Saturday, February 28, 2009

So it begins...

Cycling has been a big part of my life since 2005, when I started riding to work and training for my first century to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. I originally got into cycling because I remembered how much I enjoyed riding when I was younger, and I badly needed an exercise regiment that would help me get back into shape and lose some weight.

In March of 2006, I participated in my first century in Solvang, Ca. I had trained for 6 months to get to that point, and come hell or high water, I was going to ride it. The weather was horrible, but I was wearing my postal service cycling bib, and like the old saying goes, through rain, sleet, or snow... and that's exactly what I did. It rained and hailed throughout the first half of the ride. Most of the riders either didn't show up or bugged out in that first half. It was difficult, and I was probably one of the last people on my team to make it in, but I completed it.

Since that first century, I've participated in the L.A. bike tour three times, rode the Cool Breeze Century in Oxnard three times, and rode the Solvang Century again. I also rode a bunch of times to the beach (30 miles each way), and multiple times to work (20 miles each way). Even though I've managed to put thousands of miles on my bike in the years since 2005, things always seem to find a way to deter me from riding, whether it be school, work schedules, or family. My last ride prior to this month was the Cool Breeze Century in Oxnard, in the month of August. But now, thanks to my wife, the fat cyclist is riding again.

Earlier this month my wife expressed an interest in starting a cycling regiment with me. This of course I found very exciting as I had not been on my bike in over five months, and the single largest factor keeping me from riding was the fact that I really wanted to spend time with my wife. Being that she was very new to cycling, having never cycled more than a few miles at a time, I decided to do a training program with her similar to what I did with Team in Training. So we planned our first ride from Encanto Park in Duarte, CA.

This first ride was a small one to get her going. It was roughly 6 miles in distance, and was entirely on the bike trail away from traffic. There were a few minor hills (rollers), and it took us a fair amount of time to complete. At one point we stopped because she had over-exerted herself on one of the climbs, but overall she did very well. Due to time constraints and weather conditions, it was three weeks before we did our next ride.

Our next ride (last Saturday) was intended to be a 10 mile loop at the L.A. Zoo/Griffith Park. There are quite a few more hills (rollers) on this ride, but she hung in there like a trooper and we got through it together without issue. I accidentally took her on a longer version of the ride than I was intending, and that resulted in the ride being 15+ miles. It was definitely too large a jump from the previous ride, but she handled it well. She followed it up with a recovery ride (which I incidentally missed).

I planned our third ride for a 16+ mile loop from our home. We rode together on Thursday of this week in preparation for the third ride, completing an additional 7 miles at night, with the temperature around 60 degrees. It was her first night/cold ride, and I enjoyed riding it with her.

Today was our third official training ride. We left later than I would have liked, around Noon, but we completed the full 16+ miles. It was a great ride, and I'm very proud of her:

Best of all, thanks to my wife....

The Fat Cyclist Rides Again!