After more than a month of being too sick to pedal, I am back in the saddle and have manged to pedal 3 times. I had to cut back some on the resistance so I figure I am covering 4 miles a day which puts me at 60 miles — two more days and I will be in Pittsburgh in my imagination. From Wheeling, WV to Pittsburgh, PA through Weirton, WV is 67 miles. In Pittsburgh I will pick up the Great Allegheny Passage to the C&O Canal which are the bike trails from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.

The first day back on the bike I started with low expectations setting no goal. I was just happy to be back on and thought if I could even do a few minutes at 50 rpm I would be happy. As it turned out it was like taking a starving man to a buffet. My normal routine is one minute at 50 rpm, 23 minutes at 68-7o rpm and then a minute at 50 rpm. That gives the 1685 total revs that constitute 4 miles or more when I turn up the resistance. At this first session though I found I was doing 75-78 rpm and when I made a conscious effort to slow to 70 as soon as my focus turned to something else my body on its own was up to 75 again.

I let it go because I wasn’t going to expend any mental energy trying to keep the speed down.  It was  a reminder that the body itself has desires that may not be controlled by the mind.  I ended up going the full 25 minutes. The second session it was better behaved and no problem keeping it at 70.

When I did my bike trip from North Dakota to Florida in real time my routine was bike for an hour typically covering 15 miles (24km) then take a break. One reason was I could never get too tired because I always had to at short notice be able to sprint.

There are a lot of dogs between ND and FL and many of them are laying around bored and the opportunity to go bite at the heels of a bicyclist is more of an urge than they can resist. While they could catch met at 15 miles an hour if I sprinted they would be left in the dust. Hence the need to sprint at short notice. I used to call it saving one for the dog.

At the end of my second session I was ready to do the cool down minute at 50 rpm but got curious if I had one for the dog so I accelerated to 90 rpm which I was able to do. Of course the bike does make some noise and it got noticeably louder when I sped up. Within a few seconds I was busted.

The nurse who was tasked with monitoring me sharply told me to slow down you are  hooked up to the dialysis machine (which is pulling fluid and that does put a strain on the heart) I don’t want to have to code you. So I did as planned in any case and slowed down but then burst into laughter at being busted.

Anyway I am feeling better now and hope to be able to continue on my way to Daytona Beach in the combination of really pedaling and my imagination.

Advertisements