Monday, July 18, 2011

All good things must come to an end

All good things must come to an end, or so the saying goes. I am sitting here at 39,000 feet over the South China Sea, heading from Kuala Lampur to Hanoi, part of the LONG journey back from the far east. Long vacations are great, all except for the return to reality part. Besides coming back to chores, work, and the rest of “Normal Life” I’ll be getting back on the bike after a 3+ week layoff. Can’t wait to see what that training strategy did for my fitness. While I managed some “stair climbs” and hikes on the trip, mostly I was just running around or eating like a pig the entire time. Guess I am in for some serious interval time once I get “de-Lagged” on my return. Cross season is just around the corner.

I was successful with my training plan for the trip. I ate like a pig.

I DID do a hike or two in Penang, and lord they do have some "trails" there that will give you a workout. Thousands and thousands of stairs STRAIGHT up thru the jungle.
The closest I came to a bike was watching others ride by. Malyasia seems to have experienced a huge boom in "recreational" cycling in the last 5 or so years. Before, you would see one or 2 other cyclists out in many days of riding, and I NEVER saw a roof rack in the many years I was there before. This time you saw packs out riding on the roads, lots of roof racks with & without bikes, up to a full-on Yeti Downhill Race rig on a car. a HUGE boom in riders in 5 years. Heard about lots of off-road riding, even though the closest I got was coming off the stair hike, seeing guys riding up "Penang Hill" road. While paved, I can attest that it's one of the singular hardest climbs I've ever done on a bike. The strange thing is almost all the people I saw were on flat pedals and tennies. Even saw one guy riding up the 20%-ish grade on flats with FLIP-FLOPS as his riding shoe of choice. Hard core. Trust me, the hill is steeper than it looks here....
There MIGHT have been just a bit of asian pilsner consumed during the trip as well. Maybe even the odd Gin & Tonic. What with training like that, and 3 solid seeks sleeping at an altitude of at least 10 feet, I'm sure I'll be ready to KILL it on the bike.
Coming from a place where cargo bikes and riding out of need, not desire, to thinking about racing bikes for fun is a bit of a hard one to wrap your head around. Bikes are still used to haul everything from people to street food stalls in most of the rest of the world. Not sure we have taken the bike thing to a place it does not really belong.

Even with utility in mind, MAYBE it's time for a new rim on that bike though.....
So, will be back home & trying to restart my cycling legs. With Cross season closing in, it's time to start in earnest, if one is to have any hope for some kind of results.

With the return from vacation, and the hopeful completion of some other distracting projects, I hope to refocus my ravings here on more cycling related, and more cross related subjects. With a preliminary Colorado Cross schedule floating about cyberspace, and USA Cycling trying to make sure NO Colorado riders have any results at this years National Hypothermia Championships in Madison, there are things to talk about, for sure.

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