fitness · season transitions

Fall fitness: back in/on the saddle again

It’s really properly fall now– pumpkins (and pumpkin spice infused items of all sorts) are everywhere, the light is changing in quality and quantity, and temperatures are falling.

I love fall. Usually.

But this year, we in the Northern Hemisphere are living with the uncertainty of what colder temperatures will do to our carefully distanced outdoor socializing and physical-activity making. My local yoga studio is likely not opening up for indoor classes, and the days of outdoor yoga are numbered. There’s Zoom, for which I’m grateful, but I really miss collective yoga classes.

However, one activity I’m feeling bullish on, even into the colder temps, is cycling. The past six months have not been an easy or active time for me– I was one of those people on Team Less during the pandemic. Sam posted a few months ago about this issue, declaring herself on Team More. Not that pandemic life has been easy for anyone– we’ve all had to find different ways to cope, escape, step up, or scale back.

Even though I usually ride a lot in the summer (often with my friend Pata), it just didn’t come together this year. However, now that fall is here (and the pandemic is still with us for some time to come), I feel like the fog is lifting, the feelings of overwhelmedness are receding, and some energy is coming back. I’m feeling ready to ride more.

I know, I know– it’s a little late. But hey– there are no bad days to ride (totally not true, but bear with me), just bad clothing choices. And bad tire choices.

So, moving through fall into winter, here are my cycling plans:

  • Resume weekly coffee rides (even if we’re drinking hot coffee from a thermos)
  • Take the bike with me when I go on local trips (I’m on Cape Cod now, with bike)
  • Take the bike with me when I drive to see family (1500km/1000 miles away) at Christmas
  • Do some exploring of routes/rail trails/parks within a few hours of home
  • Set up trainer for actual regular use in Dec/Jan/Feb
  • Come up with plan for zoom spin class or some such (I haven’t taken the plunge to go the Zwift or Peloton or other bike way… yet)
  • Implement aforementioned plan
  • Celebrate the fact that I already own gloves, hats, tights, jerseys, and jackets for cycling in cold weather
  • Report back to you good people, sharing successes, setbacks, and soliciting suggestions

I’ve got a road bike and a gravel bike (among others), in very nice condition and raring to go. Time to throw a leg over and get back in/on the saddle again.

Readers, what are you thoughts or plans for fall-into-winter activity? Do you have new plans, new gear, the same plans/same gear? Worries? I’d love to hear from you.

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