My updates have been few and far between lately but I suspect they should pick up with some regularity now. I have a couple really good reasons and several excuses for not posting updates, My best (or should this be my worst?) excuse is that my old laptop bit the dust and having to go down to my office rather than sit in front of the TV and type with the tube on in the background seemed like too much of a chore. I was getting some renovations done around the house and taking Lachlan skating but there is always time after he has gone to bed. The only good reason I had was the workload of my latest NAIT class, but I was able to manage previously so why not now? As most people with full time jobs and families, I am really busy, I am always really busy, but there is always time for something if you make time. I simply chose not to make the time.
So what's the big deal? It's a blog with 4 readers (okay 4 might be a high guess - let me have my moment). Who cares? Well, it's just a small example of how I let anything to do with cycling slip by this winter. My training occurred about as often as my updates and the 'drive' to step up my game for 2011 went by the wayside. Thankfully, I wasn't on the couch all winter so even though I wasn't on the bike I was able to keep some general level of fitness. Playing hockey, choosing to take the stairs rather than ride the elevator and walks at lunch have helped keeping my fitness from deteriorating. With the first race of the season upon us, what should one do if they haven't sat on a bike all winter?
I have only been cycling for 3 years now and commuting has always been something that I thought would be great to do but because of location and travel time, lack of adequate bike storage facilities and no shower facilities, commuting was never given much of a second thought. There would be no real monetary advantage as my wife and I have always managed to carpool to work and even if I decide to ditch the car for the bike, she would still need to drive as Lachlan would still need to get to daycare.
This year, due to the unpredictability of my wife's schedule as of late, I decided that I would start commuting home from work. This works out well as I still get to sleep in, pack all my gear into my pack, throw the bike into the back of the car and drive into work with my wife. I lock my bike up in the secured storage area and I don't have to worry about getting showered or changed before stepping into the office. On my way home I can now leave the office when I am ready, get some saddle time in and on my first attempt today I actually got home before my wife.
The commute went well as it is only 20 kms, most of which can be done on bike paths rather than on the streets. Using Mill Creek and the bike path along 91 Street sure made the first commute comfortable as I was able to keep off the road for approximately 75% of my ride. Once I perfect a route and my bike fitness levels return to a reasonable level I might consider riding into work as well. I pushed reasonably hard for the entire trip and determined a few things. First, the little bit of hockey and stair work kept my lungs in great shape. Second, all those things did nothing for my cycling legs. My legs were burning with every pedal stroke yet I was never even close to being out of breath. My legs definitely felt better near the end and I was able to kick it up a few gears - I suspect that it was the rust on my legs.
Just a quick update on the trails - there is some actual dry dirt out there! Unfortunately there is only small sections and mostly just soft and muddy. I suspect it will be another 10 days or more before we can get on the trails without causing too much damage. I'll start bringing my camera next week and post some updates.