My bike has been collecting dust in the garage for almost 2 years. I used to ride all the time - even commuting to the University back when I worked in the Faculty of Nursing. But, I've been succesfully avoiding riding it (or doing any other real physical activity, really) for far too long. 2 days of Easter-related binge eating pushed me over the edge, so I pumped up the tires and went for a ride around the community.
I took a somewhat leisurely ride - likely because my bike computer had stopped working in the 2 year stasis hanging in the garage - so I could just enjoy the ride rather than obsessing about metrics. Max. speed this trip? Average speed? Current speed dropping below 20 km/h? I also left the iPod at home so I could enjoy the sounds. That was a great idea for the first half of the ride, following the pathway system to the northwest of my house with birds chirping and creeks/ponds splashing. The latter half of the ride was mostly along streets, so the iPod would have been a Bad Ideaâ„¢ anyway.
Lacking my bike computer's micromanagement, I fired up Google Earth after I cooled off to see how far I went. Turns out it's only about 7.6 km, but not a bad ride. I wound up going for 7.5 km, and only dismounted to go through a fence at one point. That's a huge accomplishment, given my physical condition and the very hilly nature of the community.
It was a bit odd, as most of the landmarks I used to use in my pre-hiatus Tuscany circumnavigation rides have been obliterated. Fields now full of houses. Dirt paths now paved roads or paths. That last house before the field? Yeah, it's not a field anymore.
It's got a pretty good vertical climb, since the community is built on the side of a hill. Going south/west is basically a free ride, north/east is a huff-puff heartbuster.
I'm going to try to do this quasi-regularly. I'd originally intended to take up jogging, but I think biking is better suited to me. For one, I can do it. Less wear and tear, and I enjoy it. If I enjoy it, I'm more likely to do it. I'll see if that's still the story in the morning. I bet saddle soreness beats shin splints, though...