It’s no secret that almost all my riding the past year or so has happened indoors. The COVID19 pandemic was a big reason for it, of course, but my current work shift has been a major co-conspirator as well. When your workday starts at 5 pm and ends at 2 am, there is simply no way you can sneak in a long Sunday morning ride and get sufficient sleep. These days, the time I fall asleep would have been the same time I’d wake up, had I had a planned prolonged weekend stint on the saddle.
So yeah, it’s not an ideal situation, most especially because I miss riding with my buddies at the Manila Coffee Cycling Club. It’s not as if I totally haven’t been riding outdoors though.
It sure hasn’t been without its own challenges. The community quarantine restrictions have restricted my riding to places not very far from my doorstep, which I can’t really escape from since I also work from home. This means both long flat sections and decent hills are off the menu, replaced by laps around two adjoining villages. If I wanted either a time trial effort or a long slogging climb, I’m actually better served by RGT Cycling.
Riding with a mask also hasn’t been the greatest. While the GreenBox nanofiber mask is decently breathable, I find I will eventually struggle with respiration through it as it slowly gets soaked with my sweat and loses all ease of breathing, especially after about three repeat wearings and cleanings.
The biggest issue though has to be the unbelievable summer heat. Given that I can ride only in the afternoons due to my current, unique circumstances, this time of day also tends to be the hottest. The heat these days is such that my insulated water bottles aren’t as effective if they don’t have any frozen water in them. Combine that with having to breathe through a mask while pushing 170 bpm, and it’s not something I enjoy for more than an hour.
That said, every time I get out and ride, for a brief slice of the day, I feel like flying. Perhaps that’s the Vitamin D talking.