Andddd it’s back to being gorgeous out, which means it’s back to riding to Dover every chance I get, even with my gimp leg.
I even I got up at 5.30am to ride before class yesterday, checked the temperature, decided it was too cold, and promptly went back to sleep. I stretched between class and meetings, then hustled home as fast as I could to get my ride on.
I chopped up a Clif bar into bite size pieces, threw them in a plastic bag, packed an emergency Larabar, and was out the door with a solid ride planned. With three days off the bike, I was sorely tempted to do a good 3 hours. But the rational side of me kicking in for once, I compromised on doing at least 2.5 hours in the saddle.
Once I got going, I predictably didn’t want to stop. I felt like I was flying. Even with stronger winds and that leg, I barely got out of my saddle on the climbs and rocketed down the flat stretches. There’s no way I’ve gotten stronger in the past week alone, but it felt like it. Smoothly dodging the by-now familiar potholes and stretches of sand on the shoulder, I took the lane at one point to avoid a giant puddle. I glanced back before I did and assumed that the car behind me would slow down.
It didn’t. I felt the metal of the side door nick my elbow as it sped past, way faster that it should have and way too close for comfort. I yelled, tried to get a plate number, wished I had my U-lock so I could throw it at the driver, and slowed down a little bit. I thanked my rollers for beating into me the ability to hold a steady line, then proceeded to forget all about my little auto encounter because, hell, I had hills to climb.
I resumed my trajectory to Dover; whipping through now-familiar streets and scenery; with the bright sun on my back, I forgot all about taking pictures. But when snot started to flood my nose, I did remember everyone’s advice: I held down one nostril and snorted shamelessly. Success! I did that two more times and only once did a small splatter of nose goo get on my thigh.
I forced myself to turn back after 1 hour 15minutes, just in case it got dark too quickly. Back home, though completely immersed in that priceless feeling of utter exhaustion, I forced myself to take a quick walk to Trader Joe’s to stretch my hamstrings. With running shoes on my feet, but still in cycling mode, I completed the otherwise boring outfit with my new vintage cap, courtesy of Mike.
I may not be able to fight quite like the Badger [yet!], or demolish everything in my path a la Merckx, but hey, a girl can pretend! Next step: getting a
power meter heart rate monitor like Team La Vie Claire in the 80s...?