I haven’t ridden much in the month since I crashed, but my wrists have been feeling much better lately so I’m trying to get out there more. This past weekend, I read an article in Bicycling magazine about Scott Cutshall, who lost 330 pounds by riding his bike every day and sticking to a low-calorie diet. So even though it was cold and windy yesterday and I was wiped after work tonight, I made myself go out for a ride and logged 27 miles between the two trips. I’ve never come home from a bike ride and NOT been happy I went (well, except maybe the time I went over the handlebars), but it can still be hard to motivate myself to do it sometimes. I know that as I get in better shape, I’ll go further and faster and enjoy it more, but I still need to push myself sometimes right now.

Toward the end of last summer, when I was doing laps at Haines Point, I worked on keeping up my cadence. I have a habit of staying in a higher gear when I’m going uphill or getting tired, and I wind up cranking slowly and wearing myself out. I finally accepted that it’s OK to go slower sometimes, and tried to be more conscious of the times that I should down shift to keep my tempo above 60 RPM.

This summer, I’m trying to pay more attention to making a full circle as I pedal. On one of those rides at Haines Point, I saw a guy with pedals that were not connected to one another; each could rotate independently of the other. The idea was to force the rider to push the pedal all the way around, and it made me realize that I was never lifting my feet back up - the foot pushing down would force the other foot back up and around, which (of course) takes power away from what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m making it a point to pull my foot back up in the backswing (upswing? whatever you call it), and I’ve already noticed a difference.

Bike to Work Day is coming up on May 21. Even though I work at home - and thus, have nowhere to bike to - I’m still going to ride down to Freedom Plaza in the morning for the festivities (and if I’m lucky, to win a bike!)

I’ve got a spreadsheet that I’ve been using to log my rides, and tonight I added in the formula from a calorie calculator I found online. I built it in Numbers, so this Excel version might not be perfect, but download it if you want to try it out: BikeLog.xls. It calculates an average speed and approximate number of calories burned based on a provided distance, ride time, and rider weight.