Thawing winter’s inertia

Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride jerseyWell, well, well. In just 77 days, a mere 11 weeks from today, the 48th annual Minnesota Ironman® Bike Ride begins.

It is not a triathlon, which is good, because my running and swimming skills are nowhere near good enough for a triathlon.

It is not a race, which is also good, because I can’t say I have ever been able to sustain a race pace for longer than, oh, 3.14159 seconds. Going downhill. With gale-force winds at my back.

It is still winter where I live, and I don’t have the appropriate bike or clothing for polar vortexes and blizzard conditions. Fortunately, I have a variety of options for training indoors. Indoor cycle classes (a.k.a., spinning—wool and magic lasso not included), stair climbing machines, elliptical machines, treadmills, etc.

Unfortunately, I find myself having difficulty thawing out winter’s inertia.

Early January I decided I was long overdue on losing a few pounds. Fifteen for sure, preferably twenty. I made it a solid, steady two. Yesterday’s, scale said they were back after six days. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Yesterday, I decided to get off my lazy rump and play Dance Central 3 with my son. There is a reason I don’t dance, and the game’s periodic replay feature reinforced that in spades. But I was moving. Until a painful calf cramp put an end to my poorly done Frederick Austerlitz impersonation.

But, I still have 77 days, a whole eleven weeks to prepare for the ride. I will be ready for the Ironman’s century route!



This post is long overdue. On the order of two months. Sorry about that, Bob.

I met R.J. “Bob” Kinderman at the 2013 Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride, after finishing 50-some miles. He was there with his book Tailwinds Across America on display. I like books, and I like meeting a book’s author. He is a cyclist. So am I. His past MIBR adventures include freezing winter weather conditions. So do mine. He has ridden a bicycle across the continental United States. I have not. Maybe someday.

Bob’s tale takes us back to 1981. He and his friend, Denise, journey across America, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Bob and Denise travel in rain, up insanely steep hills in the mountains, across the flat plains. They meet wonderful people few will ever have the pleasure of meeting. They endure tiredness and sickness, wildlife, and vehicular close calls. It’s an adventure that changes them forever.

Throughout Tailwinds I found myself in awe of Bob and Denise’s resourcefulness at finding places to spend the night and the ease they made friends who jumped at the chance to be a part of the two-month adventure. The story became even more real to me in the pages where their journey intersects trails and locations where I have ridden my bike. In a small way, it is almost as if I had joined them 32 years ago.

I really enjoyed Tailwinds Across America, and I bet you will, too. You can buy the book direct from Bob at his web site,