Cycling is awesome and truly invigorating. It’s a quick way to get about, take in the fresh air, and appreciate the environment surrounding you.
But riding around enjoying the scenery does little to prepare you for the demands of an intense race. At some level, I thought this “old man strength” phenomenon might kick it into gear for me. You know what I’m talking about…like one of those burly old dudes, you see at the gym who somehow manages to defy gravity by bench-pressing 5 times his bodyweight like some sort of geriatric He-Man. And why do they always wear these pants that clearly have been shrunk in the dryer? I’m told these are real and not some sort of laundry mishap. Skinny pants? No thanks.
Anyway, for me, ramping up slowly to build endurance through longer and longer rides are the most practical approach to taking on this challenge. Plus, it’s nice to have someone training alongside you for encouragement (and if you take a little spill).
So, off we go. Did I mention that ice cream is a crucial part of my training?
Cycling requires an intense amount of energy, and the body needs help to keep it at its optimal performance level. If you don’t refuel, you will learn that it isn’t long before you encounter the dreaded “bonk.” For you non-cycling enthusiasts, it means hitting the wall, r experiencing a complete loss of energy and your legs feel like cement.
Besides, I would rather do anything than train for hours without some sort of self-gratification. And the more miles you ride, the better the ice cream tastes. So, with this in mind, Sunday’s training involved a stop at the local ice cream shop in the downtown River Market district area. It’s quite a fun place with good food, alcohol, and above all else, my favorite chocolate ice cream. The store windows also provide an opportunity to check yourself out—you know…taking a quick glance to see what you look like when you ride.
There’s my bike in the picture… and some bald guy who happens to be walking by. He was trying to check himself out in the window but turned away when he saw us taking photos. Anyway, getting a dish of ice cream is a stroke of genius.
After the stop, we headed off again. We traveled over into the North Little Rock side of the river. It is very pretty riding through the nature park which forms a major part of the Clinton library area. It is a great place to hang out, relax, and look for birds and snappers. You can see the river and the river trail as it leads into the downtown area. We took some great pictures.
So, I am pleased to say that today’s training went very well. As they say, those who train (and eat ice cream) together remain together.