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Nipping a Cycling Cancer in the Bud

November 2016

I got home from the office yesterday and I had a problem.  The temp was in the upper 40’s, it was cloudy and windy with the wind from the north – never a good thing when it’s already cold.

Immediately mind went to yesterday’s lousy ride, because that’s what we mere mortals do.  We often to back to yesterday’s crap to fail today.  My daughter needed to be taken to her friend’s house for Halloween and if my wife, who was on the phone, had pointed at me to take her, I’d have skipped my ride.  Instead, she just shook her head and gave me the “give me five minutes” hand up.  

I suited up and headed out the door, figuring I’d just take it easy and roll with it, knowing the return trip home was going to suck.  

I started out pedaling easy and quickly took it up to 20 mph with the tailwind.  The crosswind is what surprised me… 21 was easy.  The next two miles was 23-24 and the all-too-familiar smile stretched across my face.  Then 25 and 26 mph, as I got down into the drops.  I could feel the effort in my legs though, with the inferior wheels on the Trek.  I knew I was going to have the club ride coming up and I wanted to save some.  I backed off just a bit.

Then another crosswind followed by a headwind…. and that’s where my ride hit the grind.  Damn headwind.  I managed 18 but it was some freaking hard work.  Crosswind, tailwind, then time to head home but it was a cross headwind.  20 was reasonable but work and I knew I had a tough slog home…

I had no idea what I was in for.  The wind was picking up.  And the first half-mile is uphill.  

I was in full-on smile mode though, so I gritted my teeth through my grin, got down in the drops, put my head down and made the turn for home.

The first mile sucked but I held 18 to 19 mph, even for the first uphill bit.  By the middle of the second I was fairly trashed so rather than mess with keeping the speed up, I let up to spin the last two miles home.  Too much would have hurt tonight’s ride and I was right on the edge.

The last mile to my house was laughable.  In between cussing, I really did laugh.

I finished, took a shower and got ready to head over to my buddy Pete’s for dinner and Trick or Treating for my youngest.

I could spend another 500 words dissecting what was going on in my head but I’ll keep it simple:  I wanted to whimp out but I didn’t.  I thought it was justifiable but it wasn’t.  I thought I’d hate my ride again but I was wrong. 

My gut hates it when I prove my melon committee wrong.  That one bad ride on Sunday was the seed to a cancer that never was…. because I suited up.

1 Comment

  1. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting out the door.

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