Views From the Road Part 1
With the recent good weather I have found myself bemoaning the quick loss of snow and abrupt end of ski season. However, with the bad comes some good and I have been able to get out on my road bike and start logging some mileage much earlier this year than in past seasons. Even better, without the strange lag between seasons that often occurs as we wait for warm weather and the roads to be cleared of sand and debris, I am able to capitalize on some of the fitness I built up over ski season.
As much as I am sad to see ski season leave, I am excited to see cycling season arrive and had forgotten how much I enjoy riding my bike (I am a self-professed cycling geek). The other day I went for my first ride of any substantial mileage this season and was struck by the solitude of cycling alone. Riding my bike on relatively busy country roads, I was separated from those passing me in their vehicles and left to my thoughts as I retraced a training route I have ridden many times before. This type of solitude and mindlessness of following a route I have ridden hundreds of times before allows me to sit back and let my mind wander.
It would seem that the early warm weather has prompted many to begin driving with the windows down. I can hardly blame people for being excited about the unseasonably warm temperatures, and do not want to pick on people for enjoying the beautiful spring weather. In fact, I encourage enjoying the outdoors however you are capable, but people must remember as you are letting the outside in, you are also letting the inside out.
For example, the other day over the course of my bike ride three cars drove past me where I could clearly smell the driver’s perfume. People who know me will vouch for the fact that I do not have a highly developed olfactory system. In fact, I spend numerous hours over the course of the week tucked in my gear room surrounded by well used climbing shoes, ski boots, and clothing. A friend of mine who recently forgot to bring his jacket on a ski excursion ended up borrowing a jacket from me…it did not smell good; his first comment was, “do you think I can ski without a jacket?”
These overly smelly people driving by made me wonder how much perfume must you be wearing for me to smell it so clearly as you drive by me at forty miles per hour? What incredibly well-ventilated place are you heading where it is possible to wear that much perfume? Does everyone who comes in contact with you immediately wish to stage a perfume intervention (would perfume intervention be the worst reality show concept ever?)? Is there no one in this poor person’s life to say it is time to lay off the White Diamonds?
So there it is: a little glimpse of what I think about as I am covering some easy miles trying to build fitness on the bike. I would love to tell you I was watching my cadence, making sure I was staying in the right heart rate zone, and paying attention to traffic, but no. I was concerned about the plight of the over perfumer. It is no wonder I am not getting any fitter on the bike.