Bike Bike Bike

I am obsessed with biking this summer, as you might have guessed from all my previous posts. This week I pushed myself a little harder out of my comfort zone: I did three long (for me) rides in a row, one of which was with a completely new group.

First up was the Ottawa Bike Social, which was about 16 km, plus 5 km for my usual commute to work.

The next night, I went to Vélo Friday, which was a younger and cooler crowd. We rode a bit faster, on a slightly hillier route with tighter turns, with music the whole way. The only song I remember was Murder, She Wrote, which made me giggle imagining how Jessica Fletcher, my fitness icon, would have enjoyed it. That ride was almost 21 km, with a stop for ice cream, which seems to be the traditional treat for all bike rides here.

Cyclists lined up in a row with their bikes with trees in the background. Five are black men, with two white men, one black woman and me, a white woman.

On Saturday, I joined the Critical Mass Ride with about 100 other people, then did some errands for a little over 33 km. It was hot and despite drinking what seemed like gallons, I clearly didn’t get enough liquids in me.

After a nap, I joined friends for a 3.5 km swim. I’m going to be a swim angel for the 3 km Bring on the Bay on Saturday and hadn’t done that distance in a while. It was great until my legs cramped up at the half-way point and I mostly did arms only for the rest. I could barely climb up the ladder to get back on the dock. But I did it! And once I had still more water, I felt good enough to bike home, and was perfectly fine the next day.

Lessons learned? Drink lots of water. Then drink some more. Break your rides up into manageable chunks. Rest between rides. Naps and ice cream are always awesome.

What about you? I would love to hear your tips for pushing yourself to do harder things, if that is something you do. Steady state or scaling back are also perfectly fine – no pressure.

Let us know what you think....