I am back in the saddle again. After a year in Pakistan I am trying to get get my pedaling legs back. It doesn't help that the new wheels came stock with a different and painfully thin saddle. I knew it would take some getting used to and secretly I wanted to get the slightly more plush seat(slightly more comfy still means a lot less comfortable then....sitting on a couch). But I run into one small problem; it matches the bike and looks really great.
That is the problem, bike vanity. A good set of biking shorts took the edge off, but it still took a while before I was walking around like I had not been roping cattle for a week. On another note, it has been challenging for me to get distance in on my road bike (time and effort). I used to be able to ride for hours, it seemed as though anything less than 20 miles was not a challenge. I can get about 10 miles at a time out of the mountain bike and about the same from the road (which is pathetic considering I have already signed up for a century in Iowa this September).
The only thing that saved me from intense pain was the fact that Dan the Goose and I went to the gym just about every morning for a few months before I came home. Full body conditioning is essential and thanks to that time spent cleaning up after others in the embassy weight room I found my neck, back, and arms have not had the same pain as my derriere. While it is true that you never forget how to ride a bike, the body seems to forget how the bike rides.
I brought my Las Cruces to the beach, inspired by the Tour de France, I rode about 5 miles to the Krispy Kreme. I felt great, not fully realizing that it was the nice tailwind helping me cruise down the road. I think I actually burned off the entire donut fighting the head wind and the urge to drop into my granny gear (it is good to know I have a little dignity left).