Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Best Ride Ever

I know that's not saying much, but oh well.

I'll be honest, I had my doubts as I'm sure you did, but good prevailed, and I broke into double digits today. Wait for it...

13.81 miles!

I know, I know, hold your applause. Seriously though, it was fun and I'm glad that things are moving along. It started a bit rough. I was getting the Lotus ready for the ride and decided to try and "fix" the mystery, automatic shifting. Long story short, I got rid of the annoying unexpected shifting, and the only side effect to my fiddling, was that I could now only use 2 gears. On top of that, I was a bit worried that what I had just done, would come violently undone mid-ride. So I did what any true cyclist would do, I found a jacket with zipper pockets, stuffed in the socket wrench and pliers and zipped up. Out of the flame, into the fire, oh well. Mental note, work on bike mechanic skills.

Also, as I was about to take off, I thought to put a little air in the tires. I wanted everything to be perfect for this ride, so a few pumps of the hand pump couldn't hurt right? Wrong. I went to put the pump on the front tire and you know how when you put on a pump, it starts to hiss a bit, then you clamp it on, the hissing stops and you start pumping. Well, it was like a slow motion bad dream; the hissing started, I tried to clamp the pump on, hissing still continuing, now it's clamped on but still letting out air. Now I'm freaking out 'cause I know all the hard fought air is spewing out of these stupid, skinny tires and I'm struggling to get the pump un-clamped. I finally do, but the damage was done. In a matter of seconds my front tire was flat as a pancake. You'd think I would've made buying a floor pump a priority after last time I had to pump these dang things with the hand pump, but I didn't. It wasn't pretty, but I got air back in the tires and off I went.

Potential 10 Mile Ride Executioners:
  1. My "fixing" of the gears
  2. Crazy wind
  3. A ridiculous amount of glass on the side of the road (who knew)
  4. The UPS man
  5. My parachute like jacket full of tools
  6. The whole 'not a cyclist' thing
Things Going Way
  1. Plenty of time before dark
  2. Fairly warm
  3. Pure, dumb, stubbornness
As I got under way, I was punched in the face with pure evil known as wind. I didn't realize how much wind could make me hurt. It made the flats seem like a hill and with my new limited choice of gears, that was not cool. A little pain, OK, we'll manage and keep moving. At about this point, I have to make a diversion into the middle of the road to get around a UPS truck, parked, making a delivery. No sooner am I past it, it pulls back out and passes me. No problem. However, about 5 houses down, you guessed it. He pulls over, parks to deliver another package and forces me into the middle of the road again. Now, this wouldn't be worth mentioning unless, oh ya, I get around him again, he passes me again, and this time, about 10 houses down, he pulls over for another delivery. Leap frog with a UPS truck...awesome. At this point, although it was annoying/dangerous wobbling into the middle of the road every few houses on this busy, main road, I kinda wanted to keep this thing going. It didn't. We parted ways, and the ride continued.

Now, my jacket was great for holding tools, the pockets zippered shut, thus being a reliable way to carry my stuff without fear of losing it, plus it wasn't black like last night, so I was feeling good about that too. The only thing I failed to take into account, was how much material this particular jacket was made out of. I was basically wearing a weighed down sail which the wind loved to whip around. Mental note, don't wear ill fitting garb while trying to ride a bike.

I was past the point where I turned around yesterday and felt like I was finally warming up. The rest of the ride continued uneventfully, sans a few spastic attempts to avoid broken glass and the ensuing stressful, hesitant, doubt filled wondering if you popped a tire or if things were still good. No flats today, made it back home, no problem.

Unlike yesterday, today, google pedometer made me swell with pride when I mapped out the ride and found that I had made it to the ten mile mark and in fact almost went 14 miles. I know, no cyclist would be proud of a 13 mile ride but you're at so you gotta deal with it.

Ahhh, to be a novice. Everything is fun and new and different, gotta love it.

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