Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daily Commute Musings for Dec 28

My ride today:

Block 0: Step outside of my apartment building and think that it feels warmer than 19 degrees out. Hopefully I didn't overdress.
Block 1: My nose feels frozen. Adjust neck guard to cover nose better, and then flick my head in a Fabio-ish fashion to get the ball of my Santa hat out of face.
Block 2: I note that while I don't have one now, I will have a tailwind for most of the ride in, and again hope that I didn't overdress.
Block 3: The cold penetrates my top layer, which usually doesn't happen this early on. I actually shiver, but press on, knowing that I am going to turn in a few blocks.
Block 4: A construction worker stares at me as I pass by, either noting my post-Christmas Santa hat and lights, or thinking to himself "Why is he riding in this weather??".
Block 8: I am breathing super hard due to the hills in my neighborhood, and the fact that my neck guard only lets in about 50-60% of what I am trying to breathe. I remind myself that I still need to get a baklava.
Block 9: I take off after at a stop sign after a Honda CRV, which blows a big cloud of exhaust right in my path. I try to hold my breath through it, but still catch a good portion, and it stinks. So much for cycling being healthy.
Block 11: I catch the green light on pacific street, thankful because its a notorious one to stop on due to the hill and heavy traffic.
Block 13: A car passes me on 60th in a one lane section, crossing the double yellows and almost head-on collides with someone in the other lane. There are almost no other cars on the road, and I wonder why he is in such a hurry.
Block 22: I get to the light at Happy Hollow and Leavenworth and realize that I am no longer cold. Awesome.
Block 27: Someone backs out of their driveway fast and hits the gas in order to beat the cars coming. Even though they are in the other lane, the sound of screeching tires startles me and triggers a pang of adrenaline. I try to mentally calm myself down with breathing exercises as I fly down the next hill.
Block 40: I catch the light at the Saddle Creek intersection, and am able to keep my speed from the hill. Woot!
Block 42: A garbage truck passes me a little too close. Scary.
Block 44: My breathing to speed ratio increases dramatically as I pump up the hill on Leavenworth. It seems to take me an especially long time to get up it this morning, especially because my goggles fog up about halfway, and I cant see much. I think about taking them off for a few blocks, but decide to leave them on, because the speed on the next downhill should clear them. Also, I know this road like the back of my hand, and probably no-one will hit me with all of the blinkers that I have going. I hope.
Block 46: My goggles-clearing-plan is faltered by the red light on 35th. Drat.
Block 53: I am rewarded with a beautiful sight of the Omaha skyline beneath a bright pink sunrise. Nice. Touche, Karma, Touche.
Block 70: A pedestrian stops for me on 16th and Harney as I buzz by, and I think, 'that was nice of them'.
Block 72: I arrive at UP, and take stock: Toes are cold, but everything else is a bit sweaty. One of my rear lights is low on battery, and is barely lit. But the Christmas lights on the bike are still blazing, and the sunrise still looks awesome. All in all, a good ride in.

I decided to do a more thorough examination of my ride in today because it highlights a lot of things that one will usually encounter on a winter ride, with the exception of snow and ice. I have also learned that enjoying cycling, as well as many other things in life, is about taking the good with the bad. Even if 3/4 of your ride in is shitty, you have to learn to still see the positives, and let them overpower the bad things. I think thats the trick to enjoying your daily ride, and ultimately, your daily life.

Just my chilled 2 cents worth.

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