Well, it’s been a week, and that week has gone according to the usual weekness, which is to say it’s regular, predictable. I get up at 6:45, shower, dress, fix a coffee, climb into my car, and arrive at work around 8:30 or so. I then work. Lunch is an hour (or less) – usually salad (heavy on spinach and beets). I have some kind of small munchie treat (candy, dried blueberries, dried organic cranberries – imagine distilling about 12 crasins into one berry), which I eat as I work through the morning and afternoon. Then I leave at 5, sharp. I drive home and use sneaky exit then re-enter highway strategies to beat the two congested areas. I normally arrive home at 6pm, at which time I look around and wonder how much easier things would be with a half-hour commute. Actually, it’s not that bad a commute, but things at work have alternated between shocking drudgery and some interesting memo-ing/casework, which makes for long weeks. If it was all go-go-go (albeit with realistic goals), I’d probably enjoy it more. But workflow is in the hands of the judicial gods to which even partners must bow.
When I get home I do domestiky stuff, laundry, bills, etc., on the theory that I don’t want to have to do any of that stuff Friday-Sunday. Usually I get a fair amount done. Sometimes I’ll read the blogs or watch a film, but it’s pretty much nothing but “must do” stuff from Mon-Thurs.
Last night I tried to look up H, but she, alas, is in Alaska. So I rode the new Raleigh (supra) about town, and man, she’s one sweet bike. Those swept back handlebars mean that your hands are on the sides of your knees as you climb. Amazing power. I’m tempted to put a pair of those on Lumina, just to see what would happen. Hmm. . .
This weekend I again got up early, ate at the local breakfast place, and went tag saling for an hour or so. I found another $2 road bike, an old Univega, which will upgrade everything on the Fuji, making her an aluminum monster for YB. Should be an easy conversion. I’ll just swap stuff out wholesale. (Although I may keep the chromed fork for my own use). If you want to get good tag sale deals on bikes, go to rich neighborhoods in very hilly areas. Economics.
After tag-saling, I hopped on the Little Red Rocket and we took off to find a vineyard and a river. Both were found but I had to eat another freaking named hill to do it. In this case, Bunker Hill. (No, not *the* Bunker Hill – now that would be a hell of a long ride). Traveling west up the hill just plain sucked. Note all the little lines close together? That means you don’t want to climb it during mid day heat in July. Descending it (I crossed that hill twice in search of the vineyard) was much more fun. I got LRR up to 44mph. And I wasn’t even trying. I saw two other roadies on that hill, but none elsewhere, so there must be some draw to that road/area.
I ended up finding the vineyard, which seemed closed (abandoned?). Though there were recent tire treads and small firm grapes on the vines. It’s really tucked away in the hills. I will continue my vineyard research and try to get some of their very good fruit wines. . . The last time I was there I was much younger and didn’t quite appreciate the place as I do now.
In the course of searching I rode off the road onto some sand; LRR knifed about six inches into the surprisingly deep and loose sand and I went over the handle bars. It was actually quite graceful. I just unclipped, vaulted over the handlebars, and landed on my feet. One of those moments no one saw and which will never be captured on video alas. I scratched up the finish on LRR’s flight deck shifters a bit, but I’m of the school that bikes are meant to be ridden, not polished obsessively.
After that I headed out to Chaplin to Diane’s pool, which is a small waterfall/pool on the Natchaug River.
On the ride I was loudly hooted at by a bunch of Puerto Rican teenaged girls in a minivan with the sliding door wedged open. We had a small conversation at a light after I chased them for 2 miles. I asked them not to honk and scream at cyclists when they were moving, because it was often confusing and scary for the cyclist. They agreed and were very sweet about things. My other odd road encounter (there are always a few of them) came when I pulled up next to a car and a very friendly dog popped his head out and started sniffing me. The dog’s owner seemed as amused as I was. The last time I had a close dog encounter, I was (I believe) *hit* by one in DC. I’ll try to find the link in the archives when I’m feeling less lazy.
I found the pool without any problem. I sat by the falls and ate a warm garlic bread with mozzarella and marinara sauce which I’d picked up at a local place about 5 min away. As I cooled down, I read a bit from a Sean Russell novel – Eldrich explaining a number of possible futures to the Lady Chilton, while Kent works on Eldrich’s portrait. Then I hit the road back towards home. The ride back was good – very strong actually. I still like those small and mildly ascending hills apparently. So I got myself a small sundae from Shady Glen (home of the evil elves) as a treat. Not that I wouldn’t have gotten one as a consolation if the ride sucked.
Final tale of the tape was 68 miles. Some of those were very hard, others were very easy, almost meandering. I was on the bike for about 6 hours total. I downed 2 liters of water, a Gatorade, a honey packet (secret weapon), a maple donut (round power bar), the garlic bread, and the one scoop sundae. I started the day with two eggs, two pieces of toast, and a pancake. What that means in terms of calories, I don’t know. But someone asked, so if you want to figure things out, go ahead.
I need to find a good place about 50 miles out for my next jaunt. Metric centuries (100K, or 62 miles) are fine, but when I think “century,” I think “English Century” (100 miles). Yes, yes, it’s horribly arbitrary and silly, but what cycling approach isn’t?