Is it really still March? Really? Am I still in Canada then? Really? I don’t get it. Last year it was in April, if not May before I got my motorcycle out of storage…. and given the circumstances of my back, I was probably closer to June before I had my bicycle out on the road. And given I always used to have to change tires when switching from the trainer to the road (a trainer tire really can’t be ridden outside, and a road tire will get destroyed pretty fast on a trainer) — the perennial debate in the spring was always “when do I switch”?
Well, this year there is no debate! With the weather as it is, it’s clearly time to be outside. Temperatures into the 20′s Celsius. Beautiful sunshine. Cool breezes perhaps, but under the circumstances that’s refreshing. This weekend felt more like late-May than mid-March. And it was clear from all the people out there, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.
I had the boys for the first half of the weekend. We spent a good chunk of Saturday outdoors. Running errands downtown on foot, and wandering around otherwise just getting stuff done and playing. Was a good day for it. Seeing as it was St. Paddy’s day,we did have to dodge parties of semi-drunken U of G students in their green attire – which made for some interesting questions from my 10 and 7 year olds! We also managed to get to the pool in the afternoon — which was especially nice for me since my Sunday plan was to exhaust myself with outdoor pursuits — so shifting my swim to Saturday worked real well.
Which leads me to Sunday… what a glorious day. Slept in with the boys and had a lazy early morning over breakfast. Brought them over to their mum’s place and dropped them off… There plan had been to be driving down to Vermont for a ski trip — but given the weather that’s now all changed to canoeing and other outdoor stuff around here!
I hopped home in the car and got changed.. pulled all my drinks and food together and headed out the door for a nice long bike ride! Saturday evening I had done the work to finish setting my bike up for racing. I got the bottle cage mounted between the aerobars, got the tubes changed in my race wheels (to ones with stem lengths that fit the wheel depths! finally!), and pulled together my ‘kit’ of things required to change a flat etc. The goal for the day’s ride was twofold — 1) to go out for a nice long ride s per the training plan. And 2) to test out the race set-up and see what works, what needs tweaking, etc.
This was my first outdoor ride of 2012!! And it was glorious. I headed west onto the route I used to ride to / from work when I worked in Waterloo. Running along the old roads was great. Seemed like forever since I had been on them — even in a car, let alone a bike. I realize I missed riding them… the familiar hills and terrain. It was nice to feel strong and fit on them too. It seemed like even longer since I was able to hold the big chainring up front on some of the inclines, given my level of fitness the last few years. Once I hit Waterloo I headed north and then back to the east and eventually, once I got to Elora I swung south again and back into Guelph. In the end, I had done just short of 90kms in about 2:45 min. A good ride. And my legs didn’t feel like jello. That’s a good sign.
After stretching and rolling (foam roller) for a few minutes, I changed into some running gear and headed back out the door for a quick run. Did a nice big loop, discovering that I was “chasing” another jogger down one of the long legs… as I slowly reeled her in she kept turning corners in front of me in the same direction I was going… I passed her at some point (I think she finally got caught by a light), and continued to run…. only to discover that she was now chasing me…. and continuing to take the same corners… we ended up running together for a couple minutes near the end of both of our runs — and it turns out she was a local police officer. No wonder we were sharing the same route, given the police station is essential “just around the corner” from my place.
After I got a shower and a quick snack it was time for round 3 of my “outdoor pursuits day”…. This time I changed into jeans, boots and a leather jacket… grabbed my *other* helmet and my keys and headed for the door. Oh, what a ride I had on my Raven…. My wee Harley Sportster that I had gotten out of storage just Saturday was waiting for me patiently. She started with a roar…. and as I let her warm up for a moment I drank in the sound, anticipating the wind therapy I was about to experience. It was all I could do as I rode another huge country block, hitting some of the great roads in the area — lots of curves — to keep the silly grin off my face so as to not be catching bugs in my teeth!
I finished my ride with a visit to the local burger joint for a well deserved beer and burger… and then headed home for a quiet night in…
I can’t think of a better ingredients list for a weekend. The boys. A swim. A ride. A run. And some time on my motorcycle. Sun. And warmth. There’s very little that could improve upon such a good list.