Finding my hidden bicyclist

On an intellectual level, I knew that going ten months without exercise (of any kind) would have an effect on my body. Yesterday I did twenty minutes on the rollers* in a low gear (with both resistance units removed), and I just about died. I was dizzy, my legs were reduced to two pillars of Jell-o, and my heart wanted out in a big way.

I thought I was starting out slow, but maybe I need to ratchet down my expectations. That and maybe get a heart rate monitor. That way I can make sure I’m not overdoing it, rather than just being unaccustomed to exercise and how it feels afterward.

Welcome to my latest attempt to reintroduce my body to activity. There have been other attempts, but I’m hoping this one sticks. I think my last doctor’s appointment may have scared me straight (a little). Not only has my weight been creeping back up, but my blood pressure has been creeping along with it. That ain’t good. With all the benefits that come with exercise (less stress, less depression, less fat, lower blood pressure), I really should have started sooner. It could just be in my head (there’s lots of crap up there to keep it company), but I feel a little better today already.

Long time readers may know my “rollers” are like a treadmill for my bike. It consists of three parallel “rollers” in a metal frame, which look like long rolling pins (about twenty-four inches long). My bike sits on top of the rollers; the back wheel cradled by two of them, and the third just in front of center on the front wheel. A long belt attaches the front roller to the middle roller, which spins the front wheel when the rear wheel spins. The bike sits free, allowing you to “ride” indoors, much like you would outdoors.

I could just ride outdoors, but I don’t trust myself enough yet. Riding outdoors gives me a bit of a rush, and I’m liable to ride out further than I should… leaving me exhausted, and miles from home. (A sure recipe for overdoing it.)

Riding the rollers can be just as exciting as riding outdoors. Some of my worst bike wrecks have happened indoors… even worse than at least one involving a car (well, a parked car).

Give the gift of words.