Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nice Day

The temperature in Honolulu (motto: Nicer than where ever you are) today is 78 degrees F. I’m not in Honolulu, though. The temperature where I am (motto: We’re not Honolulu) is 61 degrees F with a ten mph wind. Mind you, I’m not complaining. After all, the temperature in Akureyri (motto: We're running short on consonants) is 34 degrees F and the temperature on Pluto (motto: We may not be a planet anymore, but they didn't name Mickey Mouse’s dog after Jupiter, now did they?) is -387 degrees F, so it could be a lot worse.

By the way, and completely off the topic of cycling, is anyone else bothered by the fact that Pluto and Goofy inhabit the same universe? I mean, Goofy is anthropomorphic and (more or less) sapient and Pluto is pretty much just a dog. It’s disturbing, somehow.

Anyway, I got off work a bit early today and had time to squeeze in a ride, so that’s what I did. (I didn’t quite get off early enough to ride with anyone else, unfortunately, but a solo ride is a still a ride.) It was one of those rides that’s great from the start. The first pedal stroke out of the driveway was nice and smooth and my body said, “Oh, I remember this. I like this.” (This was a far cry from my last ride.)

About three miles into the ride, I spotted another cyclist. He was cruising down the hill I was getting ready to climb, but that wasn’t his fault, I guess, so I gave him a wave. (Now, be honest here, do you ever, when you see someone riding toward you, sit up and pedal hard no matter how tired you feel or how windy it is just to make a good impression on a complete stranger? No? Me neither. Really.)

I cruised past a church which I remember well. I paused there once on a blazing hot day to sit in the shade, have a drink, and eat something. I can’t remember what I ate, but I remember that it had more or less melted in my pocket.

A little later I was heard that rustling sound that may indicate a dog on the run. I glanced over, but it was pretty obvious that there was no way a dog that brachycephalic (hey, I’m a biologist. We all talk that way) was going to catch me, so no worries.

This was not the case on my way home, alas. I was riding along and kind of daydreaming when two medium sized dogs came after me shouting threats and indicating a desire to see the color of my insides. I was feeling good, so I hit the gas and then a fist sized knot of pure pain formed in my left gastrocnemius. Okay, calf muscle. Sorry. It’s habit.

In other words, I had a choice between trying to pedal more or less one legged to get away from these dogs or stopping to work out the cramp, thus letting said dogs catch me. I decided to keep pedaling. I may have said one or two things out loud at the time…I don’t quite remember. The dogs gave up and the cramp passed but I could feel little twinges in that muscle all the way home.

I passed a jogger on the way. We gave each other a neutral sort of wave. We’re both out exercising, but each one of us was convinced that the other had the wrong idea about how to exercise. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, right?

I chose a hard road going out – hills and hills, and I rode the same road back home again. Hey, if you’re going to ride, you might as well ride hard. (Steve says, “If you still have breath to talk, you’re not riding hard enough.”)

The ride was short, not much over 20 miles, but it was a lot of fun. Please, sir, I’d like some more.

See you on the road.

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