I declare….

….riding season officially OPEN!  Yup, finally the day has come where I feel the wind in my face and the rattle of Montreal’s winter ravaged roads beneath my buttocks.  All hail!  Spring is finally here and I am out of the bloody basement!

The roads are dry, but it's still winter-esque all around

I spent the whole morning champing at the bit, going from one conference call to the next.  My goal was clear and simple: lunch time was ride time.  The first outdoor ride of the season, and given the beautiful sunshine that was streaming in through my little basement office window, it was going to be a good one.  I love those first few rides of the year.  They’re awesome for a number of reasons, but one element that always fascinates me is how it is still technically winter all around, yet the emerging sun has warmed everything up enough that the roads are dry and free of ice and the cool 2c temperatures don’t feel cold as long as you have the sun right on your face.

Paddywagon enjoying his first day out of the basement

I was not disappointed.  What a feeling!  I took the fixie out.  I mean come on, did you have to ask?  It’s been sitting in my office for the past three months taunting me each and every day.  There was no way this was not going to be the first ride of 2011.  I’ve been dreaming about riding that bloody bike.  It’s an easy transition in fact, from the road bike on the trainer to the fixie outside.  I say that because the one thing you have to remember about the fixed gear is that you keep pedalling.  Don’t “relax” and stop moving your legs because you’ll get a rude kick as the pedals continue their forward drive due to momentum and you could end up on the ground before you know what hit you.  On the indoor trainer I find that I never coast, partly due to the fact that I do a lot of hills and also because I typically set up a race against my previous best time and so it is not in my best interests to slow down and coast at any point on the course.  And so it was that I found myself happily blasting along the Lakeshore during lunch, soaking in the cracked road and doing my best to avoid the salty puddles.

I’ll tell you one thing, it sure feels like you go fast after a quarter pedalling like a demon and getting nowhere.  Long live riding outdoors.  To those in warm temperate climes who cannot relate to tis feeling of euphoria, I say that you are actually missing out on something truly magical.  It’s only when you have something taken away from you for a spell that you can truly appreciate it.  That’s true for pretty much anything.

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2 Comments

Filed under Cycling

2 responses to “I declare….

  1. Congratulations! After three months with a brand new bike that you couldn’t ride, this must be quite a load off. Still looks pretty cold in those photos. Are most of your usual rides right to ride on or are you still limited in the ones you can use? How are the legs? Has the indoor trainer served you well?

    • I tell you, the anticipation was making my head spin and it was no let down. Loved being outside and really enjoyed riding Paddy after three months of staring at him leaning against my wall. For the most part the roads are completely clear now. Mind you, I have not been down all the bike paths yet which usually take longer to clear as they are not ploughed or salted. I hope to get down to the F1 circuit this weekend. We’re supposed to have sun and no precipitation all weekend.
      Legs felt good first time out. I did a fair amount on the indoor trainer this winter, including a lot of hills. Mainly because I don’t like to be on the trainer for hours at a time and so I figure if I increase the intensity it makes up for it. We’ll see when we do a real ride of more than 90 mins on the weekend! Stay tuned.

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