Yesterday I rode my bike outside for the first time since last September. Given my propensity for falling on the road, I approached this ride with trepidation, as I much prefer riding indoors safely ensconced on a stationary trainer. Triathlons, however, are held outside, so I pumped up my tires and bravely pushed off down my street.
My usual neighborhood ride is 10-12 miles. Anything longer requires too many loops over the same territory (and too many barking dogs as I pass by) or venturing onto busier streets. There are a few small inclines, but mostly the route is flat. A disadvantage, however, is having to pause at intersections to check for traffic. Usually there isn’t any, but I slow down just in case.
Other than an unexpected gust of wind that I thought might topple me, the ride went well. I focused on proper pedal strokes, judicious gear shifting, and cadence. To my surprise, the ride felt almost easy, even fun. And, when I finished, I was pleased to note my ride time was seven minutes faster than last year on the same route.
I attribute this improvement to the past four months of intense indoor cycling under the tutelage of Coach E. I’m determined this year to maintain my bike fitness by riding regularly – inside or outside – after indoor cycling ends next week.