Friday, January 30, 2009

A Preoperative Ride

Alas, this is not a new ride. I'm still hoping to make it onto the bike on Saturday. We'll see what the remnants of the appendectomy have to say about that. In the meantime, here's a ride I got in before the surgery:

Time for another solo ride around the neighborhood on the hybrid where I learned some things. I learned that I haven’t been eating properly. I learned that I didn’t know where my shorts were. I also learned that it was really hot out. This is not a good combination.

I pulled on a pair of jeans (feeling, quite rightly, I think, that while riding in my nice work clothes would net me style points, it would also make me look like a complete goober, and I can do that well enough on my own without any help from fancy clothes.)

As I was pumping up the tires, I happened to glance out the garage and see a kid ride by, his head firmly encased in a helmet. “Good for him,” I thought. I’ve been spending time in South Carolina, where motorcycle riders are not required to wear helmets. Hey, it’s your head, right? Do what you want to with it. But I still like seeing kids wear helmets when they ride their bicycles.

Since I was riding around the neighborhood, I had the iPod on. Yes, I am woefully inconsistent, but at least I am consistent in my inconsistency. I’m perfectly willing to wear the iPod if I’m pedaling around the neighborhood, and I’m not willing to wear it if I am out on the road for reasons that we don’t need to get into all over again, now do we?

Well? Do we?


So picture me, looking not at all like a cyclist and very much like a guy on a bike – and a rather silly looking guy on a bike at that – with my blue jeans and my helmet and my gloves and my iPod. (I should probably make it clear at this point that I was, in fact, wearing other clothing as well, just in case you were wondering. I’m not that much of a goofball.)

So what was I listening to, I hear you failing to ask?

I’m glad you asked. (Well, I’m glad I asked for you, anyway. You know, it’s really convenient how, when I ask for you, you always ask exactly the right question, don’t you think?)

I was listening to Planxty.

If you have just asked, “What the heck is a planxty?” then you probably don’t know who Planxty is. (It’s amazing how I can pick up on subtle clues like that.) I will now utterly fail to answer that question.

I was chased by a dog. Well, sort of. I mean, I was sort of chased, and the animal was sort of a dog. It was a very small dog. (One day in the past, when Lisa and I were leading the pack – such things do happen - we saw a mouse at the side of the road. Spotting us, it ran into the brush. This dog was only slightly larger than that mouse.)

The dog suffered from what my Lovely Lovely calls “little dog syndrome.” It has to prove that its little size doesn’t make it any less of a dog, and it took off after me at top speed, barking its head off. It kind of needed to save its wind for running, though.

This dog was not even big enough to be a speed bump, but I still had no desire to have it under my front wheel. Fortunately for both of us, this was never really a concern. The dog saw me coming and put on a tremendous burst of speed, his little legs just churning away and managed to exceed ten miles an hour briefly, which I think was pretty remarkable for a dog that size. (I mean, he was no thirty mile and hour Chihuahua, but there can’t be many of those around, after all.)

I grinned at the dog as I rode past. It was kind of fun to see him (or her – I really wasn’t that close) having a good time. (It would have been less fun if she (or he – I was getting farther away, not closer) had been bigger and in actual danger of catching me, but as it was I enjoyed it.

Other than that, the ride was largely uneventful, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I had a good time, I stretched my legs, I got my blood flowing. Life is good. That’s what riding is all about.

See you on the road.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Introduction

This isn’t actually the first blog entry, but it’s the first one on the new site, so let’s pretend it’s an introduction, shall we?

There are a lot of blogs about cycling out there (at least, I assume there are a lot of blogs about cycling out there, I really just made that statement up because it sounded good) so why should you read this one?


Nope, sorry. I haven’t the faintest idea. Here it is anyway, though. If half of my loyal readers follow me from my old site, then I’ll have at least one reader, and, as that's one more than none, I can be content with that.

I’ve been off the bike for a few weeks now due to mechanical failure. Not mechanical failure of the bike, mind you, but of me. Now, lighter by the weight of one missing appendix, I am ready to tear up the road, except for the fact that the incision hasn’t finished healing up yet, a minor point I agree, but one that I think I’ll be taking into consideration for a little while yet.

When I talked to the surgeon and asked him how soon I could ride again, he told me that I could walk as much as I wanted to right now.

Steve says: “Any walk over a quarter mile sucks. That’s why I always carry a spare tube.”

Steve is known as Steve 21 because, when he gets to the front, he rides at 21 mph. It’s like clockwork. I’ve been on rides with Steve where his computer wasn’t working and he’s simply riding at a pace that feels comfortable. I check my own computer and how fast are we going? 21 mph.

A lot of the
Seyboros are in various stages of disrepair at the moment, but all of us are getting better. Bobby was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat. Dave is back on two wheels after an encounter with a car. Steve 21 has finally gotten his shoulder operated on. You may not know any of these people, so how about a little detail about one?

The Story of Steve’s Shoulder

(I am telling this story in my usual fashion, which means that, when I don’t remember something, I simply make stuff up to fill in the blanks. If you already know the story, then you’ll catch any mistakes I make and why are you reading this anyway? If you don’t already know the story, then it shouldn't matter to you which parts are only more or less true. Either way, it’ll work out.)

Steve and some friends were doing a nice ride, and Steve must have been going about 25 mph (a violation of his principles, I know, but a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, after all) when a dog ran out in front of him and pretended to be a speed bump.

Steve hit the dog and his bike stopped. In accordance with laws formulated by Newton lo these many years ago, however, Steve continued moving forward at 25 mph. (As they said for Superman: You will believe a man can fly.)
Unfortunately, what goes up must come down, and, to hear Steve tell it, he went up and came down quite a few times.

“I don’t have any road rash,” he told me a few days after the incident, “But that’s because I didn’t slide. I bounced. Half of my body is one big bruise.”

We like to ride bikes because it’s fun, right?

Well, if you’ve been reading all of this in the hopes of finding out who I am, I don’t suppose you’re much more informed now than you were when you stated reading. Sorry about that. I guess I got distracted.

Generally I would describe myself as a guy who rides bikes. Right now I’m describing myself as a guy who would like to be riding bikes. Once I get back on two wheels I’ll do a few rides to build back the fitness that is surely ebbing away as I sit here typing instead of turning the pedals, and then I have a goal which will indicate to me that I’m back: I’m going to ride Bike Route 40. That’ll give me a bit over a metric century, and, when I can do that, it will make me feel that good form isn’t that far away.

We can all dream, right?

In the meantime, my goal is to pedal around the neighborhood a bit to see how things feel. If your curious, tune in and I'll let you know.

See you on the road.