Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The cyclist is back!!!

Some time last year, a colleague of Sherry’s asked if she was married to Lee Alderman, the cyclist.  While we both still get a laugh out of this from time to time, I can honestly say that description did not fit this year as I prepared to run my first half marathon in over 25 years.  I was more like Lee, the runner.

Now, with the half marathon behind me, it was time to reconnect with the bike.  I intended to use the Memorial Day Weekend as the platform for re-launching my riding.  My plan was quite simple.  Ride all three days and if possible log at least 100 miles in the saddle.  I am happy to say I was successful on both counts.  Although these distances do not seem very long by normal standards, I was very happy with how quickly my form returned. 

To help the plan along I chose routes over some of my favorite, and most beautiful, roads in Sonoma County.  If these routes can’t get you inspired then it may be time to hang up the bike.

1000x563-knights-valley-cows Knights Valley (33.2 miles) – My adventures started on Saturday as I led the Team Revolution ride.  As ride leader, I got to select the route so we headed to Knights Valley.  I hope that every cyclists gets the chance to ride through a place as lovely as Knights Valley at some point.  It is simply stunning.  The only reason we don’t ride it more often is that it is an out and back route (we usually prefer loops).

As the ride began, I immediately felt the effects of my time off the bike.  However, as we rode along, I continued to feel better.  By the return trip, I was driving a solid pace on the front and holding my own on the small climbs.  Plus, in addition to the great people I was riding with, I also ran into many other friends on the road.  It was the perfect re-entry to the world of cycling.

Cols3 Boho Hwy/Pocket Canyon (37.6 miles) – On Sunday, Jeff and I joined the first part of Coach Tim’s Cols & Pavé ride.  We headed out Bohemian Hwy towards Monte Rio and returned via Hwy 116 through Pocket Canyon.  Once again the scenery was stunning as we rolled through the redwoods and along streams flush with spring rains.  And, while this was supposed to be a recovery ride, Jeff and I managed to hammer out a pretty respectable pace instead.  It was two days and two great rides where I felt like I just kept getting stronger.

hartford Martinelli Road (40.1 miles) – Memorial Day was overcast, gray, and cold.  It was the kind of morning that makes you reach for your coffee cup and not the bike.  It was such a blah morning that everyone bailed on the morning ride.  So, Carmen and I headed out later in the day.  My plan was to take the single speed and really focus on recovery.  However, the wind was blowing pretty damn hard so I changed my mind.   When the wind is blowing that hard I want gears.  Once again, my plan to take it easy and recover changed once I started rolling.  I felt very good so we maintained a healthy pace through the redwoods and vineyards of the Russian River Valley.  It was another beautiful day on the bike that included Martinelli Road, which may be my favorite road of all.

There you have it.  I managed to cycle all three days and felt much better then anticipated.  And, what about my other goal?  Well, I made that as well as I totaled 110 miles in those three days.  More importantly, each ride was slightly longer then the one before it and I felt stronger as each day passed.

Now that my cycling has been jump started back into action, I can’t wait to see what adventures await as I roll into summer.


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