I’m scared to do so, but I’m going to put it out there: spring is here. There was a point this winter where I assumed it would never happen, but the temperatures are very slowly rising, the sun is staying out longer, and the roads are clear. I’ve had a few rides recently that weren’t cut short by toes feeling frostbitten, and recently my skin hasn’t felt in danger when stepping outside.
After what has been months of record-setting cold and a winter that saw more snow than any other in recorded history, I’m having a difficult time conveying my excitement for this spring. Rides outside that don’t require 4 layers of clothing, that don’t require a fear of ice covering all roads, and don’t require hours of warming up post-ride have me running on a high matched only by some excellent coffee and maybe New Bike Day.
Unfortunately, the effects of being forced indoors and relegated to the trainer have left what are sure to be long months of riding back into some type of fitness. Seeing a sky-high heart rate accompanied by woefully low wattage numbers are a stark reminder that riding the trainer while watching Game of Thrones isn’t the best for off-season training.
The disappointment of low output was far from my mind this morning as I rode solo under blue skies. Very little traffic, ample doses of sun, and cyclists all over the roads reminded me that turning myself inside out isn’t the only reason to be on a bike. Fighting for my next podium, trying to grab a prime, or creating a breakaway all have their place in my world of riding, but as I rolled along today I realized how much more there is to enjoy.
This year my bike goals involve riding with new people as well as my go-to training buddies. Find new local routes. Stop and take more pictures. Explore some new neighborhoods. Beyond that, it’s time to travel more. Ride the local routes of others, enjoy the roads they’ve mapped through the years. Maybe 2014 is the year I crash on the floors of some friends, visit some new shops, climb some new mountains, or explore the b-roads all over the country.
When fall rolls around I’ll no doubt be looking to grab some holeshots, bunny hop a barrier or two, maybe try to not get lapped in a 1/2/3 race. Until then, it’s time to enjoy my time on the bike.
Hell, I might get real crazy and not even use a Garmin here and there…..
photos and words by Brandon Elliott