Friday, August 22, 2008


That's how I felt this morning.

I am the man! I don't know what happened last night, but I have suddenly become hard wired into this amazing machine!! I don't know if it was the bowl of cereal I had before this ride or, if something inside my body has just "clicked" but I am unstoppable!! I am the fastest, smoothest biking man ALIVE!!

I had a tailwind.

It was a long, steamy ride home. And a block away from home, while waiting to cross Montrose Ave, I did another clipless tumble. But by then it felt pretty nice to just lay on there on the sidewalk and rest a spell anyway.

I did pull one great move on the bike today. As I was just heading into a corner that is somewhat obscured by trees, I could see through them enough to know there was a guy coming the other way on a bike, so I was moved my fingers up onto the brake levers, just in case. We were both basically into the turn when we actually came into each others view and that is when he finally saw me. He was on a damn hybrid (see, I'm a snooty road bike elitist already...) and in my lane like a fool, because that gave him the shortest distance around the turn. When he saw me, he tried to swerve back into his own lane, but by then I was already moving over to give him room, so he basically turned in front of me. I grabbed a handful of rear brake and put my precious road bike into a classic BMX power slide. This swung rear of my bike toward him even more, but when I released the brake, the tire got traction and I just rolled right on around him. All the while watching this goof with his face all squished up, sticking his feet out to the sides, waiting for the inevitable crash. He made some sort of, "yeeeaaahh" sound as I went by, which was pretty amusing after the fact. I was worried that my tire wouldn't like being slid like that, but it seems to have survived.

Speaking of tires, as I read more about road bikes, it seems that flat tires are not uncommon. This bike came with some extra tubes and one of those nifty little CO2 pumps. Maybe I should start carrying them. I have some lightweight tire changing tools already that I can pack. I'd hate to be 10 miles from home and have a flat tire...

Well, today is a milestone of sorts for me. I was scrolling through the little bike computer after this ride, and the odometer, which by the way, I was able to reset after the battery incident, reads 100.2 miles. And I reset it conservatively. So I feel it is safe to say that I have put a good, honest, 100 miles on this bike. Yay for me.

I'm typing too much again, but there is one last thing I want to show you. A couple pictures from my absolute best, most enjoyable day of bicycling...

These were taken on the day my kid and I jumped in the Subaru and took a quick ride over to our neighborhood bike shop, Rudy's. And there she picked out a bitchin' Mongoose bike for herself and paid for half of it with her own money, just a day or two after getting up on two wheels on a smaller bike all by herself. I helped a little here and there, and offered advice, but she basically just decided she was going to ride one day and once she put her mind to it, it didn't take long at all. She asked me to take the pedals off her bike so she could just walk it up and down the driveway, so I did. She did that for about an hour and then decided it was time to put the pedals back on. And before I knew it, she was cruising up and down our driveway, over to the neighbors and up and down their driveway too. She is one awesome kid. And this is also why I highly recomend that every Dad keep an old BMX bike in the garage.

22.08 miles
12.1 mph avg.
24.3 mph max


Paul said...

Might want to practice at home - it's a lot better than being frustrated that you can't get your tire inflated and miles from home.

Also, CO2 is nice but you only get one shot. And then you add to landfill. If you get another flat.... Consider a small pump.

Paul said...

Meant to tell you....

When at all possible, leave into the wind. I remember spring days in MN when we'd head WNW for 4 hours, and then turn around and get home in an hour and a half.

-T. said...

I was thinking of you and your biking past yesterday. I'm sure you sacrificed a lot, but still, all in all it seems like a pretty cool way to spend your teen years.

And I was wondering what personal records you had. Do you remember the furthest you ever rode in one ride? Most time on the bike straight? Best times? Funnest? Scariest? Worst day?

I'm sure you've told them a million times, and probably feel like most people are tired of hearing some of them, but someday I'd like to hear your stories.

You should be the one writing about biking...

Paul said...

Nah.... I'm tired of reliving the glory. ;) I retired from racing when I was 23, and kept up a pretty good schedule for a few more years. There's a lot of reasons I quit, but mostly I just burned out.

Some stats:

Personal record 40k TT: 49:47 (1990)
Longest ride: 260 miles (13 hours)
Longest stage race: 12 days
Most miles in a year: 24k
Most in a week: 875
Rest day that week: 70 miles
Lifetime miles: 6 figures
Fastest speed: 66mph
# of bikes I've owned: dozens
# of bikes I've sold: thousands
Most disappointing event: plastic bag caught in gears 250m from the line on an uphill finish. I would have won that one.
Worst: bonked so hard on a climb I had to sit on the side of the road for 30 minutes.
Best: anytime it didn't feel like a job.

-T. said...

Forgot to post back on this.

Amazing numbers. What the hell lands your butt on a bike for 260 miles? Jeez. Someday, I want to hear this whole story.