Into the great unknown

18 02 2013

There’s a question mark hanging over the upcoming cycling season.

He’s five-and-a-half months old, handsome as a matinee idol and a future cyclist himself.

LIttle Ring’s lively blue eyes and toothless cherubic grin will make your heart soar, but as anyone who’s welcomed a little one into their world knows first hand, babies are kinda all-consuming. Your schedule is now their schedule, defined by feedings, naps, walks and playtime.

Even before Little Ring came on the scene, Princess of Pavement and I discussed our need to keep up our active lifestyles. Running makes PofP happy. Cycling is in my blood. We want to set a good example, and make him as much a part of our exercise activities as possible.

 

Setting a good example for Little Ring starts with his fashion sense!

Setting a good example for Little Ring starts with his fashion sense!

 

That means runs with his jogging stroller. Helping out with strength training. Waiting at the finish line when PofP finishes her next half marathon and when I complete my next fondo.

Little Ring helps Princess of Pavement with her strength training. Maybe a little too enthusiastically.

Little Ring helps Princess of Pavement with her strength training. Maybe a little too enthusiastically.

It does not, however, mean a trailer will be hitched to the Lapierre anytime soon, or worse, an iBert to her stem. We all have our line in the sand.

No way. No how. Not gonna happen. Ever.

No way. No how. Not gonna happen. Ever.

Rides are no longer just a matter of pulling on the shorts and disappearing for three or four or five hours. Now we’ll have to coordinate schedules, negotiate free time, synchronize for meet-ups.

Out for an early season jaunt with FR Fuggitivi.

Out for an early season jaunt with FR Fuggitivi.

I suspect mileage will take a hit. Which means every ride has to count.

February sun and a couple of hours of free time for a ride; a double treat!

February sun and a couple of hours of free time for a ride; a double treat!

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Hurts so good

6 02 2013

The primary requirement for the first rides of the season is flatness. As in “a pancake.” As in a totally level horizon. As in no climbing more arduous than an overpass.
The first rides should be like riding the Tour of Qatar but with booties on. And no camels along the side of the road.
So when Guy of FR Fuggitivi suggested a route for a February ride that included a moderate ascent from the board-flat shore of the Fraser River to the summit of the border between Vancouver and Burnaby, I was dubious. Guy is a mountain goat. He burns up the slopes. He has a number of KOM symbols on his Strava page.

The first climb of the year is always tough, no matter how modest.

The first climb of the year is always tough, no matter how modest.

Now come July, a climb like this would be welcome, relished even.
But in the middle of winter, the legs just want to spin, bliss out on the bike, get the blood flowing again.
As we zipped along the banks of the river, I tried not to think of the climb ahead. But as the Lapierre and I got reacquainted I found myself looking forward to it. Sure the legs would burn, the lungs heave, but it will hurt so good. And the reward would come a little further east, with a speedy, curvy descent back to the “flats.”
The Big Ring is back.