Today is the day I started my new bicycling fitness plan. I haven’t posted my plan yet because I’m still writing that article. Needless to say, I took inspiration from my own goals article and developed a cycling plan that will help me accomplish 1,600 miles of bike riding before the end of 2008. But that’s another post.

Today was day 1 and it started at 5:00 AM as all my weekday rides do. I was up, dressed, and outside pretty quick this morning. I was motivated to start my new plan. The temp was fine this morning but it was a tad humid. The sky was very clear with just a sliver of moon in the East. Just to the right of the moon was the constellation Orion. Unmistakable when you know what to look for. I got off at about 5:15.

I noticed in the first mile or so that I felt really uncomfortable. I think I’m still trying to acclimatize to being back on the bike after my 1.5 month layoff. My hands felt very uncomfortable and soon my shoulders were a little sore. I felt better about three-quarters of the way through the ride (about 9 miles) which was good. It should only get better from here on out.

My overall ride was just fine. Because I’m basically starting over again, I intentionally didn’t push it at all. I wanted to say in Zone 1/2 (I’ll be talking about training zones in a future article) so I intentionally kept my pace no higher than 14 mph. This made for a pretty easy ride that wasn’t taxing on my endurance. It was basically a break-in ride. Keeping my pace this slow is very, very hard for me. I’m the type of person that feels like they have to push it hard on every ride. I’m starting to learn that that’s not the case.

I did change my route a little this morning. Normally I head out to a certain point and basically do a u-turn and head back home. On one of my previous rides I realized there may be a way for me to loop around at my turnaround point when I saw a rider who was behind me magically appear in front of me about five minutes later. The key was that he took a different route where I made the u-turn. So, this morning I decided to find that loop. I knew where the entrance was and thought I knew where the exit was and I was right. The new loop area is actually quite nice and has a bike lane too. So, it looks like I’ve made a new route for my morning rides. The only disadvantage to this route is that it cuts about four-tenths of a mile off my 13 mile route. To compensate I just took the long way around my neighborhood to my house. No problem. Here’s a map of my new route:

I saw one other rider this morning who I’ve seen before. He was walking his bike from a side road. I called out asking if he needed any help and got no response. I waived and he waived back. I’m guessing he was ok. I also saw a couple of runners I had never seen before and also saw a guy walking his two ankle biters. It was also nice to see that the bike lanes were, for the most part, clear of debris from Tropical Storm Fay.

This was a good bicycle ride and a great start to my new fitness program. Mileage was 13.06 in 59 minutes. Told you I didn’t push it.