Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Rides, the Rides.

I've never realized how much fun it can be to get out and ride around the valley and hills around Edinboro. Even though I've had to wear the tights and the head mask for the majority of the rides, it was still nice to get out of the basement and on actual pavement, even if the chances of getting plastered on someones windshield jumps up 100%.

I have two bikes, my old faithful known as the "Pebble," and the new steed, the Trek, which hasn't really gotten a nickname yet. The Pebble is a 1987 vintage Bridgestone 450, a Cro-Moly piece of the past that weighs in at 24 lbs, and is starting to show its age with every passing year. I've been able to keep it road, and race, worthy simply because it is so easy to take care of. The simplicity of the components make it a great bike to take out when the roads are wet or it just might rain before I get back home. It is like my pick-up, very dependable, all weather, and a no-fuss deal all the way around. The Corvette though, would be my Trek Madone, a Carbon Fiber technological work of art that tips the scale at 18 lbs, and adorned with pretty much all the latest components. I don't take her out into the rain, even though it's first race was the Presque Isle Triathlon last September. Everything about it screams fast, and for someone who is looking to grind it out through 112 miles in late August, I'll take anything that at least looks like it is moving quickly. The Trek was an anniversary present last year that my wife picked out on her own, and damn if she didn't pick good.

Most of my rides encompass the Edinboro Triathlon course, with a lot of other roads and hills thrown in to keep the mileage and variety from going stale. The biggest difference between the basement and the roads is that the body has to move a lot more and the knees take a lot more abuse. Every year I always tend to forget that I need to work myself into the rides instead of trying to blow down the road at the same speeds I can get to at the end of a season.

This year, I'm going to be spending a great amount of my ride times gearing to the two long races, Muncie and Louisville. By trying to get myself to drink/eat on a regular schedule, not trying to kill myself by getting run over while digging in pockets for food or retrieving water bottles, and not playing endlessly with the bike computer, I should be able to survive both and maybe even become a better cyclist. The bike computer I have now works pretty good for both bikes, but more and more I've been looking at some of the GPS units that are available. Not because I need one, but because the techno-geek that sits deep in my head wants a new toy to play with 2 hours into a ride.

Boredom is probably the worst part of riding. No matter how much you pay attention to the road, keep a eye on the timer for the next drink, it is always inevitable that I will start looking at homes, cars, livestock, and grass growing in a field. I often tend to start thinking about the woulda-coulda-shoulda aspects of life and the what-ifs. As long as I get around safely, then I'll go through the mental gymnastics. Otherwise, I'm going to buy that $400 GPS unit and start playing with it until I run off the road and into the ditch.

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