Friday, May 23, 2014

Use it or lose it

I went out for my first real bike ride since moving to Asheville 15 months ago. (I say "real" because I took a quick spin around the block Wednesday just to be sure all the mechanical parts were working after reassembly.) The numbers don't lie: I've completely lost the extremely modest amount of conditioning I had managing to achieve with my riding in Vegas.

As you can see from this screen shot (from a very nice, free site called "Ride With GPS"), my last serious ride in Nevada was in late November of 2012. I wrote about that ride here. It was at the outer limit of my ability, but I could do it: 99 minutes, 18 miles, 1370 feet of climbing.

Today I rode 11 minutes, 1.7 miles, and a measly 153 feet of climbing--and it nearly killed me. The last stretch is about 200 feet of an 11% grade up to the alley behind my house, and I swear that if I had had to go another 10 feet, my heart and lungs would have jumped out of my body to go find a more worthy host. I had to spend five minutes huffing and puffing to recover enough just to pick up my bike and carry it inside, and even then I couldn't carry it up the stairs to my apartment until after I had spent 10 minutes panting on the couch. And 15 minutes after that, sitting at my computer, I was still covered in sweat from head to toe.

Pathetic. Completely, utterly pathetic.

My goodness, it is discouraging to both feel in my bones how much progress I've lost, and see it reduced to cold, hard numbers by a GPS tracker that will not fudge the data to soften the ugly truth.

On the other hand, there is this: I'm better off than the people who slacked off for the past 15 months and then DIDN'T go out for even a short ride today.