Welcome back, it’s time to get serious again.

After the 2014 cycling season, I came to a few conclusions. First and foremost, there is a thing called “too much”. I rode my heart out on some of the most challenging rides, and as my previous post suggests, I was cooked. Mentally as well as physically, I had a “let’s see other people for now” moment with my Cervélo. I started out 2015 with the hopes of a smooth year, but a lack of cooperating health, weight gain and time constraints pooched my spring. I didn’t even show up to a few of the bigger rides, knowing that attempting a century with no training and 30 lbs over weight would be a recipe for failure.

The second idea that settled in to my head after admitting to a fallen season was that cycling could be fun again. Without the pressure of spring training, and  cold, early morning rides in the dark, I could take my time.  I could get up at 10 A.M. instead of 6 A.M.. I didn’t have to get a Strava PR on every hill. I didn’t even have to go out for 60+ mile rides. I could hook up with my friends, ride 20 miles, and be back in time for lunch; so that’s what we did. Along the way, we laughed. We had miles of laughter, camaraderie and friendship that can really only happen when you are all in spandex, flying down a country road, and having the time of your life. I didn’t get home thinking “phew, that was a tough ride”. I got home thinking “That was the most fun I have had on a bike in a long time. Who wants some chocolate milk?”

Now 2016 is upon us, and that means the pendulum should find the happy medium between the two states of existence. My goal is to ride hard enough that I feel like I have built myself up this season, but not so hard that I feel like a broken shell. Perhaps that means some spring training, and maybe even a few of the harder rides, but nothing so challenging that it takes athlete class performance to complete.

So what now? Well, with old man winter settling in finally, ski season is upon us and will likely consume the next few months. Any good weather days will still call for the road bike, but I am content for now to know that my weight loss is on track, skiing will commence if we get snow, and no matter what, remembering that having a good time is paramount.