I must begin tonight’s blog entry with a helmets on to my friend, Big Daddy Carbon Dingleberries, the Vicar of Venge. Jim, I need bike psychos like you to keep me motivated, and reading your blog definitely does just that. I am pretty sure that the last two days were inspired with the fact that I did not want to pass this weekend up without riding, because I know I would be reading about your rides. Kudos, and roll on, brother!
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Weather reports at the beginning of last week showed near 60 degree temperatures on Friday, with sun. Saturday would be close to the same weather. I looked at those weather reports with excitement and anticipation, as well as a little bit of dread. The weekend was going to be one of those get off of the couch or else face ridicule types. A little bit of the dread was due to the fact that the dirt singletrack was not going to be suitable for riding, the affect of freeze/thaw creating a mess of mud that any responsible off road cyclist must respect by staying off of the trail. I also got word from my friend Pete that he was finished with the rebuild of the rear wheel for my titanium road bike. He had reused the hub, refitted it with new bearings, put together a new wheel with new hoop and spokes. I knew what type of riding that I would be doing yesterday.. it would be road riding.
I really wasn’t dreading riding my bike. That needs to be clear.
It’s just that I was a little sheepish about approaching my neglected road bike. I’m pretty sure she was mad at me. After all, it’s been since last September that her rear wheel was broken. She hasn’t been out on the road since then. She has had to endure my mountain bikes getting all of the attention. Bike girlfriends aren’t unlike human girlfriends. They get a little hard to deal with when they aren’t getting the proper attention.
I gave the morning a chance to catch up yesterday. Instead of going out at sun up, my usual habit for a Saturday morning ride when it’s warm out, I watched the temperature until the mercury edged over 40 degrees. By 8:30, I was out prepping my titanium beauty, rubbing her down, getting her ready for her first ride in a long time. Her new wheel slipped on easily, turned nice and true and free. She rolled out to the street with little effort.
Titanium is light and very strong. It was amazing how light she felt after riding the mountain bikes for so long. One problem.. one slight problem that I should have expected. She WAS a little upset with me. At first pump, her cranks refused to give. Crap.
But she wanted to go. With a few turns, her resistance gave way and she turned perfectly. I was treated to the extreme pleasure of listening to the first pings of a newly rebuilt wheel, the spokes setting on the first few revolutions and stress. Ahhhhhhh.
Such a beautiful day to ride. So wonderful. Not a cloud in the sky. Cool, the kind of day perfect to get acclimated to the ride again. I decided not to ride with my friends, opted for a casual get used to spinning the wheels ride. I didn’t push it nor did I dog it. I found my zone.
That’s what biking, especially road cycling, is about. It’s about finding your zone, letting your body and the rhythm of turning those pedals bring your body and mind together. Believe me, it’s cheaper than paying for therapy, no matter how expensive your bike equipment is.
25 miles. Enough for me to feel like I put out some effort, not so much that I was hurting at all.
Or so I thought. After yard work and cleaning up the cars, I settled in for a mid afternoon nap, slept at least 30 minutes. 9:30 last night, I was in a deep drooling sleep on top of the covers, still in my clothes. I blame it on the fresh air, not the ride. 🙂
For good measure, I put ten miles in this afternoon. Slow miles. Good miles. A tail wind pushed me home, my legs loose as I pulled in the drive way, a song on my lips as I reentered the house.
Thanks for the motivation. I would ask if your rides on the other side of the Lake were as good, but I know better than to ask. Two wheels are our drug.