Oh, has this been a long time coming!
I don't think it's a secret how much I love biking. Although I had Sebbe, my indoor bike, to entertain me over the winter, my first (biking) love is the outdoor scene.
Unfortunately, Momma N has been more than generous with unseasonably cold temps (complete with wicked wind), so my 2021 rides have been pretty sparse...thus far. But that hasn't made them any less exhilarating.
While running will always be my first-and-foremost favorite sport, biking has become a contender for a close second (there's also stair-climbing and simple power walking, both vying for said honors). Honestly, I am a self-proclaimed cardio junkie, and I'm not ashamed in saying so.
So, even with the biking season barely underway, there are many things I'm over-the-moon excited for. Care to hear a few (or five)? Glad you asked....
First off, this was the first year that biking played a (minor) part in my Week of Pi Challenge. Since I was doing all things Pi that week, and the temps were ideal, I took Gustavas out for a very quick 3.14-mile ride over my lunch break one day. I kid you not. A 3-mile ride is over and done pretty quickly, but that just made the novelty of it that much more significant. Also, I got to wear my new Quad Cities Marathon bike jersey, so what was not to love?
Speaking of bike jerseys, I gotta bikefess, biking gear is (often times) a lot more fun to shop for than running gear. There, I said it. Obviously, I'm more drawn to the colorful and funky-patterned jerseys. The bike shorts, though... not so much. I do have a couple pair, and I'm not a fan. I'm slowly accepting that the dorky padded shorts serve a valuable purpose, especially for especially long rides. But, ugh. The diaper-butt is so not flattering on anyone.
Biking is one of the sports that the hubby and I enjoy doing as a couple. Sure, dinners out and drinks are fun, but I'd rather be pedaling my wheels than guzzling a brew.
My recent running races (several in 2019, a handful in 2020, and the few 2021 ones, so far) have reflected overall faster finish times. I haven't really changed much with my strength work, nor have I been doing intense speed-training...but I have been biking more, a lot more. I don't think it's a coincidence I've become a stronger runner. I utilize most of my biking on non-running days, so it's more of a cardio fix than an ongoing "training" vice, but it's kept my legs strong and given my "running muscles" some downtime.
And, if I want to really work the legs? I have the bike trail, west of town. It's approximately a 14-mile round trip from my driveway. There are a few gently rolling hills (which really don't count, in my opinion) and there's four big hills going out, and 7 nasty ones on the return. If it's a windy day, there's no coasting but non-stop pedaling (and, often times, cursing). The feeling of victory after the ride ends, though, is pretty euphoric.
...and, here's a bonus feature...last fall, due to all the Covid cancellations, several of our friends joined us for group rides on the weekends. These rides really became fun get-togethers, each weekend. Heck, we didn't have any football games to go to (or even watch on TV), so the biking filled a huge void and blessed us with a lot more fun (and fitness) than we could have imagined.
So, yeah. Although I plan to do a lot of running from here on out (stress fracture is officially over and done, thank you very much), I am also hoping to do a lot of biking as well. It's served me well, and I want more!