Monday, June 29, 2009

Saturday Commute

This was a day of ups and downs, even though there weren’t a lot of hills on my commute.

It was Saturday and I had to work


I could go in whenever I felt like it


They had turned off the air condition in the building, so it was hotter and more humid (humidor?) inside than it was outside


Nobody else was there so I could crank up my music while I worked


My Lovely Lovely was going to be out of town all day with our only working vehicle


I would get to commute on my bike


Well, you get the picture. For every down there was an up and for every up there was a down. Which reminds me – don’t you hate it when you struggle your way up to the top of a hill only to find that the road levels out and there isn’t any down after all of that up.

No down after an up in life is good, but on hills, not so much.

My Lovely Lovely drove me to work on her way out of town. I pulled my bike out of the back and pedaled down the sidewalk toward my building, and that’s where I spotted another bike sitting near the elevator – a hybrid with panniers no less.

“I’m not the only one,” I said. I may have said it out loud. I can only imagine how that remark, coming out of the blue, might have struck anyone who happened to overhear me saying it to myself.

Unlike the mysterious stranger, I was not prepared to leave my bike outdoors unsecured. Unfortunately, the elevator wasn’t working, so I did my own version of cyclocross up the stairs. A hybrid is not made for cyclocross. It’s heavy, for one thing.

I had to carry my bike upstairs


I would get to ride it home again

See? Ups and downs…

As I noted earlier (down) they turn off the air on the weekends, so it was actually hotter and more humid inside than it was outside, and that’s going some. When I was finally ready to leave, I was glad to be out in the burning sun instead of locked up in the sweat lodge.

Because the campus was empty (the students have more sense than to be there on a Saturday) I took an unusual short cut across the middle of campus. As soon as I got out of the shelter of the buildings, it was made abundantly clear to me that I would have the company of a headwind all the way home.

It was really windy




Um…nope. I’ve got nothing for that one. It was just really windy.

I don’t listen to music while riding out on the road – I like to use my ears to hear cars approaching from behind me, but I sometimes have a song in my head to keep me company anyway. It seems quite appropriate that today’s song was Burning Mirage by The Madeira.

I was determined today to take it quite easy. It was way too hot for anything else.

There was less traffic (hooray for Saturday) and a new stretch of road, as smooth as silk and a lot of fun to ride on. My computer wasn’t working, so I couldn’t have worried about the numbers even if I’d been inclined to. It was really quite peaceful – if you exclude the big furry dog who may only have wanted to play but who caused my heart rate to shoot up dramatically.

It was a very laid back ride, and a very pleasant one to boot. If I have to go in to work on a Saturday, that’s a great way to finish off the workday.

See you on the road.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Bad Song

I'm still on vacation spending time with my Lovely Lovely this week, but I thought I'd inflict this on you. With apologies to Gene Autry and also to everyone else who reads this, but I was really bored one day and just couldn’t resist the temptation. So, without further ado, here is my version of Back in the Saddle Again. Everybody sing.

I’m back in the saddle again
Out with those lycra clad men
Where the hairless legs spin fast
As the cars and trucks race past
Back in the saddle again

Ridin’ the road once more
and now my backside is sore
Where the finish line’s in sight
and the leadout is just right
Back in the saddle again

Sprintin’ to and fro
Back in the saddle again
I go my way
Back in the saddle again

I’m back in the saddle again
Out with my spandex wrapped friends
With a titanium frame
And that lactic acid pain
Back in the saddle again

Ridin’ the road once more
watch out for opening doors
With Phil Liggett in my ears
as I wish I had more gears
Back in the saddle again

Sprintin’ to and fro
Back in the saddle again
Whoopi-ty-aye-yayI go my way
Back in the saddle again

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Still Here

I haven't vanished off the face of the earth. The kids are out of town visiting relatives, so my wife and I are getting some quality time together, and going for long bike rides without here doesn't fall under that heading.

More soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pushing It

This was a day when the skies wept. It rained nonstop from before sunrise until after I got off work. It was also a day that is a viable candidate for “must frustrating day of the year” award, not just because of the rain, and that was before the 2000 lb beast decided to eat part of its own engine. Oh, boy.

My Lovely Lovely and I were finally headed home after running some necessary errands. There were still two hours until sunset, but the sky was gray and it almost looked like twilight out. We passed a cyclist who was waiting to turn onto the road we were on, and my head perked up like a dog on a scent.

“What is it?” my Lovely Lovely asked.

“I want to see if it’s anyone I know.”

Am I the only that does this? The sight of someone else out riding makes me happy. Of course, it also makes me jealous, so I am a study in contradiction.

We made it home, and I asked how long before dinner would be ready. When asked why I wanted to know, I said that, if was going to be a while, I might head out for a short ride.

“Go ahead,” my Lovely Lovely said. May all cyclists be blessed with a wife who has the same attitude as mine does.

I got the trusty old Trek 1000 out and took it for a quick spin. I hadn’t been on it in a while, but it’s nice to let it stretch its wheels every now and again. I picked a nice loop with several hills and hit the road. It was a short loop, and I decided to go as hard has I could go.

How do you make yourself go as hard as you can go? I have a friend who can practically grind himself down into the dust with his own effort. I have another friend who never pushes herself on the bike unless someone else makes her. If she’s riding alone, she won’t break a sweat.

I was pushing myself hard today but, as I was going up hill number…ah, heck, I don’t know…I found myself starting to flag. That’s the moment of truth, right? Can you make yourself kick it back up a notch at that moment or not? In this case, the answer turned out to be “yes,” and I found myself wondering why some people seem to be able to do that sort of thing all the time and others don't seem to be able to do it at all.

It’s much easier for me to push myself to my limit if I’m trying to catch up with someone who’s ahead of me or keep up with someone. It’s harder if I’m alone and have to dig up the strength from nowhere except my own motivation to get better.

Chuck says, “Cycling brings out the character that’s in you, or, if it isn’t in you, it puts it there.”

As I was going down a hill near the end of the route with another hill waiting just in front of me, I found myself coasting to catch my breath before having to go up again, and I heard Keith’s voice in my ear. “Pedal up, pedal down.” I didn’t want to pedal down the hill. I wanted to catch my breath.

Still, I had set myself a somewhat ambitious minimum pace for the route and I managed to make it, so I was pleased. I got some miles, I got the blood pumping, I let off some stress, life is good.

See you on the road.

Here's another video of the Ventures featuring Bob Bogle on lead guitar.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bob Bogle

For today's cycling blog, read the next post. This is not cycling related, but I'm posting it anyway.

Rest In Peace Bob Bogle (1934-2009)

If you don't know who Bob is, now's your chance to rectify that.


So, having ridden an unexpectedly shortened loop yesterday, today I was determined to get a good thirty-five miles (or possible a bad thirty-five miles or even a mediocre thirty-five miles, for that matter.) I had a route picked out that I knew would make the distance, and I was determined to stick with it.

Now, for some strange reason, I had the idea that it wasn’t windy out there. I don’t know where I would get such a crazy idea. After all, when I got home yesterday, I told my Lovely Lovely, “It’s windy out there.”

“It’s always windy, here,” she replied. (Did you notice the lack of sympathy there? Before we got married, she lived in a wind deprived state.)

After a few miles I passed some people having a garage sale. Well, if we name it for where it was, it was actually a flat bed truck sale. The only thing that I noticed in the pile of merchandise was a pair of giant teddy bears. The people who were having the sale looked quite comfortable in a couple of canvas chairs. Their head swiveled slowly as they watched me pedal past, and the fact that they remained totally silent the entire time made it all seem a bit surreal.

I was making a real effort on this ride – having set myself a minimum pace I would allow myself to ride at on the flat, wind or no wind, and I was pushing hard to maintain it. This particular route has a long hill that usually takes the starch out of my legs, but I forced myself to push up it hard and maintain my pace. That was where I discovered that the mad road writer was back.

You remember him, right? He had written “Will U Be Mine Again?” on the road at one point. Here he had written a couple of messages to his someone:

Good morning beautiful


I am here

You know, somehow this one made me wonder if the guy was some kind of stalker.

It was followed up by a message of apology and a promise of future bliss.

I wondered who this guy was and who he was writing to and how she had responded to these messages. Somehow, I don’t ever expect to find out. It’s likely to remain just one of life’s little mysteries.

I passed between two fields of corn. There are plenty of wheatfields and cornfields around here, and I suddenly found myself wondering what is it about cornfields? Everything from “Field of Dreams” to “Children of the Corn.” Why are we always waiting for things to come out of the corn? Nothing ever seems to come out of the soybeans or the strawberries, after all. Nobody cuts mazes into the rutabaga fields for people to walk through. It’s always corn.

(Yes, I know that corn is taller than all of those other plants, but I’m trying to get some quality musing done here. Don’t spoil it be getting all prosaic on me.)

I had a moment of bliss on the bike as the road crossed a county line and went from being incredibly rough and bumpy to being smooth and pleasant. That’s always a very nice moment, especially if you’ve been on the bumpy road for several miles.

There were people out there on all kinds of vehicles. I either passed or was passed by, at different points during the ride, 18 wheelers, SUVs, pick up trucks, cars, motorcycles, a tractor and a lawn mower. I remember wondering if there were any other cyclists out on the road. In finally got the answer to that one.

Shortly before I get back home I hit a road that is a little tough when you’re tired. It has several hills in a row, including one that seems to go on forever. I decided to push down that road hard. I got to the end and had to wait for several minutes at an intersection. At that point another cyclist pedaled up behind me and stopped. He said some very sweet words: “I could see you, but I couldn’t catch you.”

Hooray for me.

He was definitely ahead of me in one way, though. He had already gotten a metric century in. Nice. I was jealous of that.

I was only a mile from home, though, and I was expected, so I headed in. This time I got the miles I was looking for, but I am ready for more.

See you on the road.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I annoyed myself this morning. (This will surely not surprise the many other people who are annoyed by me. After all, if I can annoy others so effectively, why shouldn’t I be able to annoy myself just as well?)

I had a ride of a specific length in mind, and I knew exactly where to ride to in order to get those miles in. Or, at least, I thought I did…

Even before I left, I knew it was going to be a hard ride. While I was still in the house I could see the trees dancing in the wind, and it’s always worse out on the open road. Oh, well.

I rode the first mile through the neighborhood and then turned onto the main road. Whew! This was not just any wind, this was the sort of wind that might carry you to Oz if you aren’t careful, and me without a little dog along for the ride. Well, that’ll teach me to hit the road unprepared.

It really was tough out there. It was the sort of day when you just put your head down and pedal, then you look up after a few minutes and find out that you haven’t actually gone anywhere.

After a little while I turned and had a crosswind instead of a headwind. That’s always a bit of relief. It was about three miles later that I realized that I had turned down wrong road to get to where I wanted to go. I considered turning around for about a half a second but decided that I had done too much work to get where I was and didn't want to go back.

That was okay. I've learned my way around this part of the county by now, and I knew that I could go this way and then go that way and make a big loop over here and end up at my goal. It would take me way out of my way, of course, and make the ride longer, but I was okay with that.

Or so I thought.

When I finally to my designated turn around point, I was actually feeling pretty good. I remembering being surprised how quickly I had gotten there. (My idea of quickness, mind you, was not actually based on looking at a clock. It was just based on how I felt.)

I turned around and was suddenly going twelve miles per hour faster without doing any more work. (That’s how you can tell it’s windy.) With the wind finally at my back, the trip home went in record time. As I was nearing the end of the ride, I remember being surprised at how great my legs felt.

That was when finally checked my computer and discovered that “the long way” was actually a little over four miles shorter than the way I had intended to go. That’s four miles shorter one way, so the totally ride was a good eight miles shorter than I was expecting. Well, no wonder my leg felt so good!

Well, it ended up being a good ride, anyway, just short.

I resolved to do better the next day. And I will, too.

See you on the road.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My First Century


Every year the Seyboro Cyclists have the Double Century – two hundred miles in a single day. It’s actually four rides one after the other, so, while some hardy souls will ride the entire two hundred miles, others will join in only for one or more loops. (In the last two loops, the addition of fresh legs to take some pulls is welcomed.)
To establish my own credentials – I have ridden the double twice. The first time my goal was to complete my first century. I did so. The second time my goal was to complete the entire double, and I made it. I didn’t finish pretty and I didn’t finish strong, but I did finish.

My First Century

I approached my first century nervously, but feeling okay. I decided to start with the first two loops of the double. That way, if I still felt strong, I could continue to ride the entire ride. The first loop was 65 miles, and the second loop was 55. I finished the 65 mile route feeling really good and set off on the 55 mile route in a good form.
The temperature began to rise. There’s a reason they call if the Sizzling Summer Mileage Marathon, after all. I made my hundred miles, and just a couple of miles later I realized that I was done. My legs just refused to turn the pedals anymore.

We were passing a convenience store as this realization came to me, and I said good-bye to the group and pulled off. I was done, and I knew it.
That’s when things began to get a bit tricky.

I called my wife to come and pick me up, only to find that she wasn’t at home. She was out running errands and would go to the point where the loop was due to finish. I wouldn’t be there. Oh, well. I called a friend who turned out to be occupied and couldn’t help me. All right. That was okay. I could ride back to town. It couldn’t be more than twenty or twenty-five miles.

I climbed into the saddle and took off.
Well, I climbed into the saddle and turned the pedals, anyway. I figure I was doing about eight miles an hour, and I didn’t figure I could keep that up for more than a couple of miles. I got to another convenience store a few miles away and just stopped. I parked myself and my bike next to a phone and started calling home at regular intervals with no result.

I had just enough money for one soda, so I got that and drank it and continued my futile use of the phone. I had been sitting there for maybe half an hour when my wife drove past the store where I was sitting. I saw her clearly. Obviously, someone on the ride had told her where I had stopped, so she was headed there. Well, that was okay. She would have to come back right past where I was, so I took my bike and stood right at the side of the road with it. A little while later, she came back and drove right past me without seeing me. I waved and yelled and even jumped up and down a little, but she never noticed me at all. I cannot tell you how tired I was or how it felt to watch that car disappear into the distance.

It would take her twenty minutes at least to get home, so I sat down to wait. Then I started calling again and finally got an answer.
She eventually got back and picked me up and took me home. I was a little annoyed, I must admit, but I was happy to have completed my first century. I figured I’d try the double again next year. More on that later.

Until then, I’ll see you on the road.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Epic Ride

With the Seyboro Cyclist annual double century ride looming (and Cyclin' Missy's first century coming up) I've decided to post some tips on how to finish an epic ride. These tips were actually collected by Jorg. (The double century takes place in four loops of decreasing length. Knowing that fact might make some of the comments easier to comprehend.) Here they are, complete with Jorg's intro:

As you know, we have quite a few riders in the club who have finished the Double Century ride. I thought this might be a good time to ask them to reveal the one thing that made the biggest difference to them. As you will see, some things are deeply psychological, while others are just a little weird.

The proof, as always, is in the pudding: All of these tips have worked for the tipper...

Neil starts us off with a not-so-subliminal-after-all message:
Plan your "BUTT CREME" hydration and nutrition by approaching each loop "BUTT CREME" as four individual rides with "BUTT CREME" recovery fuel after each in the form of solid food you are used to "BUTT CREME" consuming.

I do remember that, after I completed the double century for the first and (so far) only time, I wasn't interested in sitting down again for three days afterwards. Over 11 hours in the saddle...sheesh...

President Dave, ever the pragmatist, continues with 4 ideas:
-Drink at least one bottle every hour, even if you don't feel thirsty.
-Keep some high-energy snacks in your car for the breaks at the school.
-Change into clean, dry clothes after the second loop.
-Maintain 18 mph!!! While it may seem easy on the first loop, it will feel very difficult on looop 3.

President Dave has completed the double more than once. As far as maintaining 18 mph seeming easy, that works as long as everyone else is maintaining 18 mph too instead of 20+!

Scott's tips to finishing the double century twice:
-Most important Hydration: Start Hydrating by Wednesday three days prior to the ride. Take the water bottle to bed if you have to. Your body needs to be saturated long before the ride.

If you aren't getting up several times during the night, you aren't hydrating enough!

-This is a big one: Come to the ride with your mind set that you will finish the Double Century. It's not an easy feat so any doubt may cause you to quit.

One of the most useful things about riding that anyone ever said to me came from Scott: "You have to start by knowing that you can do it." This helped me a lot near the end of the double century when I still felt like I could complete the ride, just as long as no one expected me to go over 12 mph. That's a story for a post in itself.

-I bring 4 Sandwiches, 2 with Turkey, Cheese and Tomato and 2 Peanut Butter and Jelly. I eat a sandwich after each loop and have one for recovery when the ride is over. With those sandwiches I will wash them down with a Yoo-Hoo or a Gatorade. I do take Tums to settle my stomach as well.

Bobby first introduced me to the idea of a Yoo-hoo after a ride. It didn't sound like a good idea at the time, but he was right. That's about the best stuff to drink after a hard ride that I've ever run into.

Dave Peacefoot takes a more philosophical approach:
Pain is temporary. It will subside and it will return.

Well, there you go. I can't argue with that one. I'm not entirely certain what to do with it, but I certainly can't argue with it.

Bobby has a practical angle:
Use your gears wisely, spin on the hills and use your big chain ring on the flats. Spinning will give your legs a rest and mashing will rest your lungs and heart.

I wish I had something either clever of witty to say here. Mind you, I haven't said anything either clever or witty yet, so why should this be any different.

Mike meanders back to a ride famously shrouded in Seyboro lore:
The "Double Century" is an endurance event so you need to make preparations of what to wear; eat; drink; sunscreen; resting on breaks and that sort of thing. It's an all day event and over the years many good riders have been left in the parking lot. So..prepare, prepare and prepare and if all else fails, call Velvie for the secret weapon...Justin.

Chuck managed to complete the double one year because his son Justin cussed him and got him back on his bike again after he had decided he had enough. That's what family is for, right?

I'll go with something a little more personal, but effective for me:
-Take a shower after every loop. The breaks are long enough and changing into a fresh kit will make the whole event seem much shorter than it is.
-In between the loops, eat something real. Forget the sweet stuff - I had ham and cheese bagels from Five Star.

After I finished the double, I also didn't want anything even remotely sweet for at least a week. I was so sick of candy bars and gels and everything of the sort that I didn't even want to look at anything sweet. I definitely made some bad food choices there. Well, I'll go ahead and add my own tip. Here's what did it for me:

If it's really hot, drink and drink and drink and don't be afraid to drop ice down your jersey to cool yourself off.

Yes, that's probably the most peculiar tip of them all, but it helped me out. Of course, I'd much rather ride in the cold than in the heat. Here's my other tip:

Ride in the middle of the group.

If you take too many pulls at the front, or if your pulls are too long, you'll wear yourself out.

If you hang out at the back of the group, you'll get the yo-yo effect. When you hit a corner, the people in front won't slow down too much, but the people in the back will end up having to slow down and lot and will then burn energy trying to catch back on. I know. I've been there. Don't be that person.

Well, if you've got an epic ride coming up, good luck.

See you on the road.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Passing Thing

When I got home Monday, almost the first words I heard when I walked in the door were, "Mom doesn't want you to ride to work anymore."


The my Lovely Lovely said, "You're not doing this anymore." Since I was in the process of taking off my helmet, gloves and RoadId (not to mention having heard the previous comment - it's amazing how I can pick up on subtle clues like that) I gather that she was talking about riding to work.

"Why not?" I naively asked.

"It's too hot."

That one stopped me. I was prepared for "it's not safe," but I wasn't ready for that one.

Fortunately, a clever reply leaped immediately into my mind.

"No it's not."

Okay, so apparently it wasn't that clever, but it was all I had.

"Yes it is. And it isn't safe." Well, I rode in the belly of the 2000 lb beast yesterday, but we talked some more and I was able to ride into work today without any hard feelings.

It felt pretty w
arm this morning, though the weather report said it was only 73. I have a feeling the humidity is was through the roof. I took it easy since I didn't want to offend anybody at work. Of course, a good sweaty odor keeps people away so you can get your work done...

And I decided to count how many cars passed me and how many of them passed me safely. To be fair (in other words, to make sure I wasn't being overly sensitive) I only counted it as unsafe if it made say, "Yikes!" or some other expletive. If all I said
was "Well...." I counted it as safe.

The tally - 63 of 84 cars passed me safely. I wheeled my bike into my office this morning and found this on my door:

I'm going to leave it there. It made me laugh out loud. (In case you don't recognize the strip, it's Pearls Before Swine.) Well, now I'm at work, so I'd better do some.

See you on the road.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, Monday

What is it about Mondays?

Last Monday, we were on a group ride when a car pulled up beside us and a lady within said, “Y’all are gonna get killed.”

Now, I don’t know if the was a threat, a prediction or a friendly warning, but as the car pulled away it was followed by waves and cries of “Thank you! Have a nice day!” (A 2000 lb beast is much bigger than a bicycle and, as a consequence, inertia is not on our side, so let’s be nice out there.”

Now it is true that the road is not a place where never is heard a discouraging word, and all of the “Have a nice day’s” were followed by a single discouraging word, but I think the car was too far away by that time for the word to have been heard.

Today, I commuted in to work. I had some errands to run on my lunch break, which I was in the process of doing – climbing a long hill with the temperature in the mideighties and the humidity unpleasantly high when I saw a pedestrian ahead of me. We were both obeying the law, so we were on the same side of the road headed in opposite directions. I glance behind me – clear, so I pulled out to go around him. I nodded at him, and he said, “You’re about to get hit bro’.”

Now, the look on his face and the tone of his voice indicated to me that he was merely giving me a friendly warning. There was no car behind me, so he clearly didn’t mean “right now,” though.
Is this sort of thing going to happen to me every Monday?

A little ahead, still recovering from the hill, I saw a sign that said, “Begin 35 1000 feet ahead.”
My comment?

“I hope that’s not a command.”

Well, it’s hard to be clever when you’re as hot as I was and have just climbed a hill.

Actually, despite nearly being plastered by a pickup truck and being told I was about to get hit, today has been a pretty good riding day. If I hadn’t commuted, I wouldn’t have gotten any saddle time at all, and here I got six miles to work, three miles to where my errands were, three miles back to work, and I’ll get six miles back home later on today.

Thinking about this, I was struck with how differently cyclists view the road from other people. A friend was aghast that I was riding my bike to work because it was “such a long way.” I explained that I viewed six miles as a short way, but I think we had to agree to disagree on that one.

There’s a spot on the road I was riding where the shoulder shrinks from two feet wide to less than two inches wide. I remember approaching that spot in the 2000 lb beast and spotting a cyclist ahead of me. There was enough room to pass, but I knew from personal experience how unpleasant it is when a car passes you at that point, so I waited and passed at a better spot. I knew the road and did it without thinking about it much.

It occurs to me that the road would be a nicer place if drivers were forced to ride the roads on a bike for awhile so that they would have the right perspective on things.

Anyway, later in the day I met the cyclist who turned out to be someone I knew and who had recognized my car. She thanked me for what I had done.

There’s a moral in there somewhere.

See you on the road.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Close Call

I decided that, on my commute to work this morning I would count how many cars passed me. I did this because it makes my Lovely Lovely nervous when I commute, and I wanted to show her that the traffic wasn’t as heavy as she was afraid it was. Then, since I was counting anyway, I decided to count not only how many cars passed me, but how many passed me safely. I got up to 9 of 11 when I lost count.

You may think that this either means that I can’t count very high or that I have a very poor memory, but the numbers were wiped out of my mind by a burst of adrenalin as a woman in a silver pickup truck apparently decided to kill me. She was in a driveway waiting to come up, so I did what I usually do – I made eye contact with her. I’m quite sure that she saw me. She just decided that she was in a hurry, that’s all.

What’s the life of a cyclist worth? Well, to this lady it is apparently worth about five seconds of saved time.

As I was approaching her, she gunned her engine and shot out in an attempt to cut me off. I didn’t know that I could slam on my breaks hard enough to make my tires squeal. It turns out that I can. The driver of the truck swerved around me and then took off down the road without bothering to say “Sorry” or even slow down to make sure that I was okay.

Another car came up behind me a few seconds later. After that, there was absolutely nothing. The driver of the truck would have been scant seconds slower had she decided to wait and do things safely, but, hey, it’s just a guy on bike, right?

Aside from that, it was a pretty nice ride. As I was filling my bottle this morning, my daughter asked, “You’re going to ride?!” (Only an eleven year old can sound quite that incredulous.)


Then she decided to be nice and warn me. “It’s sixty something out.”

“That’s okay.”

Out the driveway and up that first hill. I hate that first hill. It starts about fifty feet after I leave the driveway, and my body is seldom ready for it. A short way down the road is the yard with the three dogs (only two of whom were out today.) The large dog barked at me, then the small dog chimed in.

It sounded for all the world like a big guy talking and the little weasely guy who hangs around with him repeating the key words because he can’t think of anything of his own to say.

Aside from that, there was no excitement at all on the ride, and I was okay with that. My friend in the pickup truck has given me quite enough excitement for one day, thank you very much.

The great part about being able to ride in this morning is that I have an errand to run at lunch time, so that’s more time on the bike. It’s a great day – 71 degrees out, not a lot of wind, although both of those things may well have changed by the time lunch rolls around.

My day has started well. I hope yours has, too.

See you on the road.