Since I have been limited in my training time, I’ve been challenged to be more creative with my bike rides. Sometimes the point is not so much to reap huge gains in fitness or top-end speed, but to keep from going too far backwards, too fast. With that concept in mind, I have invented the No-Net-Increase-Ride.
The concept is simple. Establish a desirable food objective, determine the amount of calories, calculate the time required to ride a bike to burn those calories, and ride the bike to the food objective. Let me illustrate with an example.
Suppose I would like to spend a little time visiting with one of my long-time cycling buddies. Let's say we agree to meet up for a piece of pecan pie and coffee. Well, the pie and coffee would provide a little more than 500 calories. The calorie burn rate for cycling that I found online said that I could burn about 500 calories per hour, if I ride (without drafting effects) at a speed of 15 mph for an hour (the 500 calorie/hour rates seems a little high, so I might need to verify this). So to fullfill the purpose of the ride, my buddy and I can agree to ride for approximately 30 minutes and end up at the restaurant, eat pie, drink coffee, and chat. Following that we cruise casually at a 15 mph pace back home.
We have a nice ride, delicious pie, and catch-up on life. All with no net increase on the waist line. It's not really going to help us win the next race, but it seems like a pretty good way to enjoy the social aspects of cycling.