covid19 · cycling · fitness · yoga · Zwift

Fall In Love With Zwift Cycling to Avoid Stress Seven Days a Week!

Polar bear in pink shoes on a yellow bike

True confession: That’s not my blog title. Thanks blog title generator. I tried a bunch of them. They also suggested:

Need More Time? Read These Tips To Eliminate ZWIFT PANDEMIC CYCLING STRESS 7 DAYS A WEEK

Everything You Wanted to Know About ZWIFT PANDEMIC CYCLING STRESS 7 DAYS A WEEK and Were Afraid To Ask

Also true confession: The blog content is all mine. Life hasn’t been easy lately. On the one hand, I’ve got a great job I can do from home, a supportive family, some lovely pets etc. On the other, there are stay at home orders and rising  SARS-CoV-2  infection rates in the province where I live, and attempted coups in the country to the south. I feel like I am holding my breath until the transition of power takes place and then again until we’ve vaccinated the most vulnerable members of our society. I’m sure that ‘holding one’s breath’ feeling is worse for American family and friends. I also have family in the north of England where things are very bad and I’m nervously watching the situation there too.

All of that said, I have been really enjoying myself on my bike and it’s a thing that spills over to the rest of my life and keeps me calm and relatively happy. I sleep better after riding my bike. I smile more often. As a result, I’m riding lots. I’m alternating feeling proud of this and feeling ridiculous about this. Yes, it’s good to relax but surely I should be reading more good fiction. (Are bikes really beating books as they worried in the 1890s?) But the fact of the matter is I’m struggling like everyone else with attention span and distractability. I still read a lot but riding helps even when reading doesn’t.

I’m also socially engaged with my bike teammates. I’m even meeting up with real world cyclist friends on Zwift even though we’re trying to get out on our actual bikes at least once a week.

Mental and emotional health and well-being turn out to be a pretty good motivation to ride.

What’s a typical week of riding look like? I thought I’d share my last week of riding with you.

Here’s a rundown:

Sunday

What: Riding trails around Guelph on our fat bikes

How far: No idea really! We didn’t even take our Garmins

How long: We didn’t really even keep track of time. Somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours.

Purpose: Fresh air, fun

The rest of my rides are on Zwift

Club social ride

TFC Social Ride on Zwift

What: Team social ride, we split into two groups, one at sub 2.0 watts per kilo, and one at sub 2.5, we banter on Discord, and ride tightly packed as a group except for designated sprint and regroup sections. We also race at the end for those who are keen.

How far: Usually about 30 km

How long: One hour

Purpose: Connect with teammates, promote the club, share info about TFC racing

Monday

TFC Monday night race, a rare sight, me in the QOM jersey

What: TFC Monday Night race, D category

How far: 40 km with killer hill at end, Keith Hill After Party was the route

How long: approx 90 min plus warm up and cool down

Purpose: Race!

Tuesday

What: DIRT family values ride

How far: 30 km

How long: 50 minutes

Purpose: Dad joke ride at recovery pace

My favorite dad jokes from the Dads Indoors Riding Trainers (DIRT) ride tonight:

What do you call an apology that’s made up of dots and dashes? Remorse Code

I trapped some vegan burglars in my basement. I’m not sure they were vegans but they kept saying, “Lettuce Leaf, Lettuce Leaf.”

Thanks for the company Jim Peyton

DIRT ride. That’s me in the pink cap

Wednesday

Here’s our race poster

What: Team route recon, getting ready for Thursday race

How far: 30 km, Watopia Figure 8 reverse

How long: One hour

Purpose: Connect with teammates, discuss race strategy, practise paceline techniques

Thursday

Team time trial

What: Team Time Trial WTRL

How far: 30 km

How long: 55 minutes ish (time includes my cool down)

Purpose: We raced in Mocha class and came 15th out of 65 teams. Woohoo! (More importantly, we raced well together, had pretty smooth transitions, and kept up a nice pace–40 km/hr on the flats.)

Personal achievement: I stayed with the group up two climbs!

Friday

At the end….

What: TFC Christmas Smash Fest

How far: 35 km, 18 laps in crit city

How long: One hour and five minutes

Purpose: No category racing! So much time in the red zone. I was able to jump on the back of faster riders as they lapped me and I did okay in the end as a result

Saturday

Rest day

No riding, just gentle Yoga with Adriene.

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