Gack. I think the combination of a month of finals semi-sloth (missing the odd ride/gym trip here and there) and a holiday full of goat cheese and ale has provided me with motivation that exceeds my limb’s current ability. Or I could just be feeling normal and dealing with a head-cold, which is vexing.
Anyway, I shot down to Mt. Vernon two days ago, limped home (60 miles). Then, today, I did the rock creek loop (20 miles), hoping to get some burn on my legs: actually the goal was to just empty the tank and try to make it back. In between I worked on house cleaning and sorting; for New Years I had some wine and read poetry in front of the fire with my cat on my lap.
Two riding stories (the only thing in my past 72 hrs that’s remotely interesting):
When I was down by Mt. Vernon, I stopped to take in the view and some water. An older cyclist gingerly rode up on a flat. He’d blown out his spare tube after replacing his original tube earlier on the ride. I think the trails are more or less maintained/designed for high pressure tires – anything less than 80psi runs the risk of a snakebite on those hard edges. I lent him my patch kit and we chatted while he worked on his wheel and I got cold and stiff – a situation for which I eventually nearly left him with the kit which he agreed to stash by a distinctive tree near the trail, but he gave up after two failed patch attempts and decided to ride the last 3 miles on his rim. Ouch. The cool bit of the story is that when I was sitting there, we were passed by 4 riders (not too many out in the cold) all of whom stopped and asked if we were OK. Makes me feel good about the hardcore riders around here.
Today, I was traveling up rock creek park, totally gassed from my push-it ride up to that point. I decided I would just take it easy for the rest of my time and ride. Normally, it’s my experience that when you pass a rider (or a rider passes you) and you’re both in roughly the same category, the natural impulse is to try to pace for awhile. So I was kind of shocked when I passed 5 roadies on my way back home and none of them stayed with me. My legs felt like burlap sacks filled with pellets, I was seriously sweating, and at any given time it seemed impossible that I’d be able to make 10 more revolutions, let alone complete the entire park at speed. My computer crapped out, so I have no idea how fast I was going, but it couldn’t have been that fast. So – it’s just a mystery.
BTW – Kent Peterson is my hero.