Sunday, April 29, 2007

On and Off Commuting

After several days of pure bike transportation, I gave Thursday to my wife, even though it was the last sunny day in the forecast for a while. She mentioned that if I drove to town, she could ride in later. We had to go somewhere later in the car together. I took one for the team.

After a disgustingly wet Friday (and a late night Thursday night) I was off the bike until Saturday's commute. Then it was a fixed gear day, after a rainy night, with more rain coming in for the afternoon.

Plagued with mysterious pains, I accept with gratitude and wonder whenever I am able to complete the day's athletic challenges more or less in one piece. Even if I had the money for medical attention, the process of testing to eliminate possible causes takes time and patience. When do those medical buggers ever really figure out what ails you anyway? Being half a century old, with numerous hard impacts in my resume, I'm surprised more things don't hurt. But I've been nursing a funky left leg since last summer. I can't gleefully hammer after every passing car anymore.

Given all that, Saturday's ride went pretty well. I have yet to rack up 300 miles, which I considered to be the minimum threshold for any kind of differentiated training, so I'm just bopping along in whatever gear feels good.

The weather stayed dry for the morning ride. The day even got a little sunny and warm in the middle. Then, right on schedule, the clouds thickened and darkened as I prepared to ride home.

The lightest light mist fell on me for most of the route. I stopped at the high point on Route 28 to flip the wheel to high gear. As I did that, a silver SUV with an unoccupied bike rack pulled up. A bikey-looking dude leaned out.

"Everything okay?" he asked.

"Just shifting gears," I said, pointing to the rear hub.

"All right! No worries," he said.

"Thanks for checking," I said.

He turned the vehicle around and resumed his journey south. It's nice that anyone noticed, let alone someone who seemed to understand what I was doing.

As I rumbled down the grade at 20-25 mph, the rain gradually increased. Fortunately I can stay in the high gear the rest of the way home. The leg behaved itself well enough, and the fixed gear was earning its keep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just got started back commuting this past week at my very short commute to work. I was so lazy over the no-snow winter that it actually feels slightly challenging. I won't tell you JUST how short a ride it is. Really embarassing, but funnier is that I'm just so HUNGRY. Maybe I'm re-building muscle? Hope so.

Imagine, sportsracer from the ORG