After a solid week of bicycling every single day, I have observed a few things.
Flowering trees. Sprouting dandelions. A woodchuck. Innumerable scurrying squirrels. A goose attempting to nest in the middle of the bike trail. Deer.
Nature is glorious at the start of spring. People, on the other hand...
I shivered in sympathy watching a man run shirtless into a 25mph headwind on a 47-degree day. I cringed at another man using his rear cargo rack for a child seat. I was bewildered by three chatting women walking their dogs, taking up the entire width of the bike path, refusing to acknowledge, let alone yield the right of way to oncoming bicyclists.
One might say "that really chafes my butt."
But that's only partially correct. Riding consecutive days at the start of the season is the real culprit.
Participating in 30 Days of Biking has caused me to escalate my early spring riding schedule. I am committed. There are no excuses. I won't wimp out with temps below 50, a threat of rain, or a strong wind. If I have to brave colder conditions by riding earlier in the morning or settling for a shorter ride starting later in the afternoon, so be it.
As of April 8th, I have already ridden the same number of days as I had in all of April 2011. In fact, I have logged over twenty miles more in those first eight days than I did last year - on average a 15% increase in mileage with each outing.
You could say that having no rest days is really chafing my butt.
And I'm not saying that figuratively. I don't let the whims of Mother Nature get under my skin. I won't allow the annoying actions of others to wrinkle my tail feathers. That privilege is reserved exclusively for my bike saddles.
With each outing, I'm feeling physically stronger. Cardio capacity has increased. Strength is up. Fatigue is down. Everything is improving except my comfort in the saddle.
I know all the tricks for a comfortable ride. A proper bike fit. A saddle designed for the amount of time you'll be spending on it. Quality bike shorts with great padding. Chamois cream.
I just have to remember to apply the cream before I go out on a ride - no matter how short of a ride I plan on taking. Note to self; the Chamois Butt'r goes on before the shorts - every time.
I will not let rain, wind, or cold keep me from riding every day in April. I won't be detracted by my upcoming 10-day trip to Minnesota and the challenges of fitting in a ride that traveling tends to create. I am going to master this challenge.
No ifs, ands, or butts about it...
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Keep riding and be safe!