Decent month with relatively steady riding. Regular commute miles, a nice loop while on vacation and three “plus 50’s” on the Quickbeam (a 53, 72 and 61 to be precise), so I’m starting to get a few longer rides into the portfolio. All of this with a couple of wacky (return from vacation panic and others out on their vacation short handedness) weeks, so it felt like a good solid month.
Although for some reason June always seems to run well. Though this June felt like the first “real” riding month, for some reason. I expect it has something to do with the atypical spring rains we enjoyed this year, along with mostly cool (for us) weather). Still, cycling is an outdoor sport and it’s not as if I’m going to melt… But, I’ve had no cause to consider removing the fenders from the Quickbeam until this week.
I’ve also upped my yoga intake a little bit, as our instructor has added a Saturday class. Since a few folks had emailed me privately, I’ll mention that it isn’t a strict practice of any school or style. Our instructor comes from a basis of Iyengar yoga, but she really incorporates other ideas as well. When it’s going well, it goes as an hour-plus moving mediation, holding poses fairly long and (after now a year and a bit of classes) reasonably deeply. All while breathing and keeping focused.
The deep postures and longer holding thereof seems to be noticeable when back riding. It feels like I’ve got more reserves, particularly in the core and shoulders, which are two of those areas underutilized by cycling.
It was interesting to read a recent post by Grant P. over on the Rivblog. Despite my enjoyment of cycling, I also realize that in terms of working the body, it does certain things very well, and a few things not at all. Of course, the body is a very, very lazy machine, in that it will adapt itself just enough to deal with the stresses which is put upon it. Some riders cover only smooth, long road miles, so that even a few hundred yards of rough-n-bumpy unpaved terrain will impact them. More commonly, most riders exert right in that middle area of developed comfort - holding that ingrained cadence in a habitual gear over known topography - never really under-doing it and never actually stressing the system.
What’s been interesting is that the yoga has reminded me of this - again, thanks to such a gifted teacher - as we hold poses into the point of discomfort and stressing of the muscles, we follow that with a restorative pose and action. Quite literally, we throw it out of gear and totally relax. As with Grant’s observations, it surprises me sometimes how little it takes to really get you sweating and have your muscles burning. Just body weight and the right position.
I’m not quite sure how I’m going to tie those observations off. It isn’t like I’m suddenly dropping everyone on the hills and leaving them gasping in my wake. It’s just that the little crux moves I’ve needed on the trails have come more easily, and my spine and shoulders seem to hold a better position on the ends of longer rides. Good stuff and I do think it’s directly related to the steady application of “something else” - in this case, a regular helping of yoga.
So, back to the numbers - 19 rides, 9 yoga sessions (missed 3 due to vacation) for 442 miles.
Bikey Miles so
far in 2010 - 2291