It has not been a good week for cycling as far as mileage goes, and this morning I did not get up and go for my endurance ride, mainly because I don't think my lower back can endure it right now. The muscles there are still sore from last Saturday's ride, and my lumbar feel stiff and unyielding. It's just that old injury.
Yesterday I rode the bike 9 miles, which is the longest distance I have ridden since last Saturday. I did not try to go fast or even bump up my cadence to 12-14 mph. I just chose a slow pace of 8-9 mph so as not to put too much strain on my lower back, but even that may have been too much.
Last night I went to the first meeting of the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition for a West Hollywood chapter. There were about 13 other cyclists there, and we all have an interest in raising awareness of cycling in West Hollywood, getting more bike lanes, getting the community involved in cycling, that sort of thing. The people who are trying to start the chapter are already members of the LACBC, and I'm thinking of joining. When we were all introducing ourselves, I mentioned that I was looking to network with other riders and possibly find people to ride with since I always ride alone. So a couple of people talked about some group rides of a few miles each. Well, that's fine, I guess. I'm thinking more of the 25+ mile rides. However, I think there are a couple of people that might be candidates. Then again, there's something nice about being alone on the bike and just doing it.
I do have to figure out this lower back thing. I never had an issue with it even on 43 mile rides. I know that the bike puts a lot of strain on my lower back because I'm sitting fairly upright, even when going up hills. Am I not powering properly and is this causing the strain? I simply cannot stand and power the bike without being on the seat. I had a 10-speed when I was younger that I could power that way but this hybrid doesn't seem to do it, so those muscles around my lumber take an enormous amount of stress, and powering in that unnatural position also puts extra stress on my knees.
Well, I guess I'll just scale back the riding, ride at a slower pace and not push my lower back.