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January 11, 2005

In-Training

Today I rode my bike to work, but I wasn't really enthused about the
thought of it. It snowed last night and I don't have my studded tires
yet, and I was really tired. Last night after meeting with my Korean
language partner, I still had not done my exercise program (except for
the biking part of it since I rode my bike home from work yesterday.)
Then my son asked me for a ride to a friend's house and by the time I
got home it was 11:00pm. I was ready for bed. But, being just a little
determined, or deranged, I did my exercises anyway. I didn't run as
planned, but I couldn't see myself out running around the neighborhood
at midnight. My upper-body workout was good though. However, because
of this, I got to bed really late. After exercising I was kind of
pumped up and couldn't sleep right a way so 1:00 am rolled around and this morning I was tired. That made my attitude a little less than enthusiastic. I looked outside
at the road and saw that it was all white. We don't get a lot of
traffic on our street so it's hard to judge what the road conditions are like
outside of our neighborhood. It looked like it would be treacherous
without studded tires. Plus, I heard that we were supposed to get more
snow this afternoon. I might have used any excuse to not ride my bike
today.
I looked at the temperature and saw that it was fairly warm and
realized that I was just rationalizing my lack of enthusiasm so I got my
stuff on and rode my bike to work. It was ok. There was only one spot
where it was kind of tough going because there was about 2 inches of
slush, with ruts on the part of the street I had to ride on. But even
without the studded tires, my knobby mountain bike tires worked fine.
It gave me a little more confidence in my equipment and in
winter-biking.
Through this experience I realized two things:
1. I have to exercise right after work, before I eat dinner or I will
run out of time for it. This will require a huge commitment. Or I have
to get up early and exercise, which I'm not really very excited about.
2. When it comes to preparing for cycle racing, attitude can be my
biggest asset or biggest liability. Equipment is secondary. No amount
of the 'right' equipment could have gotten me out that door this
morning. I stopped rationalizing and did it anyway. I made up my mind
that the only way I would really know what it was like is if I actually
went out there and tried it. Besides, in the worst-case
scenario I could always walk to work and push the bike. I knew the
walking would be good for me too and I had enough time. But I found out
that I didn't need to push the bike after all. Attitude, for better or
worse is what makes it happen or not happen.

I know this exercise plan will make me stronger, and a better bike
racer, but it's a huge commitment physically and emotionally. Now I am
seeing and remembering how much time exercise and fitness really takes.
This is one reason why I thought that commuting by bike was such a great
idea last year when I started doing it. If it takes me 30 minutes to
drive in my car and 1 hour by bike, it's like getting an hour's worth of
exercise with only spending 30 minutes outside of my normal commute
time. The closer a person lives to work the less time difference there
is and the more it makes sense. If it takes me 15 minutes to ride the
bus or drive my car to work and it takes me 15 minutes by bike, then I'm
doing exercise in the same amount of time as my commute. It's like
getting 15 minutes of free time every day to exercise.

On Thursday, January 20th there is a class at the Sibley Bike Depot:
Class: building studded snow tires
Description: Build yourself a studded snow tire for your bike.
Studded snow tires can save your life if in winter biking. We will be
using sheet metal screws to convert standard knobby tires to snow
tires.

Class cost is $20 and includes a wheel, tire, and tube, or $10 if you
bring your own wheel.
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2005
Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm
Duration: 90 minutes
Priority: Medium
Access: Public
Category: Sibley Bike Depot
Created by: andrew
Updated: Friday, December 17, 2004 6:25pm
Event Contact Email: info@bikeped.org
Location: Sibley Bike Depot
509 Sibley St.
St. Paul, MN 55101

Jim kindly offered to loan me his studded tires for the Ice Criterium
bike race but I still haven't decided if I want to try riding in that
race. I'll have to see if I have the motivation and courage to try that
as my first-ever bike race. On one hand it would give me a good
planning goal for next year by actually trying it. On the other hand,
I've never raced before and don't know if this would be the best race
for me to begin on.

Posted by carl1236 at January 11, 2005 11:59 PM | Cycle Racing

Comments

I don't think the studded tires make much difference in snow and slush - I think the tread is more important. The studs are great on ice though.

Posted by: Jim at January 12, 2005 12:14 AM