ride around Lake George. How can you say no to your children? I am certain the Finger Lakes will be stunning in June.
All of this points towards another Fall trip with SpiceRoads. I have penciled in the October 9, 2016 Chiang Mai-Bangkok tour and made my deposit. It looks fabulous and will allow me to see Northern Thailand. SpiceRoads makes it sound irresistible cycling “from the mountains and jungles of the North to the temple-filled plains of central Thailand . . . cycling through these regions offers unforgettable scenery and cultural experiences.”
I will stop in Hawaii on the way to and from Thailand. What type of father would go past his daughter’s home and not stop for a visit?
In 2015, I rode more than I had in many years. I also lost approximately 20 pounds. I still have some spare pounds but that is not the primary reason for cycling. I cycle to:
- Add life to my years;
- See the world from a human level, and;
- Get to the coffee shop before all the pastries are gone.
My plan for 2016 should allow me to accomplish all three goals.