I finally have them.
my cycling legs.
it's taken a few months, but they are back.
every spring, no matter what's taken place over the winter, it's like starting from the beginning.
the first month's rides are almost full of zone 5, my heart pounding like crazy with each little rise and hill. then it settles a little so that only 80% of the time am I up in zone 5. then it backs off a little more, and I'm only in zone 5 half the time.
the rest of the time I'm in zone 4B, just a few beats lower than zone 5.
then comes a day when I am more often in 4B than 5: the scale tips,
alerting me to the fact that one day, soon, I'll have my cycling legs back.
according to most every source, the roots of the phrase "sea legs" come from seafarers being unable to hold on stably while a vessel constantly rollicked on the water, recognizing that they needed to develop their sea legs. it's believed the phrase first came into use in the early 1700s.
a period of adjustment exists for every sea-goer, allowing them to get used to walking, sitting, and simply being on something that rolls with the motion of the water. and when the sea-goer spends time on land again, the sea legs gradually disappear, until they return to the vessel and adjust again.
the same thing happens for us cyclists who are unable to ride our real bikes during the winter months... we lose our cycling legs, and have to earn them back.
I think I've finally earned mine back.
I ride up hills and rises and just barely touch zone 5; I feel I'm back in control.
I have my cycling legs back.