Yesterday afternoon, at the end of my normal work day, I had a decision to make. I could either ride to the bike shop and fight for space to attempt to build bikes while hordes of customers came in dropping off more bikes in the back of the shop, or I could just go on a ride. It was nice out - 80° with a little Southish breeze and not much humidity. I figured it would probably do me and my soft belly some good to actually go out on a ride for a change.
The other thing that convinced me to take a ride was reminiscing on the past. There was an earlier conversation with a co-worker who lamented that there were no more true bakeries left in town who made their own stuff on site. My mind immediately flipped to Orsi's Bakery on 7th and Pacific. That bakery was one of many memorable sights on my commonly used South O/Bellevue bike route I would ride for training during my race days. After letting him know about the bakery and finding that it was still open from the google maps, I decided that was course I would ride after work. The route has a few variations depending on if you want to just mess around, put in some distance, or do seriously intense training intervals. The route has everything you could want and not much traffic. So I took the middle ground easy route and ended up with 27 miles mostly riding too fast because I didn't have sun screen on and didn't have water bottles. I know, I know. It doesn't make sense to ride faster when you have no water because you're body will crave water more. Well, my thought was get the ride over with sooner to get to the water rather than drag it out. Plus I was having a lot of fun and that usually entails riding fast. I was parched and only slightly sun burnt after the ride, but I had a ton of fun, so I think I made the right call.
I stole Brady's subject line because I remember needing to switch things up too. (Warning: obligatory Randell mention) After getting tired of that South O/Bellevue route for the millionth time, and coinciding with Randell moving out West, our mini-group rides changed drastically. This was about the time that we were both done with racing, but still wanted to stay in shape by having fun, messin around on bikes. So our group rides turned into games, rather than anything remotely serious or constructive training wise. I don't remember if we officially came up with a name for the game, but basically, the rules are this:
1. no big chain ring
2. cruise around aimlessly as a group in a subdivision
3. if you see a "for sale" sign in front of a house in the distance, there is a small ring only sprint for it
4. if you win the sprint, you pick up the flyer for the house
5. the person with the most expensive house wins, with an honorable mention also going to the cheapest nicest house.
There were tactics to this game because we would pretty much sprint to every house for sale. If you saw that the house was not worth it, you could sprint less hard. If you saw that there was no flyer, you sprint less hard and hoped the next one had a flyer. Of course, when I say sprint, I mean the goofiest sprint imaginable since only small chainrings were allowed. But hey, it helped with high cadence pedaling.
So I would highly recommend this game as a form of messin around while still getting some beneficial exercise on the bike.