Where has my drive gone? When did I get so cranky? Maybe this fantastic run is over and it’s time to embrace chubby. Maybe I just don’t have the desire to put my time in on the trainer anymore… Dammit. Maybe I should take a winter off and try to get it back come spring time…
It’s just past noon, yesterday. The sun is shining, a bit windy but it’s 44 magical degrees outside. My Venge and Mrs. Bgddy’s Alias are pumped, and ready to go. We’re both still feeling a bit under the weather but I’m starting to feel better.
We decide we’re going to ride up to the shop, our 16 mile loop but two miles in my Mrs. Wonderful asks if we can cut it short and just head directly to the shop and back home… I’m more than okay with this because when we get back, I’d planned from the start on doing that 16’er again. Three miles from the shop and my wife finds her stride, hitting 22 mph. I say to the wind, but quiet enough that she can’t hear, “ni-i-i-ice”. We spend some time and a little bit of money at the shop and head home.
I see my wife into the driveway, run into the house to use the restroom and head straight back out… I hit my stride in the first thirty seconds. 18 mph, 19, 21, 22. I’ve got a breeze at my back and from the left and I feel good. The next mile is into a crosswind but I maintain 19-1/2 pretty easy. Then north and the low 20’s again. A mile later, through a stop sign and I’m in the mid 20’s feeling good. Another left and I’m into the crosswind again. Then one south and another west. Now I can feel my energy start to drain… “Damn cold”, I think to myself. A mile north and uphill and I’m breathing heavy again. I tell the melon committee that we’re going to be pushing it till we get to the home stretch so they better suck it up. Then west for three miles with a nice cross tailwind. After a short 1/4 mile-long hill, I’m back on the gas and between 23 & 24 mph. Through town and I’m running low on gas, I should have eaten something more than just a bowl of cereal at breakfast-time.
I hit the final stretch and dial it back to 17-18, spinning easy and enjoying the sunshine. Less than three miles from home and I see my friend, Mike coming toward me. I haven’t seen him since the last Tuesday afternoon in October… He turned around and we caught up over the course of a very slow mile, after which he turned and headed back into town and I continued home.
I have absolutely no idea how long that 16 miles took, probably between 50 and 51 minutes, but that really wasn’t what I was thinking about when I walked in the door… I was thinking about how nice it was to ride with my wife for eleven miles before kicking my ass for another thirteen. I was thinking about how good that last three was. I was thinking about how much I love cycling and my bike, and my wife and my kids and my job and house and my hometown. I was thinking positively again.
It only took 27 miles to get me turned back around. Man, I needed that – all of a sudden I love everything more. Best money I ever spent, on those bikes.
Also important, I want to be fast. I must be fast – and to do that I can’t get to a point where I lose the “s” in “fast”.