I cannot believe it has been one month to the day since my last bike ride! The time between February 21st and March 21st was not the best of times. Between the weather, illness, and the passing of my mother-in-law it was a bad month. I hope today's ride, and today's beautiful weather, marks a change for the better.
Joe and I went out this afternoon and did a hilly twenty mile jaunt. We weren't fast but we had fun. It felt great to be on my bike again with the wind blowing past my face. The climbs were doable and within a month they will be a breeze again. It's always hard in the beginning of a new season but as the new season passes your endurance, strength, and fitness return. The best part of today's ride were the thrilling downhills. They were as wonderful and exhilarating as I remembered!
Next Monday I am leaving for a six day visit back east to visit my parents. When I get back from my trip my serious training will (must) begin. April will mark the start of my 2009 training. I have two big rides I plan to do this summer. The first ride is in June, a 128 mile ride over the north cascade highway; the second ride is in July, 154 miles around Mount Rainier. The second ride is still up in the air. The rider limit is 800 and the riders are chosen by lottery. The results will be posted the first week of April. Hopefully I will get a ticket in.
But back to today's ride. The route was one of my favorites. My legs felt pretty good but my lungs and breathing were not what I had expected. With time I'm sure they will come back. We had a head wind on the last two thirds of the ride. We saw a lot of other cyclists enjoying the spring like day too. As we passed the other cyclists we waved, said hello, or nodded. And the pastures along our course were full of new born calves, horses wrapped in blankets, llamas, and sheep. The Green River was a rushing torrent from all the rain we had been getting plus the melting snow from the mountains. We stopped on the bridge that crossed the river and watched for a while. We met a nice older couple out walking their old black lab. They stopped to chat and we indulged the lab with patting and friendly talk. We finished our ride tired but happy. I believe it's safe to say the cycling season has begun.