This post has two, that's right, count 'em TWO parts. Part one: Yesterday morning, I got out for ride before work, and decided to check out the Gatineau parkway. I didn't get too far, based on a small window before work, but things are starting to look good. There are quite a few sections where the parkway is only partially covered in snow and ice, making riding easy as pie. (Sorry, no pics...my phone died on me. You can check out a more detailed report here.) Every year I always look forward to that first ride on the parkway, even if there's still some snow. It's just being able to get out on some hills, with smooth pavement, no traffic and no other sounds. It was also cool to see a few other people out for a ride.
Part two: Time to talk about my back. Off the bike, on a daily basis, my back feels fine. No pain. I'm stretching every day and working in more and more core exercises. On the bike, I need to build my back's tolerance for saddle time. It was a little stiff on the bike yesterday, but some more LSD riding should build up my stamina. In hindsight, a lack of activity over the winter (including a lack of core exercises), probably contributed to my back going out on me.
In an effort to keep my back pain free, I'm staying home tomorrow and not riding the Paris-Roubaix. Of course I'm disappointed not to be riding..I've ridden this event for the past 4 years, and it's one of the things I look forward to every spring. I thought about just "riding", as opposed to treating it like a race, but I just KNOW that I would try and hammer from the start, and as soon as I would inevitably be dropped, I'd be struggling. Not fun. So hopefully I can get out for a couple rides this weekend and get back into shape.