If you could only have one bike, what would it be? Around here the cyclists tend to have multiple bikes each serving its own purpose. I have a gravel/adventure road bike, a road bike, an aero road bike, a track bike, and a fat bike.
But it’s not cheap owning multiple bikes and they take up space. I often wonder if I could get by with one bike and if so, which bike would it be?
Of my current fleet, hands down it would be my adventure road bike. What’s that mean? “Adventure Road Bicycles are one of the newest categories of bicycle. They are sometimes called all-road bikes, any-road bikes, or gravel bikes, and are the most versatile sub-category of road bike. Similar to cyclocross bikes, they have drop handlebars and the ability to use wider tires. The frame geometry is longer and more upright compared to a cyclocross bike, however, making these bikes more suitable for long days in the saddle, light touring, and commuting. “
Mine is a Giant AnyRoad which was bought at ToWheelsin London, Ontario for my birthday a few years ago.
It can have fenders unlike my racy road bike. I’ve installed a rack for panniers. For winter, it’s got snow tires and if I was planning a road trip just on pavement I’d get slicks. It’s solid and comfortable and on its all purpose tires can ride just about anywhere.
Well, it’s not good for technical mountain bike routes and it’s not the fastest thing on two wheels on the pavement but if you can rule out those two things, it’s pretty amazing. It rides well on grass, gravel, unpaved bike paths of various surfaces, and on pavement, too, just not as fast as my other road bikes.
So Saturday of our winter weekend getaway I thought I’d try a beginner’s ski lesson. But that wasn’t to be. It was cold, really cold, -25 and windy cold. It was also icy. Instead of light puffy snow there was hard, cold ice.
See this sign? Marginal conditions, skiing not recommended. Great. Even the ski instructors weren’t that enthusiastic. Try another time, they suggested.
Instead, I went for a long walk up the hill and wandered around the shops at the base of the mountain. I stopped for lunch solo while braver, much more experienced, souls were off skiing. I’m better about eating alone at restaurants these days. I positively enjoyed it. And don’t panic. There was rice underneath. I haven’t abandoned carbs.
My Finnish friends all shared it approvingly in light of Ontario school and university closures last week.
So in the end, I rode my bike to work. I figured the worse that would happen is that I’d walk my bike and walking was my back up choice anyway. The side streets were too slippy, snow over ice. The bike path on the main road hadn’t been plowed. So I took the lane and rose with traffic. It was fine. No one was going anywhere fast anyway.
So last week I was in Clermont, Florida riding my bike. Instead of my super short commutes and running errands by bike, I was logging 50+ km a day in some pretty hilly territory.
I use my Garmin bike computer to track rides. It uploads rides to my phone where both Garmin Connect and Strava provide analysis. See above.
I’m also letting Google Fit track my activity. It counts steps and active minutes, sets goals, and provides commentary. See below.
What’s amusing is the different tones they take. Strava is all about bike training. In serious tones I’m told that my mileage has taken a substantial jump and I should be cautious about overtraining. That was even after our rest day!
GoogleFit is all positive thinking. “What workout! You deserve a break.” But that sounds like it would also be okay if I didn’t take one. It’s just cheering me on.
My own ‘rest day’ motivation was something else entirely. I wanted to enjoy all 5 days of riding. For me that means taking a break. I wasn’t really worried about overtraining. But I also didn’t take a break because I’d earned it. I’d rather ride more. If I were a stronger rider in January I’d rather ride all 5 days. But I’m not and so I didn’t and I’m okay with that.
This year was a new thing though. No group. Just Sarah and me, meeting up with Jeff in Florida who is there with his boat. (Follow his boating adventures here.)
Originally we’d thought about the Florida Keys but that didn’t fit with Jeff’s schedule. Instead, we decided to meet up in the middle of Florida in an area Chris Helwig, my former London cycling coach, visits for riding every January.
Where’s Clermont? Smack dab in the middle of the state. It’s a great area for cycling. Lots of rolling hills and even a serious climb or two, some great rail trails, and quiet country roads flanked by beautiful trees covered in Spanish moss and miles and miles of orange orchards.
January is a long month. Long, and this year, especially cold and icy. Brrrr.
I’ve had three different things going on bike wise: winter riding (see here and here), trying Zwift, and riding bikes in Florida with Sarah and Jeff. (I’ll blog about that later when I’m back. Here now basking in +12. Not warm by Florida standards but warm enough to ride a bike.)
There’s also the new year enthusiasm of the 219 workouts in 2019 group. This year there’s even two versions, the old standby that’s been going for years that Cate and I have been part of and the feminist version started by women from the Tracy/Cate/Christine fit feminist challenge group.
My knee trundles along with some aches and pains but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was a year ago. I’m still getting synvisc shots under my knee cap. I’m still trying to lose weight. I’m still considering my options in the surgery department. The unstable knee has made walking on the ice an extra big challenge. Mostly I try to avoid it. Sorry Cheddar!