W.I.N.G.S.by Laurence D. Preble
Spring is nearly upon us and for many; the peak of riding fitness is a fading memory of sunny days and rolling miles in the early autumn of 2005. Well, fret not my friends! Your body remembers what to do and will respond to your measured ministrations accordingly. The trick is to get out on the bike to rebuild strength and stamina, and to do it with a measured, progressive series of rides. W.I.N.G.S. is designed to do just that.
W.I.N.G.S. is a progressive training program with a twist. Sometimes, a little incentive is all that is needed to rekindle dedication to training with a good-natured spirit of fun — and anticipation. The acronym has a double meaning: 1) It is the Westport Incremental New Goals Series, which offers a chance to start with some moderate to easy rides and work progressively towards longer and hillier rides over a nine week period. And 2) W.I.N.G.S. also describes the prize for completing at least six of the nine training rides: an airplane sightseeing flight over the hills and valleys you have ridden — cameras welcome.
Many of you may not be aware that your gizmo-toting, recumbent riding, chiropractor cycling companion is also a commercial pilot with an instrument rating, flight instructor certificate, and more than 27 years of experience. It is with great pleasure that I offer this chance for you to ride — and fly — with me.
Flying, especially in a small plane, is not everyone’s idea of fun. Some have a fear of flying or of heights. Others experience motion sickness. Anyone not comfortable with the idea need not feel pressured to fly. In any case, I can’t carry the whole club in an afternoon. I must limit the winners to twelve. If more than twelve complete the challenge, a drawing will be held to determine which twelve will win places on one of up to four flights.
The flights will depart from Bowman Field and will carry up to three passengers at a time to the Westport area and over the hills and routes we have ridden.
For me, flight still offers an almost magical experience, a chance to see the world from a different perspective. Sweat the rides. Build your stamina. Then look down upon what you have accomplished, seeing it from a point of view usually reserved for the Red-tailed Hawks and the Blue Heron that frequent the Westport area. I will pick a sunny pleasant day for the flights, to be announced after the completion of the ride series.
Some of you may be surprised to learn that the W.I.N.G.S. program will be held during the week on Thursdays. Why Thursday? It was available with no ride scheduling conflicts. It is also my day off. Is this fair to all? Considering that this venture is to be provided at my own expense, it is as fair as I can make it. Mainly, I hope we can have some fun while working towards the common goal of fitness.
For those of you who are retirees or for those who can wrangle at least six mornings off on Thursdays starting on March 2 at 9:30 AM, this series is for you. Even if all you want to do is regain fitness but have no desire to fly, this series is for you. As the series progresses, I will post ride photos to my website: www.kybikerides.org. I will also post some pictures of the airplane in question, a Cessna 210. I hope to see some of you bright and early out at Westport Park beginning in March.
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web posted: 28 February 2006
last updated: 2 March 2006