Bike to Work, day 112

November 13, 2008

Almost there!

Last night on the ride home I wore a thin teckwick shirt under my space windbreaker.  Usually it’s warmer on the ride home.

Last night when I got home my shoulders felt sunburned.  I have to assume it was windburn.  Weird.

0:27’03, 6.76mi (47.34 week)
avg 15.0mph, max 25.4mph
30ºF, Odo 2700.3mi
Cadence: fortysomething

Every once in a while I remember to get out of the racing mentality and look up at what’s passing by.  This morning I enjoyed the trees that surround me, I enjoyed the dark world of pre-dawn New England.

You might think I was the only one out there, at 30ºF, before the sun comes up.  You’d be wrong.  I pass people jogging, walking, walking the dog, walking multiple dogs, carrying bread home from the store, waiting for the school bus, and rarely now, other crazy cyclists.

The leaves have mostly fallen, they are mostly brown and piled up by wind or rain or a rake.  They aren’t crunchy, which is sad.  How many days I walked home kicking huge lumps of dry leaves around, or jumping into enormous piles, when I was younger.  I never appreciated fall the way I do now.  I imagine one autumn witout these colors would leave me with a wretched ache in my heart.

The ride home was good.  There was plenty of light and the temperature hadn’t dropped yet.

0:23’12, 6.76mi (54.10 week)
avg 17.5mph, max 32.3mph
42ºF, Odo 2707.1mi
Cadence: 90rpm

It’s pouring rain.  My gums hurt from seeing the dentist.  I helped at the karate studio after, simply because I was available.  Secretly, I wanted to cry.

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Love

August 5, 2008

By now you’ve probably noticed I love riding my bike.  As far as stress relievers go, it’s the greatest.  It’s freedom. The more I ride, the more endurance I gain to ride more.  Since I’ve started riding I’ve extended my range from just a few miles to fifty, and I’m working on extending that to a hundred.  I’m in control, I can go as fast as my legs will take me or as slow as I want, to take in the beautiful world around me.  I can even stop(!) and talk to people!  Imagine that.

To be honest, I live in one of the most beautiful, scenic parts of the world.  We’ve got all four seasons here:   bright spring, sunny hot summer, perfect amazing beautiful autumn, and the crisp cold snowy winter.  It’s been my home for quite some time, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  California seems nice, but I’ll take a predictable blizzard over an unpredictable deadly earthquake any day.  Falling snow can be peaceful, quiet, and meditative.  In fact, I’d pick snow over unbearable summers, tornadoes, hurricanes, active volcanoes, and any other natural disaster you can think of.

I’m not burning any fossil fuels, I’m not creating harmful emissions that hurt this wonderful planet, and I get infinity to the gallon.  It’s (nearly) free to ride, and oh so freeing.  People think I’m crazy for riding my bike.  Gas is $4 a gallon.  Who’s crazy?

When I’m riding my bike I feel like I’m flying, soaring through the world.  It’s just so open.  If I feel frustrated or if I’m having a bad day, I long to ride my bike to relieve my stress.  And what stress relief!  I’ve learned not to let my anger get the better of me, because all that hard hammering on the pedals may speed me up but will not take me as far as a longer measured push.  I’ve also learned to make the best of a slight descent, and that I’m built for hills.  This is moving meditation.  What a great place to put your anger, fears: into the rhythmical pedals, turning gears and wheels of a bicycle.  Let it take you places.  Leave your cage behind and open yourself up to the world.