I spent some time this weekend out on the bike, you see, and my legs are reminding me that (a) I haven't ridden for about seven years, and (b) I'm not 18 anymore.
As I mentioned before, the weather this week has been awful. It rained heavily most of the week, and when it wasn't raining it was cold and overcast. I managed to ride for about an hour on Thursday, but I really wanted to do a longer, more intense ride on the weekend. So when I awoke on Saturday to another cloudy day in the mid-40s, I headed over to the bike store to pick up some cold-weather gear.
From a budgetary perspective, the gear-heavy nature of cycling is less than ideal. But from the perspective of playing dress-up, it's awesome. There are more outrageous varieties of clothing items than for any of my other activities. I hit the winter-clearance rack and came away with a windbreaker vest, a long-sleeve jacket, arm warmers . . .
and knee warmers.
The knee warmers came in black, too, but I figured, heck, when else am I going to run around in flaming red tights?
I'd thought that would be the end of my riding for the weekend, but then the weather today was so beautiful that I felt it would be a crime not to go out for a little ride after church. Well, that "little ride" quickly turned into another two-hour 30-miler. I started out just exploring some of the paths I used to run on, seeing where they went beyond the point where I'd normally turn around when running. But then I went down to the Potomac River and struck out along the George Washington Parkway, which is one of the most beautiful roads around -- you're surrounded by open parkland, with views over the bright blue river and the monuments and capitol building on the other side. The going was slower than I'd have preferred, because I had to dodge the millions of walkers, runners, dogs, children and bikers who were also out enjoying the day. Most of the time people were pretty good with the give-and-take of traffic, but there's a certain type of woman who, when in "walking" mode, won't budge an inch for anyone.
So now I'm doubly tired. But happily so. Sixty miles in my first weekend isn't a bad start, and I'm excited to continue. Plus, I now feel perfectly justified just sitting here being calm, reading and listening to music. (As you know, as much as I enjoy reading and listening to music, I'm not very good at being calm enough to do them in a leisurely manner -- too many things to accomplish!)