When it comes to sport and exercise, it seems that there are three categories of people: those who do it because they want to, those who do it because they have to, and those who just don’t bother. I fit squarely into the second category. And, while the majority of Cycle Oregon participants belong to the first, I know for a fact that I’m not alone.
Though today I get much more pleasure out of riding than I used to, the real reason I sign up for Cycle Oregon year after year is because it gives me a goal to work toward and forces me to place a priority on exercise when I would otherwise join the self-indulgent (and shorter-lived) ranks of the folks in category three. I can’t allow that to happen.
For us “Cat 2” riders, there is a strong temptation to reward ourselves for a season of hard work by staying off the bike for a while, which can sometimes be a good thing. But if you’ve taken a break from fitness altogether, I’ve got one piece of advice for you: get back after it TODAY, because starting from scratch flat out-sucks (feel free to ask me how I know).
By now you’ll have lost a little strength and cardio fitness, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that you still have a great deal of base fitness. And even if you just end up working out a few times a week, you’ll be rewarded the next time you get on the bike – even if that’s not until the spring.
If this was your first year riding, I’ve got some great news for you: cycling actually gets easier year after year. You ride better, get back in shape faster and have fewer and fewer bad days in the saddle. You’ve gotten over the hard part. Just keep going.
See you at kickoff.