Monday, November 25

Ice...or My Blood

Reportedly the Farmers’s Almanac is predicting a nasty winter.  I mean, here we are the week of Thanksgiving and it feels like a new ice age is rolling in.  The TV meteorolo-fascists actually used the phrase “White Thanksgiving” describing the possible weather conditions to come.  
I had the opportunity to ride on Saturday with the Mozhican.  I chose not to ride.  He didn’t seem terribly upset either.  Yesterday I ate at a buffet for lunch (yes, the WHOLE THING).  There was no possibility of riding after that.  In fact, I had a difficult time driving the car home afterward without vomiting.
That’s it, no more buffets!  There’s always that pressure to “get my money’s worth.”  Ugh!  Hasn’t anyone noticed that the dollar isn’t worth what it used to be?  Obviously no one at the Hillbilly Chef CafĂ© did yesterday.  Man, that was some good fried chicken!  I would caution you to go easy on the cole slaw if you do eat there.  It was phenomenal, but a half a gallon of the stuff will really ruin your day.
And so begins the season of overeating.
Why do we do this to ourselves?  It’s not like we really deserve it.  Or maybe we do for being so stupid.  Why can’t I say no to the food?
I ride so I can eat.  That’s a Truth I realized not so long ago.  But what happens when I don’t ride anymore?  Surely I can’t keep eating like a mountain biker.  Surely not!
The cold weather is killing it for me.  I want to ride, but I’m wussing out due to the change of seasons.  Back when I was compelled to ride daily I almost looked forward to the cooler weather even though it was a portent of diabolical things to come.  The depths of winter on the high plains of Colorado is not a pleasant place to be as a full time bike commuter.  It does steel your resolve when it comes to riding in adverse conditions though.  I’m wondering if I could have lost my temper so soon.
I know a lot of it has to do with remembering that I do know how to dress and keep warm on the bike.  I know it has a lot to do with overcoming that first icy splash of cold air.  But I also know riding in the cold of the arid West is different than riding in the clammy cold air of Appalachia.  It’s all good until it gets below freezing, and then the game changes.
I’ve had the urge to ride some trails too.  And I’ve been trying to screw up the gumption to just go ride somewhere, anywhere near my home.  But then the rains lately…the mud…and it’s cold.  I’ve wussed out.  On top of everything else there’s the five o’clock dark situation and the blinding afternoon sunlight to contend with that keeps me from road riding or running even.  It’s a universal conspiracy to fatten me up for the slaughter.
After a year of hard riding my bikes are all worn out, brake pads thin to the metal, tires showing too much of their insides, cables all gummed up and hard to pull, batteries all dead in my blinky rear lights…it’s just a bad time of year to be trying to get back on the horse.  Too many obstacles…too many excuses.
There should be no excuses.  My mountain bike is actually in pretty good shape.  I need to add some Stan’s to my tires, but otherwise The One is pretty much good to go.  I really just need brake pads for the sportiest-sport bike.  Tires would be nice, but I still got a few good rides left in the ole Gatorskins.  If I could stop making excuses about the sun and the cold air I could probably get back on the bikes and start pedaling toward the nebulous goal of 3,000 miles for the year.  
I did a little math…if I ride 597 miles by the end of the year—36 days from now—I can claim a 3,000+ mile year.  That’s an average of 16.5 miles a day from now until New Year's.  It would take just a little over 100 miles a week.  It’s been well over a year since I rode more than 500 miles in a month much less tickled 6.
Wait, I can do this!  I’m a pretty smart guy.  I gradjeeated college after all!
If I did two 18 mile rides through the week and two 36 mile rides on the weekends each week until the end of the year I could just pull it off!  That just doesn’t seem like all that much.  While it doesn’t seem like much, 600 miles in a winter month when I’m not riding every day…I might as well be shooting for 1,000 in the same amount of time.
I’m so fat.  I’ve buffeted myself out of the game.  I can get back in; I know I can!  But can I catch up with the leaders before it’s too late?  Man, I feel so past my prime today!
Might as well pass me some more cole slaw.

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