I’m happy when I ride my bike.
Somehow, I had forgotten that.
Of course, it’s been a rather hectic past 6 months. I’ve been out to Portland a couple of times to visit my Cancerchick friend Kimmy, of the SFSPPP (Super Fucking Secret Portland Pattypan Posse), who had to start up treatment again because her bastard Stage 1 cancer spread to her bones. We’re all crushed by this, but we soldier on, because that’s what we’ve figured out has to be done.
Then my mom, of all people, rudely infiltrated our Pink Posse by getting her OWN breast cancer – and unlike me, who passed through treatment in a fuzzy happy haze (the bike crash/brain injury might have had something to do with that), mom has required some tending to, after her surgery and then her recent bout with diverticulitis. I think my mom missed out on the sturdy peasant stock gene that I got.
Then there have been awesome things which I’ll write more about later, like my most amazing birthday EVER in the history of the world, when the SFSPPP surprised me with a visit from KIM! Major excitement!
But the bottom line is that I know that most of you come here for my secrets to triathlon training, as well as cycling tips and other minutiae that will help one shave seconds off one’s race time.
(Quite frankly I have no idea why the hell you come here for that, but you do, so I accept it.)
And of course I follow the Ramping Up Principle in all things related to cycling, whereby one waits until time is a–ticking away before actually doing any serious training. So even though Ragbrai (aka Crazy Ass Bike Ride Across Iowa) has been getting closer, pshaw, I’ve been busy and it’s been WAY too early to train. Who does that, anyway, starts getting ready for such things months ahead of time?
I’ll tell you who – my friends Lauren and Mike, who I recruited to Team Sloth this year. For months now it’s been “Rode my bike today!” or “Getting up there in miles!” or “Hit those hills, getting tons of riding in!” or “Got a new saddle and pedals, ready to hit the road!” You see what I mean.
It’s kind of embarrassing. And very un-Team-Sloth-like.
Now me, on the other hand, I’ve been hewing to my time-tested training plan that has gotten me where I am today. Two months ago I took my bike in for a tune-up. Excellent, ready to go.
A month ago, when I was mom-sitting, I took my bike out to Huntley. Sweet, getting her in position.
Two weeks ago I brought out my shoes.
A week ago, I dusted off some water bottles, rummaged through gels, found my suntan lotion and chamois cream.
This past Friday was the big day – I set my alarm for 5AM, because I only like riding in the early morning. The alarm rang – I shut it off immediately.
Hell no I didn’t get up – who does that, at that crazy hour?
Saturday, I set my alarm again for the same ridiculous hour. This time however – and pay attention kids, because this is how proper Ramping Up is done – I actually got up eventually. Wondered if I remember how to ride a bike. Set out. Cursed the wind. Pulled over to ask someone fishing what he was catching. Stopped to pick some berries. Tried to save a wee turtle in the road, couldn’t tell if he was dead or not, because, you know, he’s a turtle. Belted out some tunes, hoping no one was behind me. Said hi to some cows. Admired the beautiful heron flying past up above. Peered into a creek for fish or turtles. Texted Melindy to tell her that forecasters suck, because they lied about the wind direction.
It’s probably not a surprise why my bike rides proceed at a glacial pace.
But all in all, it was a perfect day of glorious riding. Bike, how I’ve missed you. I won’t let it happen again, I promise.