Thursday, March 17, 2011

Au Natural

Things started out in the normal spring type ride way. Get home from work and race as quickly as possible to get on the road bike while the sun was still up to get some extra miles in. Everything was good, a rough route was set with two quick stops along the way but the potential for a 3 plus hour mid week evening ride was in the works. It became one of those JRA stories. So I was just riding along on route to Midland, I will be so happy once the bike path is clear because Highway 12 may be amazing heading east of my place heading west is pretty much a death wish. There was a steady head wind and the road was showing winter wear so I thought it was just that which made riding a little harder than it should have been. It felt like I was riding with brakes on. My legs were sore but usually after 30-40 minutes they open up and things are fine. Not today.

The brakes were in fact on. I didn't realize it at first but once on some half percent roads I felt this vibration, carbon isn't supposed to vibrate it's supposed to eliminate that stuff,"Chuck, what's wrong?" Just outside of downtown is where I saw it, some spokes on my power tap wheel had all gotten together and felt that it was still to cold for them to be outside, the didn't break but lose tension was an understatement. A few minutes later head support crew extraordinaire, Mom, was on here way to come save me. An hour of riding only, I was now in a negative mood, the sun was still up, would I go back out?

I debated, once home I fought, first do I change out the wheel etc or do I change shoes and get a different bike dirty. Back in forth as i battled the funk of not returning to the road. A few minutes later after a couple moments of focusing I was carrying Chuck back out of the basement with his stock wheel in the back. I also was much lighter, no power tap, no headphones, no music, no heart rate? Couldn't do that but what I did do was bury it under my sleeve after I pressed start. I didn't know how long I would last and I didn't want to think about training, just ride au natural.

It seems like it's been a long time since I've ridden a bike with out some sort of additional stimulation, especially on the road. It was great, just listening to the sound of the drivetrain, the wind in the trees (which had calmed in the hour off the bike) the feel of the legs and of course the sounds going on in my brain. In no time I had a smile on my face, I felt fast, I had solved some world problems, I was having fun. I also in the end did a better work out than when I was focused on the first ride attempt. As I motored around some side roads where I think I saw a grand total of 6 cars, it was just me and the bike. Until, dun dun dun, attempts of dramatizing, I saw them. No not cougars!!!

Wolves!!! yes two very large wolves were running in my direction in a 2 wheeled versus 8 legged game of chicken. Who would swerve? Who would turn and run the other way with it's tail between it's legs? Me armed with a small part of the toughest man around, Chuck Norris who can kill a dinosaur with his breath, for sure the bike could beat down a couple wolves or 2 four legged need to be in a pack to be tough want to be house pets wild animals. It didn't take long for one to redirect into the woods. One left, I shifted to a harder gear ready to sprint if need be, holding the bars tight for potential evasive actions. The wolf got into an attack type position, he barked, I sprinted, he gave chase, I sprinted some more, he quit because he was looking really well feed and out of shape for eating cyclist. Yep those golden retriever wolves are an interesting breed.

The sun was setting, the temperature was dropping, I didn't care I was having fun. My head was clear, I remembered how much fun it is to ride a bike on the road. The final climb back into the driveway even felt great, was it because the sun was out? It hard to believe that I was actually happy to have the bike break, otherwise I probably wouldn't have felt like this. Of course I would prefer not to have any more mechanical problems for the rest of the season, please!!! I do believe that the power tap wheel will be staying off the Chuck Norris bike for a little longer, April maybe?

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