Friday, February 10, 2012

A Century in February? YES!!

Our opportunities for wintertime cycling have been great this season. With the exception of one snowy weekend in January, we've been out riding on the road at least once or twice per week. In addition to that, we are now attending a new spin class designed especially for cyclists. Some participants use spin bikes, others bring in their own bicycles and trainers, and a few even use their own bicycles on rollers -- David included! Instructor Chip O'Lari has designed the classes with focus areas, such as high intensity interval training and improved pedaling techniques. We are learning a lot, and the group enthusiasm is keeping it interesting!

I continue to record everything I eat in an online food and exercise journal. I've also been doubling my workouts and doing two different activities each day. It might be a brisk walk, time on our elliptical machine, attending spin class or cycling outdoors, or doing a workout DVD using hand weights (or a kettleball) in our living room. I am considering taking a yoga class as well.

Dave's weight loss has been steady, and mine has finally budged a bit in the right direction! We feel really great about that.

Dave secures our tandem with bungee cords.
Another new happening is that we traded in our old Dodge Caravan for a newer model. As evident in this photo, our tandem fit nicely into the rear cargo area of the old van. The back seats came out, giving us lots of room! With the rear tinted windows,  we also had a good space for changing out of our riding clothes after a ride. Additionally, it was great for allowing us the freedom to do after-ride activities such as shopping or getting a bite to eat, without the worry of our bike being seen.

Our new minivan is the same make and model, but a much prettier color -- red! We are very pleased with the longevity of the Grand Caravans (our old van had over 200,000 miles on it!) and we realized that most of the other minivan models were not long or high enough in the back. One feature we really like is the Stow n’ Go Seating. It's so much more convenient than lugging seats in and out of the vehicle and storing them when they're not being used.

We are looking forward to taking our first road trip with our new van -- to New York next weekend. Last month, we reviewed our calendar together and planned out our cycling goals for the year. As crazy as it might sound, it all starts with a century ride in February!

The ride is called the Snowball Express, a figure 8 loop that travels through scenic Saratoga County and features rolling terrain, with just enough climbing to help keep us warm. Dave and I spoke with the event's Director, John Ceceri, by phone, and he was very informative and helpful in providing details on the route itself as well as things to do in the surrounding area. 

To be honest, I'm not 100% confident that I am up for a hundred mile ride at this time of the year. I've done only one century ride ever.  But heck, we've been riding continuously (although not as frequently) throughout the colder months, and it's not like we've been hibernating by any means. Plus, it's happening on my birthday weekend. In the spirit of celebration, I want to make an attempt to reach beyond my own limitations. I watch The Biggest Loser on television and those contestants truly inspire me! They are pushed to go way beyond what they ever thought they would be capable of doing, and many have found their hidden athlete within!

Here's a call out to all of our cycling friends -- if you're brave enough, join us and plan to ride 100 miles on a Saturday in February!

1 comment:

  1. A tandem in the car? That is impressive. I do a car/bike commute and actually keep my bike in my trunk, but it's a folding bike so it's considerably easier.