It’s cold and dreary outside. Not a good day for a bike ride. Or a hike. Or much of anything outdoors. I am trying to find things to do. It occurs to me, I had better get used to this. Soon I will be retired. For the first time in my life I face the interesting challenge of having to come up with my daily schedule on my own. This is likely to be doubly difficult since the overwhelming majority of people I know will still be working. Anyway, somebody else has been calling the shots for most of the last 55 years. Now it’s my turn. It’s actually a fairly daunting prospect. I wouldn’t mind learning an instrument, taking a language course (Spanish, ASL), taking a bike repair course. All are things that I could have done in the last few empty nest years and haven’t. The reason is that, other than hiking and biking, I am a sloth. Yeah, well….
Today’s schedule will include comparing my bikes with a tape measure. Sounds exciting, no? Bicycling is no fun when your bike doesn’t fit properly. Right now I have two that fit that description.
I have yet to dial in the fit on my Cross Check. I loved riding it when I first bought it but it wrecked my body when I got off the bike. Sad face. The Mule recently got new handlebars. I think in the process of working on it, the bike shop inadvertently changed my saddle height a tad. And the handlebars have a slightly different reach to them. So the fit, which was dialed in, is now a bit off. Fortunately, the set up on my Bike Friday, which was custom made to mimic The Mule of old, is unchanged. So it’t time to compare and tweak. Little changes make a huge difference. Pro tip: if someone tells you that your saddle is an inch too low, raise it in increments of no more than 1/4 of an inch. A one inch increase will almost certainly cause problems in your knees, back or neck. Also, as you move your saddle up, you’ll might actually find a sweet spot that you’d otherwise miss.
The rest of my day will be taken up with reading back issues of magazines that have accumulated on my nightstand as I read a stack of books received for Christmas. I also received season one of House of Cards so that’s probably worth a plowing through before baseball season starts. And there’s always the time sucking bald eagle cam.
Unfortunately none of these activities helps with my ever growing body size. (Seefood diets are not a good idea during the winter months.) I read often about people who do a cleansing of their bodies. This usually involves eating nothing but fruit and veggies and other good things, sometimes combined with some sort of yogic practice. For me a cleansing comes when I do my first long ride of the spring. It’s usually a daylong ride. I don’t ride it particularly fast. And I am not looking to ride massive hills. The benefit comes in the unrelenting effort over many hours. I am typically exhausted at the end, but this day of self abuse resets my metabolism. It has never failed me. I will probably do one of these rides in a week or two. Maybe out to Whites Ferry. Or do an out and back on a long rail trail.
I hear we have a second eaglet. Time for some mindless viewing….