Sunday, January 16, 2011

Surviving The Ravages of Winter

It has been just over a month since I've ridden. When I have had some time to let my mind wander, I have allowed it to recall some of the rides I took over the summer. Good memories. Can't wait until it gets warm enough to take the bike out again.

I backed her to the garage door the other day and fired her up. Well, first I had to charge the battery for 20 minutes then I fired her up. What a sound. A lot of people talk about the Harley sound (which is distinctive) or the sound of the Valkyrie (which once heard is unforgettable); both of my Honda’s have rather pleasing rumbles without being too rude or noisy. I sat down on her for a few minutes, feeling the vibrations of the engine and the welcome fit of the saddle. Wonderful.

I have been reading some reading stories lately and they all mention “muscle memory”. Basically, it is your body remembering and reacting to tasks that it has done repeatedly in the past. When riding it is what allows you to get better and more confident the more you ride. I am wondering though, how much of that do you lose over the 3-4 months of the year when you can’t ride.

When skiing season started every year, I would take the time to confirm my skills before going on the harder runs. I would do 3 or 4 runs on each level of introductory slopes before moving up in difficulty. This was my way of insuring my skills were still there and how I insured I knew what my body changes over the summer were going to affect my skills (weight loss/gain, age, or injury). As I start thinking about the start of the next riding season (now 71 days away), I am starting to consider what I should do to get into the groove again.

I took some time to look over my plan for developing skills that I used last year and I think I may already have a blueprint to get me in back into the saddle safely and confident in my skills. Of course, I will move through the levels somewhat quicker since I am sure some muscle memory remains.

Planning on a run to the Tail of the Dragon with my son and some friend in May, if all goes as planned. It will be a great weekend of riding and a terrific memory too.

Come on spring!


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