and other exciting adventures
21.01.2008 - 23.03.2008
I've been trying to train this winter for the trip so that I'm as ready as I can be when I make it out West - I finally got my ticket about a week ago!! I'm flying into Victoria on May 6, assembling my bike, and cycling to my friend Anna's house.
So training has taken shape in two ways: winter biking (a new venture for me) and spinning classes at the gym. Both are awesome in their own ways.
Winter biking involves what I have now dubbed my "IMPERVIOUS SUIT" - a small hat and fleece that goes around my neck, double-layered, waterproof, lined gortex gloves, crazy amount of sweaters and waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and ankle high waterproof boots. Along with my fenders on the hybrid I've had since I was 12 or 13 (her name is "Tiger" - as in, "you can do it Tiger!"), I feel like I am impervious to any weather conditions Wolfville can throw at me.
I also wear red lights on the back and white lights on the front of my bike, along with reflectors most of the time. Even so I've been yelled at by a homeless-looking man to get on the sidewalk (isn't that illegal?) Anyways, I've braved -16 °C weather, scary icy slush (just go slow and make sure your brakes are connected- woops), blowing snow, and cold rain so far. Most of the time I have to slow down on my way down hills because my face gets too cold, but my latest solution to this problem is to just open my mouth really wide and scream so that a greater amount of my face gets scrunched inside the warmth of my hat and fleecy neck warmer. It might look crazy, but it works. I have the opposite problem on the way up hills - I am madly trying to work my zippers apart with one hand with my gloves shoved into my mouth.
Spinning is unlike anything I have ever done before. The Acadia gym offers spinning 5 times a week, and I go to four of them weekly. We have three different instructors who all have different styles, but in general we do a quick warm up, drills, and then a cool down with lots of stretching.
The first thing I noticed about spinning was that excluding one time I sat in a sweat lodge for 20 minutes, I have NEVER sweat so profusely in my entire life. We're up to 8 minute drills now, and yesterday an actual STREAM of sweat careened down my arm and soaked the floor beside my bike. Delicious. I do love the fact that someone else is motivating me to work my hardest, and it's a lot easier to challenge yourself when 10-odd other people are doing it there beside you. Usually after spinning, my spinning buddy and I run 25 sets of stairs in the hockey arena (it's lovely and cold in there) to round out the evening. I'm still playing Ultimate frisbee once or twice a week, but still I wonder... will it be enough?
Hopefully the temperature will start rising soon and I'll be able to put some mileage on Alice, my touring bike.
Here's to warm weather and sunshine!