photos: Jordan Clark Haggard
It took about 801 days to build some confidence back, but I do have some fun cycling related stuff in the works down the road so a slow build makes sense...a few thoughts: there is nothing quite like standing out of the saddle, downshifting and using your entire core and upper body to torque a surge of power up a hill. It's an incredible full body engagement sensation that I've found since sticking to a solid core/upper body routine the past 2 years while mostly running, felt more stable and was exponentially more fun than I remembered.
As a runner, you have an infinite amount of 'gears' or micro adjustments that you can make to your speed with cadence and stride length, etc. Aboard the bike you're limited to your 10 or 11 or 12 speeds (did I miss that in the last two years?), I found myself looking for gears at the top of the cog, BUT you can adjust your position in or out of the saddle, on the hoods or up top to find the desired change in perceived effort you're looking for in the moment. I forgot to not cross-chain a few times, and yes, Di2 batteries do die when you don’t charge them for months. Not issues runners deal with.
Ironically though, I actually did think it was easier to land at that just right, controllable pace or fine threshold line while pedaling, even with the limited options. The repeatably of the same, more or less, pedal stroke each time with substantially less impact forces seems to make it easier to control the aerobic/anaerobic cross-over while working hard. You can cruise a flat section of road at 20 mph w/ very minimal effort; that's 3 min/mi pace! I've never hit that in my life and probably never will...think Usain Bolt 100m speed status and faster -- an incredible effort level. The bike just enables you to go faster and the simple explanation is that is just fucking fun. Pain threshold on the bike is so much higher, there’s no pounding! It makes the effort level seem limitless in a way (even though I know it’s not).
Wow, I remember why I was addicted for 6 years...brief glimpses into the past are enjoyable sometimes. It’s fun to compare & contrast the finer details of the sports. Overall, it helps me become a more well-rounded athlete and increases my perception of both my body/mind, as well as their capabilities and how they communicate with one another while relaying on the road feedback, over a multitude of different scenarios in both training and racing in many types of competitive pursuits.