1. You can start rides late, when you want to and the duration you desire. Long or short, it is your ride on your time.
2. You can listen to Willie Nelson on the ride, a violin concerto, Taylor Swift, Enya, or whatever you want because you need no further motivation.
3. You can stop and take pictures of the view, check at the passing banana slug, count the points on the buck leaping by without worrying about ride time.
4. It is completely acceptable to plan your ride around coffee shops, bakeries, and farmers markets. The rides involve cappucino, pastries, and a tour of bakeries.
5. You can choose not to ride if its too windy or too cold or too cloudy…
6. You can choose not to ride if its too clear and too beautiful out to spend in the saddle. Instead, you opt for a walk and the pool…
7. If its raining, you can decide not to ride because you don’t want to get wet, don’t want to get your bike dirty, or just because you don’t want to. And if you do? Go for it. You can clean your bike when you want…or not.
8. You don’t have to ride, you can run, do you yoga, row, or you can mountain bike, cyclocross, or use those silly elliptical machines in the gym (but who would want to do that instead of being outside). The options are endless, and they show you how much you really like to ride a bike…
9. You don’t need any data from your ride…no heart rate monitors, no power meters, no altimeters, no measuring of any kind… Yet, if you are like me, and are a little OCD about data, you bring them anyway… Ha. Just try not to stare at them!
10. You start avoiding the “fast rides” and start riding with a more mellow crowd that is about chatting, cruising, and eating muffins.
11. Maintenance can happen later, this time is about you, your relaxation, and your time. Do what you want, but you will find that doing what you want causes you to want to do what you aren’t supposed to be doing—riding more!
12. The words “laps”, “intervals”, “repeats”, “threshold” are no longer in your vocabulary. Instead, you have replaced them with “cruise”, “tour”, and “eat”….
13. When you find yourself saying, “so this is what normal people do on the weekends…”
14. You can stop by and have brunch at that cafe you always ride by and wonder who has time to have a brunch when there are miles to be done. I am not going to say I have done this, but I have considered it.
15. You can step outside of your comfort zone and try cyclocross, mountain biking, or go to the velodrome for your first time.
16. People ask you what your goals are for next season, and you respond, “Next season? What?”
17. As much as you take pride in taking your “off-season”…on a perfect, bluebird day, you see fellow cyclists rolling down the bike path, and you get a twinge of jealousy and want to shout out to them, “It’s off-season! Get off your bike!” But really, you just want to join them… instead you keep walking the dog down the path.
18. You realize why running is time efficient, but it is slow, and involves impact. Why run when you can ride a bike?
19. You remember why you don’t like cross-training, or triathlon. I still haven’t convinced myself to get back in the pool!
20. You can’t wait for training to begin!