Hello sunshine! It's been too long since your sparkling rays have warmed the dank and depressed earth here in NY. Amazingly, you've managed to show yourself after a record setting run of snow...good for you.
Yes indeed, with the sunshine and 60 degree days comes the thrill of RIDING OUTSIDE! Mind you that the trails are still covered in snow and ice (thanks snowmobiles) but the roads are mostly dry. The only problem is the excess of sand, salt and cinders that can shred even the toughest tires in seconds.
Sunday we shocked the world with a 35 mile ride, with nearly 2000 feet of climbing, and we finished feeling awesome. Fitness wise, I'm actually at a point which I was at in the middle of May last year. That's what only 4 weeks of indoor training will do for you. I am able to ride all the climbs that gave me even the slightest hint of trouble last year, and now I'm doing them almost effortlessly and using larger gearing (I manned up and swapped out my compact double for a standard double this year.) The only downside of this was a flat tire in the driveway of all places, then another flat on the road, and finally a third flat when the valve core of the presta valve inexplicably disappeared. Incredible, that's all I have to say.
Today, since I was given the green light to do nothing in honour of my birthday (another year older, another mark off my max heart rate, I know....) I took my newly built cyclocross bike out for a jaunt. 25 miles later, I've learned that there is a big difference between my 16.9 pound road bike in it's climbing garb, and my 24 pound cross bike with boat anchor wheels. No flats this time around, probably because those tires are thicker than a doormat. Oh well, it's good training nonetheless, and I'm more than happy to be able to get out and ride in March of all times.
And so, as spring hits us head on, I beg of you to get out there and ride. Test your form, enjoy the spring air and keep the rubber side down.