Sunday, May 28, 2006

Cross Training

That's what I call it when I can't find time to actually ride, but I somehow manage to do something else active.

I volunteer as a scoutmaster, so one night a week I am involved in a scout troop meeting, and about one weekend a month we go on some kind of campout. This weekend we incorporated some light backpacking on our overnighter. We camped at the Loop Campground in South Willow Canyon, near Grantsville, UT. The convenient thing about this campground is that it is at the top of the canyon almost exactly 4 miles from where you enter the Forest Service Boundary. One of the requirements for the Camping Merit Badge is that you backpack 4 miles.

So mid-afternoon on Friday we parked a Suburban I had borrowed from a neighbor and filled with scouts, unloaded equipment and took off up the canyon. It's not flat by any means, gaining 1500+ feet in the four miles, but it's not that steep either.

Some things you learn on an overnight backpacking trip with scouts:
  • At least on kid will be complaining about his pack weight, fit, the distance, etc. before you are 500 feet from the vehicle.
  • 4 out of 10 will not be adequately prepared with the proper outerwear for the weather.
  • Someone will always be playing in the campfire.
  • It's hard to let the kids learn things for themselves sometimes when it would be so much easier to do stuff yourself.
  • Kids expect to be entertained. It's not enough to be outdoors, some kids have to have everything dictated to them.
Clearly this doesn't have a lot to do with cycling, but I can tell you that my legs hurt today. After backpacking to the site with the kids, I later hiked back down to the Suburban to bring it up to the site. Then the next morning we hiked about 3 miles into the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area, for a 6 mile round trip. So for the weekend I did about 14-15 miles of hiking (at an altitude near 8000 feet no less). Today it feels like my calves are just slapping against the back side of my shins with every step...

I'm not going to have a chance to ride tomorrow either, so I hope the crosstraining and the rest pays off.

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