As I watched the sun drop to the horizon, signaling that I really should be heading home, I instead turned my bike towards one more climb. I realized that this could possibly be the last road ride of the season.
I didn’t realize how right I was.
The next morning I awoke to an inch of wet snow on the streets around my house. I had been planning my workouts for the trainer for a couple weeks in case it happened, so for a change I actually was following the training plan when I retreated to the garage.
I walled off a section of the garage for my trainer last year, to keep oily old car parts from dripping onto my bike or to keep sweat from dripping onto oily old car parts. As a bonus, it stays slightly warmer in the winter. I sound-proofed it somewhat to keep my 4AM workouts from waking the kids, threw some old Pergo over the concrete to mitigate some of the sweat stains, and installed a small flat screen TV and speakers to distract me and to drown out the jet turbine roar of my LeMond trainer. A stout fan keeps me cool and mismatched shelving holds my entire collection of well-worn race DVDs. The torn leather club chair completes the ambiance. Quite the man cave, although the home improvement shows my wife watches indicate I lack recessed lighting and tasteful art pieces. I swept the sawdust into a corner of the room- does that count?
Before I turn over control of my aches and pains to my coach, Janice Tower, I generally like to do a couple weeks of trainer workouts to get my head into the game. Riding the trainer for me is almost as much of a mental workout as it is a physical workout. Just maintaining the concentration while sweating and going nowhere takes a lot out of me. It’s almost a completely different sport than what I do on the road. On the road the scenery changes, the terrain changes, the effort level fluctuates, and all of the other sensory inputs keep you engaged. On the trainer, the scenery is limited to what is displayed on my television, the elevation and efforts are stable, and sensory inputs are limited to me focusing on how much my butt hurts. It’s downright mentally invigorating.
I’m starting to wrap my head around my new reality. I’m starting to take notice of the skis I’ve been tripping over all summer. I’m looking for new places to hang up bikes to clear up floor space for ski waxing and other wintertime projects. Maybe I’ll tackle the man cave recessed lighting project or sort some of the greasy car parts.
Then again, maybe I’ll just follow tradition and pile whatever I don’t need at the moment in a corner, where I’ll discover it in the summer- 2 weeks after I buy a replacement. Home organization has never been a strength of mine, and that’s another thing maybe I need to wrap my head around this winter.
Anything to distract me from a long winter of working hard to go nowhere…