Yes. This is me. I’ve shaved my beard, and as you can plainly see I have been able to get out and ride outdoors on occasion in spite of the pandemic and the ubiquitous presence of camera phone wielding shame vigilantes documenting my every move, ready to leap into action on their social media accounts and warn the rest of the world that I wasn’t asphyxiating myself on a mask while riding.
This is also an object lesson on what can happen with even a brief period of inactivity. When cyclist let themselves go, they mean it. It wasn’t that long ago that I was a relatively svelte 160 lbs, which was still 17 lbs heavier than my race weight in my prime years. And it’s been almost exactly a year since I last did the Belgian Waffle Ride.
The one constant in life is change, and nothing better illustrates this than the constant pendulum of weight gain and loss. Most of us have been struggling with this. Isolation in one’s home, a refrigerator door that is open and closed mostly out of sheer boredom, the sedentary life of Zoom and home offices all conspire to alter the balance of energy input versus energy expenditure. We’re suffering from fitness entropy.
But there is hope. We might be getting sick of looking at computer generated avatars on Zwift or counting down the seconds of that last interval in erg mode on the trainer, but, believe it or not, we can make it outside. We still have a great selection of official R5Ciclismo routes you can do solo. I actually have been consistently doing the Anaheim routes – fewer cars and cyclists in that direction – and we’ve been doing remote rides up GMR and Mt Palomar.
We might be stuck indoors, but there’s no clear reason not to have a plan to ride consistently, train with a purpose (even though there are no events, if there are any at all, until the Fall), start doing core and strength training exercises in your garage or spare bedroom, and using the limited dining out options to re-learn how to cook healthy meals at home.
… and no, that wasn’t me.