Finally getting out on the road

Finally! I managed to break out into the outdoors this past weekend for some much needed outdoor riding. Although it wasn't as warm as I would have liked, after seeing the third or fourth cyclist out in the elements, I knew that it was past time to put some rubber on the road and get my hours logged outdoors.

One thing that I should mention though is that this was a very impulsive decision. I was getting ready for my day, looked outside, saw the sun, and hit the road. It happened so quickly that I did not warm up or stretch properly. To anyone who may be training for an event requiring extensive training like the ride I'm about to take, I don't have to tell you how important it is to warm-up before you start working out. The first ten miles of my ride was absolute agony because in my excitement for some actual decent weather I didn't take the proper steps to prepare myself. Finally, after stopping and doing some light stretching I fell into a good pace and completed the length I wanted. But I wouldn't want anyone to tackle something like that without doing the proper warmups first. 

This concept applies not just to cycling or running, but any event requiring rigorous physical movement. The more you train, the more important it becomes to stretch and get your muscles ready for the punishment they are about to endure, a factor that I am quickly learning the hard way. 

I only rode 40 miles, roughly two hours in the saddle. Today I will be trying for another few more hours, but after taking off Sunday my legs are actually more sore than they were when I finished my outdoor ride. I must have been stretching this morning for over forty-five minutes, and still felt as stiff as a board. Luckily my mom used to be a physical trainer so she showed me some very useful stretches that I think will be extremely helpful in the future as I continue to prepare for this upcoming bike ride. 

Tune in tomorrow as I go for the big ride of 100 miles, or a century as it is called in the biking community. It will take up roughly six hours of my day, excluding stretching and the warm-up portion. If the weather holds out and it stays as warm as predicted, I will be splitting up my ride into an indoor and outdoor portion. Can't tell you how excited I am to take the next step and move one day closer to the big ride!

Danielle Rivenbark