It’s inevitable that my mileage ramps up dramatically this time of year. Surely it’s the mild spring weather that draws me out and onto the bike more than is absolutely necessary; I mean, who’s going to take a joyride when it’s 40°F and pouring rain?
Most people track their mileage for training purposes (or bragging rights) and what they’re shooting for is a high number. In my case, I have to keep an eye out to avoid riding too much. Last year at this time, an overuse injury kept me off the the bike for most of the summer, so I’ve been hyper-diligent to work in appropriate rest days and put a reasonable cap on my weekly mileage.
On those days when I take a break, I don’t just jump back in the car; mostly I just end up doing more walking. Interestingly, I’ve found that I can be sore and tired from riding, but I can continue to walk with no ill effects (as long as I’m wearing good shoes). If I was an athlete, I suppose this would be considered “cross-training”.
I used to get quite irritated when my body told me to take a break from the bike (as a matter of fact, I used to ignore the signals, hence the injuries). Now, I’m just glad I can continue to walk while giving my knees a break from riding for a day or two. Afterall, as much as I love bicycles and bicycling, it’s mostly about staying out of the car and reducing my footprint (you know, the other kind).