Cycling has been a part of my daily “therapy” for almost ten years now. The decade before that, it was running. I’m a happier person with cycling but running served its purpose…
There were two reasons I started running in the first place. First, I quit smoking and started liking food. Second, I went to the doctor in my early 30’s with chest pains. The problem was excess adrenaline from stress at work. The week I started running regularly, the chest pains were gone. And so it’s been, since.
We’ve had some wicked weather blow in over the last few days, after a fabulous two-week stretch of fantastic sunshine and decent temps. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were days off. Put simply, I might take three days off in an entire month. Taking three days off in a week is rare indeed (it may be four, depending on the weather tomorrow – it’s supposed to be ugly).
My weekday riding buddy, Chuck and I took to the road yesterday afternoon – I left around 4:30 and got in some extra miles before he was ready. I’d spent two of those three days tinkering with the Trek’s shifting and my Franken-cassette worked like a charm – silent and glorious (I actually combined the three big gears from an Ultegra cassette with the smallest seven from a SRAM PG_1070 cassette and ended up with a quiet, crisp shifting perfection. I can’t figure out what the deal is, but when that cassette is worn out, I’m saving all of the spacers to use on the new cassette.
I pulled into Chuck’s driveway with a 17.5-mph average over five miles and waited a few minutes for him to get ready. It was cold, low 50’s (10 C), but I didn’t care. After two days spent on maintaining the fleet while it rained, I needed some asphalt.
Chuck and I rolled out. I took the first turn up front and took my time ramping the speed up – in fact, I took a lot of time. In fact, I don’t think you could ever say “speed” had anything to do with that ride last night. My season is officially over on the First of October, so I pretty much take it easy except on Tuesday nights (and we only have four more of those left). We talked about the debate and laughed a lot about current events and the political nature of everything until the election and simply turned some fun miles.
With the hectic work schedule and all of the other craziness going on, it was nice to just chill out and laugh a little.
It was a really good time – the cold didn’t even bug me all that much.
I pulled into the driveway with an easy 16.4-mph average over 28 miles and a smile on my face.