Monday, April 30, 2007

Back in the saddle again

Well, after a couple of weeks of coughing I decided enough was enough and it was time to get back on the bike even though the cough has gone . The weather was nice to me as I had a tailwind in much of the way. I only forgot my sunglasses and mirror which I went back for so I was still in good commuting form mostly. The weather is just about perfect for riding right now. I am glad I decided to get out and enjoy it. All in all I felt it a bit towards the end but I don't think I have lost too much fitness over the last few weeks. After all, everyone is supposed to take a few weeks off every year between seasons. Anyway, I can't afford the gas anymore so back on the bike I go!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Leaving the world for an hour or two.....

Well, the doctor has had me changing medicines lately and last week was the week the one medicine left my system I entered a pretty hefty depression. In fact, things were pretty bleak there for a bit and Friday showed a weekend packed with numerous activities that weighed in on me like a two ton heavy thing. Anyway, my wife was taking the kids to an egg coloring party Friday night and as the day progressed I decided a ride was in order (truthfully if I had been able to ride my bike more last week that probably would have helped a lot). So, when I finally got back home I decided to pull an old friend off the wall. This was the bike I rode my first Brevet on. I put a pair of lights on it, fitted the taillight and just about sundown I was off into the descending twilight. Evening just after sunset has to be my favorite time of the day to ride, there is a descending peace on the world at that time as the sky is no longer blue, yet it is not black and forms a beatiful transition from sky to horizon. As you climb the hill, your mind slowly begins to lose the things that have stuck there and worried you throughout the day and slowly it becomes you and the bike cutting through the night and the air as you climb further and further above the city. As you reach the top of the hill a dark detour begs your attention and you climb further on up in the shadows of the mountain and multimillion dollar spreads of people who paid through the teeth to get the view of the city lights you see as you turn around. It only cost you a little sweat and an hours time.
Now down into the night you speed, riding the brakes slightly because of gravel in the road and limited headlight range. Then it is around a corner and onto a wider road were the brakes are left to hang free and the bike accelerates into the darkness, the wind rushing past your ears and the vents in your helmet chilling the sweat on the top of your head. Cars are passing you but slowly now as you rocket through the night and down, down, down to the city where the moment begins to dwindle as you approach stoplights and traffic and eventually enter the familiar streets of your own neighborhood and find your way up the driveway tired, yet relaxed with a recharged state of mental energy ready to live come what may.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Helping and Hurting

Well, this isn't exactly ride related but it does have something to do with Randonneuring so I am writing about it.
Saturday I got to help out with the 600k Brevet by leading people out of the parking lot at the beautiful hour of 5 am. It is always cool to see that mass of headlights behind me looking like a willo the wisp in the night. Of course I am the one who is doing the leading so I suppose I was the Willo the wisp in the predawn hours. One thing of note is the main pack stayed together for a long time. It made me think how nice that would have been last week. Anyway, after waving everyone by at the interstate, I got ready to pass them again when a moron tried to pass the pack as a car came from the opposite way. I think he underestimated the size of the pack. Anyway, I guess the world is full of morons, what are you going to do?
By the time they reached the turn onto Milligan they had split into 2 packs with a few stragglers on either side of the two groups. I hurried down to Marana where I got breakfast and waited for the faster guys to come in. Around this time I realized my pen was dead so I had to sign everyone's card with a pencil . The food in the van went pretty quick as the two groups came through. It was a hungry group of people. I talked to a few people near the back and they were glad they didn't have to go home and build a retaining wall like I did. Bruce rolled in after awhile and looked like he was hurting a bit but was ready to go again after not too long. The other rider that came in with Bruce DNF's here.
Here is a place to put in a humorous note. I noticed this time through here (probably because this is the first time I have been at the Marana circle K without walking around in at state of excersize induced stonedness) that they have a full room devoted to Alcholic beverages. I find this kind of funny as it hints that there is not much to do in the area. Anyway, just thought it was funny.
Eventually I got back to the retaining wall and used my big bulky body which is a bit of a hindrence on hills when randonneuring but is quite useful for muscling 60 lbs block and 100 lbs bags of concrete around. Needless to say I earned my backache along with the other hardy randonneurs out there in the hot afternoon sun.