Open Road Press

Spring Training

It’s been a long winter in New England. Even though the Massachusetts winter doesn’t really compare with what I experienced for most of my life in Maine, it creates the same longing for warmer days and summertime activities. One of those activities, of course, is bicycle riding. Debbie and I blew the dust from our bikes two weekends ago. Even with five layers of clothing on my torso, I was still uncomfortable in the brisk air. Since last weekend’s weather was more forgiving, we’re well on our way to cycling season.

After years of bicycling, early season rides have a similar feel. Inevitably, despite best of intentions and genuine efforts to maintain conditioning, the winter activity level pales in comparison to summer’s. So, on my first two rides, the energy level was sorely lacking. I feel like I’m trying to jump start my body. And the rear end: well that’s another matter–and it always is. Each year, it needs to be broken in seemingly from scratch. The butt will suffer sores and chafing on early season rides that it will not experience thereafter. A sore bottom is a rite of passage into riding season. If someone knows the secret to avoiding this annual discomfort, would you please let me know because I’ve not found it.

In spring’s equivalent of getting up on the wrong side of the bed, I returned from our latest ride ready to download a video or two to share with you. I couldn’t figure out why the helmet cam kept shutting off on the road–until now. Seems I forgot to put the card in! Well, this is just one more sign that we’re still in spring training! With the change in seasons comes a change in routine. Some of the slower parts just need time to catch up.

There is a silver lining in this spring training cloud. It’s about time for the plastic to come off the windows, and for the windows to be thrown wide open. Cabin fever just ran its course, not to be seen or heard from until…well, let’s just not think about that. It’s a new season. And, as always, it has arrived just in the nick of time. So, put the parka and boots away, clean up the grounds, switch the clothes drawers, and clean the windows. But, more importantly, hop on that bicycle for a ride to nowhere. The breeze is bound to blow out the cobwebs of winter!


3 thoughts on “Spring Training

  1. Chuck Shults

    Hey Tim and Deb – Very pleased to read the action on your great book. It was so fun to read , especially since we know the participants! And we were in it!! Bermuda is a super opportunity for your blog/biking. Checkout this web site:
    Maybe you can take your bikes on the ship? Maybe you could lead a family tour — you have almost 3 days to explore 21 miles. Is there enough time to produce an article: “Two are Better -Bermuda”! Chuck

    1. Tim Bishop Post author

      Hi Chuck,
      Thanks for your kind words and for this info. Debbie and I will never forget your hospitality and the special touch you added to our cross-country trip. Regarding biking Bermuda, based on the distance, looks like we’d need to be doing laps on either the boat or the island! 😉

  2. Tim Bishop Post author

    I received some feedback on Brooks saddles from an individual on another platform who tours extensively as a support person. Here are his comments:

    “There is a break-in period with Brooks saddles but I don’t think it’s a big deal. I find that Brooks are reasonably comfortable when new and improve with age. I’ve tried quite a few sizes and have settled on the B17 as my favorite. I have two, one on each of my road bikes. I also have an old, 1970, Brooks Team Professional that I take on trips and loan out if someone is having issues with their saddle. It’s created a few converts who’ve purchased their own B17 based on this experience. I strongly recommend keeping them out of the rain and carry a cover for days when we’re caught in it. I’ve also heard good things about Fizik saddles but I have no experience with them.”

    He also mentions that he finds bib shorts the most forgiving in hot weather and he never uses any chamois crème. He does offer Gold Bond powder to the tourists who he supports.

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