The Return

After her accident resulting in broken bones, last August, Susan (my wife) was not sure if she would ride again or not.
That was what prompted the poll of two posts ago (which she purposely did not look at).

The fall of 2010 was recovery time.
The winter and early spring of 2011 was cross country skiing and the gym.

Two weeks ago, Susan asked me to take her on a nine mile ride on the bicycle path along the Wantagh Parkway (on Long Island, NY) to Jones Beach, and back.
It was her first time on the bicycle since August 8 2010.  The rule was, no pushing the pace, just enjoy the ride.

The next week we took a 20 mile ride with our son, in Baltimore.  This was on hybrids, six on quiet city roads, the rest on paved and unpaved bicycle trail.
Considering the terrain, pushing the pace would have been most unwise, so it was not an issue.

Earlier in the week, we rode 15 miles through our traditional stomping grounds on the north shore of Long Island.
The ride pace was 11.9 mph.

This morning,  we rode 27 miles at a ride pace of 12.8 mph.  Again the rule was, keep the pace at a level Susan was comfortable with.

As Susan cautiously confronts the hazards of riding along with the joy it has also re-taught me several things about riding:

  • As far as a workout is concerned . . . an average of 65% of maximum heart rate will do as well for you or better than 80% plus.
  • Even at a reduced pace I still burn 75%-90% of the calories I would at full bore.
  • I truly enjoyed the ride, because I was riding with someone I wanted to ride with, regardless of the miles or pace.
  • I do not miss tracking my distances, averages, and total elevations per ride.
  • While I will continue to go on longer and faster rides, I really do not have to always go on longer and faster rides.

As Susan discovers what her riding future will be, I am re discovering riding just for the joy of it.