the other day I took my car in for its annual inspection. as the shop I use is only about a mile from my house, I threw (gently placed) my bike in the back, and after I dropped the car off, got on my bike to ride it home.
first of all, I just had tennies on, and had to center those little round speedplay pedals under my big fat tennie treads. my next challenge was trying to pedal. I pressed down hard, the chain slipped and coughed and grabbed, then slipped and gagged, and I almost fell off my bike. and I couldn't remember how to shift.
I kid you not.
I looked on both handlebar hoods, desperately searching for a clue, and finally remembered, oh yes, it's on the right side, I think I'm supposed to push or click with either my middle finger, or maybe it's my index finger . . .
and then it all came back and I remembered that I always look down to my chain ring to see what ring I'm on: oh yes, big ring, no wonder I can barely pedal up the gently sloping asphalt . . .
halfway home I was panting, my heartrate soaring, and I began to get the hang of it again.
that's what 2 weeks off the bike did for me.
so my plan today is to remedy that distasteful situation.
I am going to ride my real bike on real roads in real, fresh (semi, as I live in the valley of inversions) air this afternoon. in the sunshine. with real wind to cool me, not fans.
I plan to enjoy it.
I plan to let my heartrate sit in whatever old zone it chooses to, and I plan to not count my cadence or watch the clock or try to determine how long I'm working in any particular zone. in other words, have an anti-power camp experience.
to allow me to remember what I like best about riding my bike: the freedom, the air, the experience of being out in the beauty of our natural world. the meditative repetitiveness of pedaling, the joy of just being, while being a vibrantly active participant in my own movement.
no big climbs to conquer today, no peaks to rest atop, just a long, steady ride at a pace that will allow me to enjoy my own existence.
and perhaps, as well, work off a few of those 2 million calories I snarfed down yesterday . . .