Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lazy & Crazy

There's a reason why they rhyme, why they go so well together.

Six weeks ago, I told you about a commitment that I made, one that was making me nervous because it was a great challenge for me. But because I had more than 10 weeks to prepare for this challenge—almost 11 weeks, actually—I wasn't going to shy away from it.

I said that I am going to participate in the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour, a trek from Ottawa to Kingston, and back. It is 177 kilometres (almost 110 miles), each way.

To date, the furthest I've ever cycled in one go is 80 km.

This isn't where the crazy comes in. And, if I accomplish this task, I will be far from lazy.

Where the lazy comes in is that since I signed up for the cycle event, I have been to the gym once. I have taken less than a handful of power walks. Until Sunday, I hadn't even ridden my bike, which I had tuned up more than a month ago.

Yes, I've been busy for the last few weeks with my kids' dance competitions (at least I've done some pseudo-weight lifting). Yes, the snow stayed late and the roads have only recently become nice to ride on. But those are excuses, and lame ones at that.

No, pure and simple: I've been lazy.

On Saturday, when Lori told me late that evening that we were going to go on an early-morning ride, I was doubtful. But she roused us at 6:30 and by 7:00 we were on our way. We didn't go too far: we took some side roads, main roads, and county roads south, past farms, and out to Manotick, where we made our first stop at the mill. After trying to decide where to go from there, and mindful that we had planned to meet my parents, sister, and extended family for brunch, we decided to turn around, to take the same route back home.

Total distance: a little more than 32K in almost an hour and a half.

Not bad for a first ride. It was a beautiful day with very little wind, and I felt energized by the ride. Shortly after brunch, I told Lori that I wanted to get back on my bike and ride some more. But our day was full and that wasn't going to happen.

But it made me think that my preparation for the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour was abysmal. I decided that starting then, my laziness was over. Starting from that time on, I was going to commit to cycling at least 100 km this week. And cycling at least 130 km next week. And then cycling at least 170 km the following week.

Somewhere in there, I'll be away for three days in New York City, but I'll work my cycling around that trip. And I plan to walk my legs down to the knees while I'm there, so I'll still be getting exercise. 

Yesterday, I cycled to and from work for the first time this year. It's just over 20K each way, so I now have about 73 kilometers under my belt for this week. And I'll be back in the saddle again tomorrow, and again on Friday.

I only have a little more than four weeks to prepare for this ride. I'm not scared. I'm committed to no longer being lazy.

Can I do it, or am I a little bit crazy?

I'm counting on it.


  1. You can do it!!
    One of my favorite things to tell myself is "you're stronger than you think." Just make the training happen and you'll be surprised.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement!

      If it takes me all day, I'm doing this tour. I just keep telling myself: there'll be beer at the end!

  2. Get a heart watch if you're worried about overdoing it.

    I'm getting one today or tomorrow for spinning.

    1. I have a heart monitor but haven't used it in ages. Thanks for reminding me.

      I hope your heart is doing well, my friend!

  3. Ross, you can do this. You just need to train - remember slow and steady. If you need any advice - you know where I am. One thing you need to practice is eating and drinking while riding - this will be critical in a successful day one and more importantly a comfortable day two.


    1. Thanks, Vicki.

      I was tempted to stock up on Clif bars: what do you think? What else should I carry?

      I'll practice eating & cycling this weekend. I'm already good at drinking and driving (um... water and cycling).