Thursday, March 11, 2010

How My Training is Going

As of the first of March, I am no longer a bike commuter. My new job, working at the Bicycle Center of Issaquah, is four blocks from my apartment. The commute is so short I walk to work instead of biking. Christine works in the mornings and most days our schedules sync up in such a way that she and I can have lunch together at home. And while we both work weekends, we now have the same days off, Wednesdays and Thursdays. While this schedule is basically wonderful (I get more sleep and I get to spend more time with my lovely wife), now that I no longer get my automatic commute miles, I have to consciously work cycling into my day.

I've been adjusting to the new routine. Most mornings I head out the door after Christine heads off to work and get some trail miles in before work. While some mornings those miles feel obligatory, I've got so many options once I'm out the door that I always find some fun somewhere when I'm on the bike. I think the key to fitness is making sure that fun is involved somehow.

Yesterday was a day off from work, a day when Christine had her own things she was doing. I spent a bit of the morning playing with the new Google Maps Bike Option and then rolled out the door for a fifty mile loop incorporating some of the many non-technical trails around here. Not an epic ride, just a fun ride.

Of course I took pictures. "Have gadgets, will travel" is my motto. I took pictures of trees and pictures of pictures. When my camera told me "low battery" I felt smart for having a couple of solar charged replacements hanging on my pack.

Someone living alongside the Lake Sammamish Trail makes and sells these fence art pictures. The green eyes of the Starbucks coffee woman is the exact same color as the green in the cup logo. It's kinda creepy.

For mixed surface riding I really like WTB Nano Raptor tires and they are what I'll be racing in June. The WTB tires aren't cheap and I log a lot of training miles, so when I saw a pair of these Serfas Krest 9'er tires at REI (Return Everything Incorporated) for the fluke price of 83 cents each, I snapped them up. Actually the tags said $2.83 each but when the guy rang them up they showed as $0.83 on the computer and you know you just can't argue with computers. The Krest 9'ers don't roll as well as the WTBs and they buzz like angry bees on pavement, but at 83 cents a piece, they are fine for training.

These trails all exist because something else was here before and that was enough to prevent the land from being turned into farms or yards. An old rail line, a powerline or a pipeline cut these original paths through the trees and now people jog on them with their dogs or ride horses or bikes on them.

In a bit of perfect timing, I pull into Sandy's Espresso in Carnation a couple of minutes before a quick hailstorm blows through. I sit on Sandy's porch, sipping my coffee and reading a Cory Doctorow novel while the hail whitens the yard and deck. In ten minutes the storm passes and I'm back on my way.

I roll back along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail noting how nice it is to live in such a green part of the world.

Now that I'm not commuting, various friends ask how my training is going. I'm never quite sure how to answer that question, I don't have a power meter or charts of my resting heartrate. I've got some pictures and a good idea of where some pretty nice trails go. I think that's enough for now.

Keep 'em rolling,

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