Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I have been busy, so the warm days managed to trickle by without my being able to ride. I was getting bad tempered, I think, by the time that Saturday finally rolled around. I got up around 6:30, and it was freezing outside. Also, I just didn't want to be up at 6:30, so I crawled back into the nicewarm bed and fell asleep and my chance to ride was gone. Or so I thought.Then, later in the day, came those wonderful words from wonderful lips. My Lovely Lovely said, “Why don’t you go ride your bike?” Well, okay. If you insist. It was midafternoon, the sun was up, and I was headed out the door.

To be disgusted in the garage. I had optimistically put on fingerless gloves and a lightweight hat. I quickly came back in and changed them for full fingered gloves and a winter hat with flaps that cover my ears. It’s still cold. I was sick of the cold. I was still going to ride.

My bike was freshly cleaned and polished and waxed – I had been frustrated the day before about not being to ride and had vented my frustration in a burst of bike related bath giving - so, of course, it wentfaster. That’s a rule – a clean bike goes faster. You knew that one, right?

It was cold, it was very windy, and I was like a dog that’s been let off the chain after a long period of confinement. I was ready to go. I dug into the wind and headed down the road. My philosophy for dealing with the wind is to assume that it is going to blow in just that same way forever. I just find a rhythm and settle in. I did make a quick stop to pick up some stones from a gravel driveway. There are these two large dogs that like to run out into the street after me, and I thought I’d like to be prepared rather than be an entrĂ©e.

Now, I knew that I wasn’t really supposed to be gone a very long time. We were expecting company from out of town, so my Lovely Lovely was certainly expecting me back home after a fairly brief ride, so when I got to the corner I had two good options. I could go straight or turn left, either of which would put me on the same fifteen mile loop, and I kind of somehow turned right. I’m still not quite sure how that happened, but it did.

Ten miles into the ride, I had to stop. Now, I hate having to stop when I’m going into the wind. I had my rhythm going and would lose it if I stopped. Of course, my other option was not to stop, but, as that would have meant getting flattened by a tractor, I opted to veto that one and stop.

By tractor I mean the front part of a tractor trailer, not a farm implement, by the way. A man was directing two of them from one side of the road to the other. When I stopped, he looked at me and asked, “Aren’t you tired?”

“A little bit,” I said. “The wind is a bear.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “It’s really cold out.”

(Well, we know that wasn’t what I meant, but that’s okay. He was a nice guy and he meant well.)

When the trucks were done, I took off. A short time later both trucks passed me very safely, giving me a lot of room. Thank you very much.

Another right turn and a head-crosswind becomes a cross-headwind. Okey-dokey. I was having a great time, my legs felt good, and I just kind of kept crusing. Five miles later (yes, I have exceeded my short fifteen mile ride by this time) I made yet another right turn and the wind became a tail wind.

Yeeeehah…big chain ring, high pace, wide smooth shoulder, could I ask for anything more? Nope. I was cruising. So were the two mastiffs who came racing out after me. Uh-oh. Oh, wait. I have stones in my pocket. I pulled out whipped it in the direction of the dogs.

Okay, I intended to whip it in their direction. It turns out that I have remarkably poor throwing skills. Who knew? The stone wasn’t so much whipped as tossed gently, and it didn’t so much fly as it skittered across the asphalt, missing the lead dog by a good three feet. If it had hit him squarely, he wouldn’t have noticed it anyway. I settled in and managed to out run them both.

One more right turn (yes, this is a square here) and a nice hilly road to finish off with. I ended up with thirty three miles and our company was an hour and a half late, so I didn’t get into trouble even though I admit that I deserved to get in trouble.

Was that a good day or what? I’m ready to go again.

See you on the road.

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