After a few posts on Operation Losing Lance, it's time for a post about cycling. For a cycling fan, July is a three week Superbowl. It's Tour de France time. Although Lance Armstrong has spent more time than ever asphalt body surfing, July is about a lot more than Lance. I'm always impressed by how these pro riders get up day after day and ride around the French countryside. Over 2,200 miles up and over the Alps, the Pyrenees and on to the Champs Elysee in Paris. It's truly inspiring.
This year, July has been simultaneously inspiring and frustrating. Not only have I been watching the Tour de France every day, but in June I was able to watch the start of the Race Across America, (RAAM) in which riders race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. Oh, and by the way, no stages, you have 10 days to complete the mission. And as if that weren't enough, Molly's colleague, Rocco, has used his summer break from Palomar College to ride alone across the country. All of this just makes me want to jump on "The Girl" and ride.
The frustration comes from how little I've ridden this year, especially when compared to the last three years. By this time in each of the last two years I had ridden close to 1,000 miles. Last year, not only had I ridden that many miles, but I had participated in the Tour de Palm Springs, Spring Ensenada-Rosarito, Solvang Half-Century, San Diego Metric Century and the Los Angeles River Ride Century. This year, I've only ridden in the Tour de Palm Springs.
While being involved in union leadership and logging lots of miles on the saddle don't mix well at all, it's time to do something about it. I'm obviously not going to stop teaching. Given the challenges on public education, this is not the time to sit on the sidelines either. So, training needs to be less about accumulating a large number of miles, and more about making every ride count. I can probably ride three maybe 4 times a week. Every ride needs to be either about improving technique, increasing hill-climbing strength, or developing endurance for long rides. The work I'm doing with the personal trainer has really improved my core strength, which has improved to more comfort and strength on the bike. the next few months will be about fewer miles, but more purposeful miles.
I also want to salvage the last part of the riding calendar. I'm committing to riding the September Rosarito-Ensenada ride, the Solvang Prelude in early November as well as my favorite ride of the year, the Tour de Tucson. Having these rides as goals helps me stay on track with training. I will be away next week, in Asilomar, CA for some CTA work. However I will take my bike. I'm hoping to carve out some time and ride the 17 mile Drive. I'll post pics on facebook.