Monday, March 16, 2009

On the Road

We couldn't wait for the warm afternoon, because she had to go to work, but the temperature was just poking above freezing when the cellist and I headed out on the family fixed gears for a quick jaunt. This was her third ride, so she's that far ahead of me on the butt-bruising process of saddle toughening.

I had the camera, but never pulled it out. We just rode. Under clear skies with light wind we pushed an easy cadence.

Ordinarily, the transition from skis to bike feels strange. On the bike, upper body muscle does nothing. The pedal stroke's forced circle feels very limiting after the wide variation of either skate or classic ski technique. However, at a mellow pace on relatively flat roads I settled into the familiar motions of pedaling without noticing it.

At one point I'd stopped while the cellist rode on. Spinning up over 20 mph to chase her down I finally felt the difference. To ski faster I will push harder, but glide longer. Cadence increases, but not as directly as it does when fastened to bike pedals, especially in a single gear. It's all good, just different.

Skiing isn't over yet. The two activities will definitely overlap for a few weeks. The cellist also has pushed for some early kayaking, so we may get into the kind of balanced but spontaneous conditioning program I prefer. Just go play outside and let fitness take care of itself.

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