Back in the Saddle Again

Not trying to throw out old Aerosmith lyrics with the title, but it’s what best describes the current situation on the bike. If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’ve struggled to stay on the bike consistently. Life, lack of discipline, winter blahs, etc., all add up to me not getting enough miles in. So I’m back at it again, and it feels like something’s different this time.

So as I start to pile on the miles, we should talk about where I’ve been bike-wise.

The Path to Here

So after Kate and I separated, one of the first things I did was start getting some more bike miles in. Not tons, but enough to know that I’ve missed it. I bought a new mountain bike and started getting tons of miles in with the kids. And then with the kids and Didi, who is new-ish to mountain biking. And while that’s been satisfying and fun, I’m not getting a ton of health benefits out of short, unstructured rides 1-2 times per week.

Then there were some health scares. Last fall, my mom started making monthly trips to the ER — confused, hallucinating, falls, etc. Turns out it’s Lewy-body dementia. She’d gone downhill fast and it’s not been much of an improvement since. Watching this has been terrifying, thinking that my future could be like this.

Add in too much bad cholesterol, too little good cholesterol, high triglycerides, a few extra pounds that I’ve been trying to shed, and a diet that could generously be described as “functional” and you’ve got a recipe for middle age that ain’t great.

This spring, I had already been noodling with the process of getting back into shape, and I ordered a new custom Ti gravel bike frame from my buddy Alex of Northern Frameworks. I’ve got the parts in-hand, and the frame is nearly finished. It’s the bike I’ll be riding in the Tour de Tucson this November, with my older brother, Reed.

So: some fun, some scares, and some commitment.


Last week, after talking to my bike shop co-worker, Blake, I signed up for TrainerRoad and subscribed to their podcasts. I ordered a pair of the Garmin Rally RS-100 pedals (power meters). I’m in training — real training, not the fuck-around type — for the first time in 15 years. It feels good.

I’m transcribing some data from my last few health appointments and my FTP testing and getting them into a database so that I can do some graphing and see how things progress. I’m feeling pretty good. Hitting rides when they’re scheduled, taking supplements (multivitamin, extra D3, Ceylon cinnamon, apple cider vinegar capsules), and generally spending more time thinking about my nutrition.

Still working in the time to ride with Didi and the kids, and even doing a social ride with an old friend on Friday.

It feels weird, but it feels good.1

The Future?

This is the big question — what next? Next year’s likely going to be as busy as this year. I think the biggest question is to whether I can maintain my motivation and stay consistent with my training after the Tour de Tuscon this November. Continuing to build up for the next season is going to be hard, especially with the way the short days and cold weather crush my soul. I think the key here is going to be focusing on building my base for the next season, and then figuring out what my main goals are for the year. I’ve been thinking about Unbound, the Lutsen 99er, and a few other possibilities. I guess we’ll see where this goes.

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