Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Brisk Morning Ride

Well, I will admit that, when I got up and found out that it was 41 degrees Fahrenheit outside, my enthusiasm for commuting today was slightly dimmed, but it didn’t stop me. Of course, this is going to be a typical North Carolina day for this time of year – cold in the morning, warm in the afternoon, so I almost need two sets of clothes.

Let’s see…two caps – the fluffy one with the earflaps for the morning and the light one for the afternoon goes in the messenger bag. (If you don’t wear a cycling cap, you don’t know what you’re missing. My favorites are right here.) Two pairs of gloves – the cross country skier gloves for the morning and the fingerless gloves for the afternoon go in the messenger bag. Now pick a jacket. I need one heavy enough that I won’t freeze this morning but light enough that it will fit in the messenger bag for the ride home. Toss in my lunch, fill up a water bottle and away we go.

(Does Batman have to do this sort of thing when he takes a trip? (Let's see...normal underwear on the body, bat underwear in the bag just in case. Normal shirt on the body, bat shirt in the bag just in case...)

Now, a commute can go one of two ways – it can be easy and pleasant or you might have to push the pace. Unfortunately for me, I was a little late getting out of the house this morning, so that meant that I had to push the pace all the way there. I remember thinking that, if I had been on my road bike instead of the hybrid…well, I’m sure you get the picture.

The road was covered with 2000 lb beasts, but nearly all of the drivers were polite and courteous and none of the displayed a serious desire to see the color of my insides. I did run into one honker (politely meant, I’m sure, but I’d still rather they didn’t) and, as the cars streamed past me, I was reminded of a group ride down the shoulder of a busy road when someone else meant well but…

As riders, we were quite safe. The shoulder was paved and well maintained and several feet wide, so the cars had all the clearance they needed, but the traffic flow was steady. Now, generally speaking, the riders in the rear will call out, “Car back!” as a car approaches us from behind just to make sure that everyone is aware. On this particular ride, we had a group member who is particularly diligent about this. Of course, on this road, there was always a car back. One passed us every five or ten seconds, and this person felt compelled to sing out about every single one of them for the three miles that we were riding along this road. Just think about that for a few minutes and imagine what it’s like. Then stop thinking about it because it will give you a headache.

Anyway, by pushing the pace, I did make it to work on time, and my home will be quite leisurely, I assure you. I’m looking forward to it.

See you on the road.

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