Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Beautiful Zone

The taste of love lost & now returned.

Many riders know this and it is a wonderful part of our sport. It’s that point where the pain stops and the effort mellows. Where the body has conditioned to the energy requirements, the heart rate maintains a consistent rhythm, the breathing evens out, and our legs feel that they can go on forever.

Until the next hill or other significant effort. Or we simply fatigue. Then we snap back into the painful reality of our physical limits.

It is one of those experiences that is so much a part of cycling (or rather, of distance sports in general). When you are fit the zone becomes larger and the experience becomes more pleasurable. Your movements become light and free. And then you start seeking the zone and needing the ride. And, after some time, the experience becomes less pleasurable as a routine is established to maintain the hit. And we sometimes lose interest and get caught up with other parts of Life. The riding hurts more, the movements more ponderous and we lose the zone.

Sound familiar? It’s happened to me a couple of times. But I’m now getting back on track and I hit the zone this morning. Like lost love, it’s much sweeter the second time round...

As I prepare to enter my fifth decade this coming year I’m reminded of an excellent article from Bicycling Magazine Dec 2001.

Have a great New Year.

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