I have always loved to bike but I have never trained to compete in a cycling race. Until now, that is, as I present myself with a new challenge to overcome. Riding a road bike is so much different than the mountain bike I was used to, and I had never done more than a spinning class once a week when I lived my sister last summer. Unfortunately for me, there isn’t a spinning class anywhere nearby, so I am left to ride the roads. The only problem with this lately has been the heat. I can’t seem to find any time of the day that is less than 90 degrees while it is also light enough to see!
That aside, I am loving riding. I have always biked to class and work, but the transition to my road bike has been a struggle. The gear shifting is so much more advanced than the mountain bike I think I got from Santa in eighth grade…but it is totally worth to find a new way in which to exercise. The hills of Pennsylvania make for a GREAT workout.
Recently, a few coworkers and friends of mine went for a bike ride on the abandoned turnpike of PA. Though it wasn’t road bike potential, it was still a good exercise. That’s one awesome thing about riding. There are so many beautiful, scenic, and plain old fun routes you can take, while still getting a great workout! The story behind the abandoned turnpike can be found at their Wikipedia link, but here is a little overview: The PA turnpike used to funnel their four lane road down to two lanes (one each direction) at some of the tunnels along the route. Needless to say, this caused a bunch of backups, and they constructed the roads to go around the mountains instead. This left for a thirteen mile stretch of the road to be abandoned, and you can now bike or hike about eight miles of it. The crazy part…there are no lights in the tunnels anymore. One of them is 1.5 miles long and pitch black. I found that it made it all the more exciting! A light is definitely required for this ride!
We also go to explore above the tunnels, where they used to work on the lights that lit the tunnels. Another cool thing about the experience: I took place in my first geocache hunt. Don’t know what geocaching is? Neither had I. It was explained to me as being “treasure hunting for adults.” There is a whole website devoted to it! We found a cache above one of the abandoned tunnels.
I am loving preparing for my bike race that will take place September 17. I just hope the weather can cool down a few degrees to make it a little more pleasant. I am also looking for any advice of fellow riders in the blog world. How have you trained for cycling races? Any tips for first timers like me?
My exercise for today:
- 4 mile run (~37 minutes) – I think this the longest run I have done since the half marathon in May… slowly but surely getting back into it!
- 1 mile walk cool-down
- 30 minute lifting circuit..my gym has one set up for you to use; there is a timer posted, and in between each lifting machine, there is a step machine (I love mixing them up with some calf-raises, front kicks, side steps, and dips!)
- Another great stretch
Have you ever gone on an awesome bike ride? I would love to hear about it!