Workouts and Riding

Posted: December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

When you’re a biker like me, with no car, who rides everywhere, there comes the inevitable time when your enthusiasm bumps smack up against the weather…the cold weather, that is. I can deal with the heat but the cold. Brrrrr!

Of course, as a biker, I have things to assist me…and the promise that someday, if I save my nickels and dimes (and twenties and fifties) I’ll be able to buy some things that will REALLY assist me – like heated gear. For the time being, I’m the master at layering clothes on – some mornings, when it’s really cold, I’ll have so many layers on that if I fell down, I wouldn’t be able to get myself back up! Which makes it that more important that I stay upright!

Because I’ve chosen to incorporate riding fully into my life, I’ve had to make some concessions. Or maybe accommodations is the better word. When I need to dress up for work, I have to bring clothes along (or wear a dress over my jeans, which is always good for a few bewildered stares from motorists on my route). I wear my hair short so it works under a helmet and comes out looking…well no worse than it went in. It also dries much more quickly. OK. I wear it short because I just happen to like it short but it does make the whole motorcycle and helmet thing better.

When I shop, I have to pay attention to how much I’m buying or it won’t fit on the bike for the ride home. Watermelons are especially troublesome (although I’ve done it with enough nets and riding slowly). I haven’t tried to bring a Christmas tree home on the bike yet; maybe next year.

All these accommodations are fine; they don’t really create a hardship in my life and I’m more than happy to make the effort since it means I’m out on Coco every day. 

Happy, that is, until it’s time to work out. 

In the summer time, it’s not a problem. I finish a great work out, hop on the bike in my workout gear and head home. Sweaty? No problem. It’s hot outside. The wind blows me dry and keeps me cool. Ahh.

But in the winter, it’s a different story entirely. When I finish a workout I’m sweaty and hot. I put as much gear on over my workout clothes as I can stand (which isn’t much) then head toward the doors. And then I go outside and here comes the cold — like the wall I just hit during the endurance portion of Jesus’ R.I.P.P.E.D class. So I start putting the rest of my gear on…and everything’s good, right? Not so much. As soon as I put the helmet on, the inside of it becomes an instant sauna – all steam and fog. Add rain (like tonight) and there’s no way to win. Visor up and it’s all pellets of rain like bb’s on your face; put it down and I can’t see a thing.

And that doesn’t even go into how cold the cold becomes when you’re sweaty. It’s funny but the hardest day-in-and-day-out part of winter riding for me is working out. Let’s face it. I’m usually looking for a good excuse to skip a workout, get home a couple of hours early and…eat. It’s just that much harder to make myself do what I know I need to do.

So what’s the bright side? Actually, there are a number of them. First of all, it’s a fact proved scientifically that when you work out even though you have a REALLY compelling reason (like riding a motorcycle in cold weather) not to, you burn twice as many calories and you have an automatic dispensation for your first post-workout meal. It’s free.

But wait. There’s more. I live in Dallas. Winter lasts about 32 minutes. OK, it’s a little longer than that but summer will be here pretty soon. And the winters we have aren’t that bad. It will probably get in the teens once each winter. In the 20s fewer than 20 times and the rest of the time it may be in the 30s and 40s but the sun is usually shining and we could see 70 just about any day. That’s not the kind of thing you can complain about and retain any credibility as a complainer.

Oh, and don’t discount the actual true benefits of working out: feeling better, looking better, accomplishing something in the face of great adversity. Ah. I feel so proud right now. All that and cold, too. I’m so good!

And it’s all worth it. 199 days and counting down. No, wait. It’s after midnight. 198 days. Keep working out; don’t stop. Neither wind nor sleet nor…really cold weather and rain on a motorcycle.

Back to the ride. Wheels down, eyes up. And stay warm!


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