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Thursday, July 16, 2015

approaching 25K

So here I am, it's a Monday and I've not been on the bike for a week.  I've been held up by heat, rain and just bad luck and timing.  I'm not happy with myself right now, it's been to easy to make an excuse not to ride.

So I finally get out on the bike and I'm sitting at a light.

I can feel a drop of sweat running down the small of my back.  I can feel my hands sweat in my gloves.

I am cursing at the idiot in front of me who sits on his phone through about 30 seconds of the green light only to peel into the turn and hit the bumper of the car in front of him.  Great.  Wonderful.

Respect the ride and the rider
Grumbling to myself, I pull off the side of the road and check out both drivers pretty quickly.  I'm a trained first responder...and although I'm not required to stop under Florida law, it's the moral thing to do.  Luckily there are no injuries  So a few minutes later I'm on the way again.

I end up taking a slightly different way home from work, lately I've been riding the freeway home and although Kimmie is more than capable of keeping and maintaining the speeds required, a little voice in my head says "no".  If riding has taught me anything, it's to listen to the little voice you hear in your helmet from time to time.

So the long way it is.  I catch every red light, get behind every bus.  I sit in the heat and the humidity and suck on gas fumes; and that the little sweat ball running down my back?  It  is now a stream and the seat I was sitting in was uncomfortable.   It was never a problem on the Kymco till the dealership replaced the damn seat....and I was foolish enough to let them.  I stand at yet another red light, and try to relieve the numb butt for a bit.

All these thoughts are in my head, for I've been invited to go on a group ride this Sunday.  It would be easy for me to bow out of it, avoiding the heat, the numb butt, the long hours of being in the saddle - the ride is on the other coast and would most likely be an all day affair.

Yet....I don't want to.  I want to go.

Its not about the mileage you put on your bike, it's about the ride.  Every year I've put on more and more mileage...every year I gain a little more experience, a little more knowledge about what Kimmie is capable of, and what her rider is capable of.

I don't remember writing down the mileage at the beginning of this year, I'm no where near where I want to be.

On Tuesday I saw that the car ahead of me was going to hit a pretty good sized bird that decided to fly right in front of it.  I understood quickly that the bird was going to come right up over the roof of that car and into my ride path.   A low duck, a quick lean and the bird strikes my bike low but off to the side for no damage.  I roll on down the road.

Experience brought on by mileage.   I have learned to sense when that car is going to pull out and 1001 other little things.  I'm still weary.  Every day I remind myself "Cocky will get me killed."

I think about this as the mileage ticks off....I'm near home now, a cold drink...a soft couch....air conditioning...just turn to the left and go home.

What's five more miles?

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