Thursday, July 26

Counting Carbs...Er, Costs

In the world I see - you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway. --Tyler Durden

In an attempt to ensure success tomorrow on my bid for Rollins Pass at a race pace I have been carb loading this week. It's something I've never tried the right way. Part of doing it the right way is cutting back your level of exercise, so after a rest day Monday I rode easy in to work on Tuesday. I quickly realized that riding at all was going to thwart my fueling technique.

I've driven the past two days.

Let that sink in good and deep. We'll break it off and let the point remain later.

It's summer and I have driven alone to work. Since December of '09 that's probably happened less than three times.

I hate driving to work. Did we hit a bone?

I hate traffic, traffic lights, tailgaters, traffic, traffic lights, indirect routes, parking, parking garages, traffic and not riding my bike.

It's a very strange feeling to walk into work not sweaty and dressed for work. It's just not natural.

As I rolled along in my gas powered wheelchair I couldn't help be cognizant of how much oil all that traffic was consuming. And by consuming I mean destroying.

As I walked through the parking garage I marveled at the overbuilt vehicles: luxury cars, SUVs, sports cars, luxury sport SUVs and the like.

I'm driving a '99 Suburbaru Forester with nearly 300,000 miles on it. While we could have replaced it with a shinier mode of transport long ago we've chosen to get the most out of our investment in Gump. There has been no pressure to keep up with the Jonses in our family.

Because we're driving our car until the wheels fall off (that has actually happened to us twice) we've remained more resilient. We're not making a car payment and forking over cash for full coverage insurance and high tax and registrations fees.

I looked at all of the cars in the parking garage and the thought entered my head: none of these people (myself included) are truly paying the full cost for our cars, and while some may feel all tingly inside because they think they can afford a sports car or flashy SUV, they can't truly afford the total cost of their personal transportation.

We're just pushing off the bulk of the costs on future generations. We're robbing from the future to enjoy the present. And how will our descendants look back on us? As fat, craven slobs, hell bent on gobbling up as many resources as we can keep down our gullet?

I've pondered a few jobs that would have only been possible if I were to go back to car commuting. I don't think I could do that. I just don't think I could consciously put myself back behind the wheel everyday. Lord help me if I'm ever injured to the point I can't ride anymore...

I hope that point doesn't fester where it's lodged in your bone.

Next week I'm back on the bike for an all out effort to drop pounds and built muscle. Then, assuming my carb loading this week works, I'll be resting most of the week of Leadville minus a scouting ride over Powerline and up St Kevin's.

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