The end of August has a different feel than other months. It marks the end of summer for many of us, particularly those with kids who head back to school after Labour Day. By this time of year, daylight hours are noticeably shorter and temperatures are typically starting to cool.
With this decrease in daylight and cooler temperatures, my motivation to get out a ride often diminishes. This year is no different. I took ten days off the bike in early August for my vacation to Newfoundland. Although we did a lot of hiking, my cycling legs took a long break. When we got back home, I did a few rides during the remainder of the month. For the most part, the rides were at a relaxing, slower pace by myself.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that these solo rides are meditative for me. I can ride at my own pace in any direction I choose. If I feel good (and have a tailwind!) I can ride fast. If I get tired, I can slow down, coast and admire the scenery around me. There’s no pressure to reach a certain heart rate or average speed. There’s no pressure to catch up to a rider or wait for another. It’s just me and my bike. Pure pleasure!
So for August, my total cycling distance was a little over 310 km (down from about 600 km for July and over 900 km in June). So mileage was down (kilometerage?) but I had an amazing time on the Rock.
So much so that the Gros Morne Mountain hike seems to have messed up my knees. They were already messed up to begin with, but the descent (nearly 800 metres of vertical) resulted in a fair bit of discomfort since that hike. Not enough to completely immobilize me, but enough to create another barrier for getting out to ride. It’s a weak excuse at best, but when piled onto so many other weak excuses, it’s (too) easy for me to avoid riding sometimes.
Highlights for the month:
- Amazing hiking and scenery in Newfoundland
- 85 km bike ride in Toronto on the Humber River and Waterfront Trails
- 2 bike commutes
- 65 km road ride to Kelso Conservation Area to watch the Ontario Mountain Bike Championships, including watching my niece Kaitlyn with the Provincial Championship for Junior Women!
- Read the cycling book “Draft Animals” by former pro Phil Gaimon (book review to come in a later post!)
My heatmap for 2018 looks like this:
And here’s an action shot of Kaitlyn at the Provincials at Kelso:
Even with the low distance in August, I’m still ahead of my goal to reach 5000 km for the year. I’m a little over 4000 km right now, so the goal is very reachable, even with dropping temperatures and less daylight hours.
I’ve got a few rides planned for the fall, including Greg’s Ride, for Share the Road. The 2018 ride will start/finish in Dundas, Ontario and is scheduled for September 23. There are three distance options: The Promenade (8 km), The Challenger (37 km) and The Ultimate (77 km). Come ride with me (I’ll be doing the Ultimate! Click Here to sign up!