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Eleven Miles


February 2014

Eleven miles. On a bike, it’s nothing. A warmup for a Century. Not even a half an hour at speed, thirty five minutes if I’m taking it easy.

It was 40° and mostly sunny at noon today. I walked out the door to stretch my legs and knew there was no way I was putting in a full day at the office. By 2 o’clock I had everything pressing done and the Cannondale in the back of my truck. By 2:15 I was on the road heading home.

Even though I’m not one hundred percent following my short cold, there was no way I was missing out on the nicest day in four months for a bike ride.

I packed a bunch of registration forms into a small backpack (to drop off at the LBS), geared up and was out the door. For the first time since before I started cycling I didn’t bother with the activity tracker. No waiting for the GPS signal, no countdown. Just clipped in and went. I was grinning before I passed my neighbor’s driveway, less than a hundred yards from mine.

I’d been waiting, praying for this day since my dad passed away.

I could handle the sadness, the loss, the fact that my dad, the awesomest dad I knew, was in a diaper when he died – that strong man, the guy who taught me to be a man, had to have his ass wiped for him… I could have handled all of that if I could just get my ass in a saddle, on the road, for a ride. If I could just escape for a minute, get my grin back.

It’s amazing what will pass for a beautiful day to ride after the one of the gnarliest winters my State has seen since I moved here… In 1975.

It’s also amazing what a silly little eleven miles will do for a fella’s disposition. My prayer was answered, I got my escape, I got centered, reconnected, renewed, whatever you want to call it – I’m back.

One of the first thoughts I had when I learned he’d passed, after the relief and asking God to take care of my pops till I get there so we can hit one of Heaven’s golf courses was, “geez, this couldn’t have waited for spring”? I know how silly that is, how selfish it is, and I dismissed it as such immediately… But still, I can throw a bike ride at anything and be better for it after.

Whatever, it is what it is and I got my fix. I feel better, last vestiges of a cold and all.

Wow, that got a bit deeper than I’d intended when I set about writing this post. On a lighter note, the Cannondale upgrades surpassed my expectations. The saddle, a Specialized Aria (I think) is perfect and the new (old) wheels from the Venge smoothed the pavement right out. Getting used to the drops will be a challenge, it’s a straight up pro setup – 5″-6″ [ED. I was guessing when I wrote this post, I measured it:  6″ on the nose] of drop from the saddle nose to the bar top, almost a foot down to the drops… My back is just a few degrees from flat on the hoods. It is flat riding in the drops. That said, I will get there (more on that tomorrow), and I can tell you, I finally, really like that bike. Of course it helps that the rest of the setup is right – the saddle is back as far as it can go and the new 110 mm stem is exactly the right length so I fit on that little bike quite well. I am supremely glad that I hung onto it and kept at trying to make it right. It’s the perfect wet weather/road steed.

UPDATE: Man, I slept like a baby last night.


  1. Daniel Weise says:

    Congratulations on getting out and getting in a ride! You may have gotten deeper than intended, but it was spot on. Keep on riding!

  2. Kecia says:

    So happy you were able to get out and ride. It is amazing what the open road and two skinny wheels connected to a saddle will do for a person. I would have LOVED to get out on the roads and ride after work today (especially since the temperature was in the low 50s), but I unfortunately had a tax appointment. The good news…we have a good tax return this year 😉

  3. Sandra says:

    Eleven glorious heart cleansing miles. 🙂

  4. tischcaylor says:

    Sandra got it right: heat cleansing indeed. Good for you.

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