Monday, October 5, 2009

Finally, a longer ride

Thanks to an early morning appointment, I had to hit the road early. It was 63 degrees, so I broke out the arm warmers, but I put them in my pocket instead of putting them on because I’m clever that way. Within two minutes of hitting the road, I stopped and put the arm warmers on.

It was chilly and foggy. The fog, even though it was only present in low lying areas, was decidedly spooky and made me wish that my rear light (affectionately known as the disco inferno) was working. At the moment it isn’t so much a light as a piece of uninspired art that I could have dangling from the back of my bike if I wanted just for the beauty of it.

I decided to keep my pace high for the entire ride, and I did manage to do that, so I’m feeling pretty good about that, but it was a bit lonely out there today. At one point I kept a tally of what I saw:

Trucks – yes
Cars – of course
Motorcycles – yep
Dogs – sure
Large funny looking chicken – check
Possum – uh-huh
Cyclists – no

That turned out to be a bad list.

The route I had taken took me near the school where the group rides start. Because of the aforementioned early morning appointment (look back at the first line if you’ve forgotten) I couldn’t go on the group ride, but I saw people headed that way.

The first cyclist I saw pulled up next to me, looked at me carefully and said, “Hi.”

I didn’t realize it was a cyclist at first, as he was driving a truck. As he pulled past me, I saw his bike in the back. Well, that’s one way of taking your bike for a ride.

I later passed a few people I recognized, and we exchanged waves. Mind you, it’s been so long since I’ve been on a group ride that I’m not prepared to state that they recognized me.

Nothing really peculiar happened today, unless you want to count seeing a large funny looking chicken at the side of the road as being peculiar.

Actually, I guess that is kind of peculiar. It was black and white and foraging at the side of the road. I don’t know where it came from or where it went after I passed. I'm not even entirely certain that it was a chicken, but "chicken" is so much more concise than "domesticated fowl of some sort". We were like ships passing in the night.

Well, not very much like ships passing in the night. After all, I was a cyclist and it was a chicken. Now, if it had been broiled and my ride had been over we might have made a closer acquantaince.

The last ten miles were hard, largely because I made them hard by choosing to keep my pace up as high as I could (and sometimes higher than I thought I could). Chuck says, “Cycling brings character out in you or, if there isn’t any there, it puts it there.”

You don’t know Chuck…well, actually, depending on who you are, maybe you do know Chuck.
The downside of today was that I had to miss out on the group ride. The upside was that I had a good hard ride and pushed myself beyond what my body thought it was capable of today. I’m not sure why that’s a good feeling, but it is. If you’ve done it, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never done it, try it. You’ll like it.

Well, maybe you’ll like it. After it’s done. While you’re doing it, it’s kind of tough.

This has been a very good cycling week. Now let’s make next week even better. The cold is coming.

See you on the road.

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