I rode for the first time a few Saturdays ago now–I think it was March 29th–with Michael out in Wayne County. It was a sunny day, but still in the 40s, and so we bundled up in as many layers as necessary to keep us warm and still capable of moving our legs. It was funny, too, because that day started out in the 30s. We kept waiting around–first exercising on his Total Gym, and then eating lunch–waiting for the temperature to raise enough to dare the weather. I’m a freeze baby, you see, and I totally refuse to ride in temperatures below 50. So, I suppose, I sort of broke that rule because I was itching to ride. Last year, remember, I was able to start my season on March 21; since that day came and passed without warm weather, I have felt as though I’m horribly behind schedule. Especially since this is the year I decided to ride TOSRV. I mean, geez.
Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, I had to spend eight hours in hospice volunteer training. Not that I begrudge the experience of training for this experience I’m really excited about, but nice weather trumps all career options as far as I’m concerned. The day was sunny and warm and I just felt trapped in that building, knowing that all my cycling friends (most notably, Michael) were out taking advantage of the day. My hunches were confirmed later that evening when I attended a pampering event hosted by one of the female members of our club: the room was abuzz with the joyous exclamations of my fellow female cyclists exchanging mileage totals for the day. I grew frustrated every time one of them asked me, “So, MG, how many miles did you get today?”
Naturally, they assumed I too had been out. It was nice weather, of course, so why wouldn’t I be? I tried to summon my noblest of voices as I explained the reason I was unable to ride that day. “I had volunteer training for the hospice,” I said as proudly as I could muster. “I’m going to be a volunteer.”
The expected impressed eyebrows rose, as I intended. And it did lead to further discussion of my desire for a more life-changing career. It did not, however, clear my broken heart of the sadness from missing one of the best riding days of the spring thus far. Michael nailed 42 miles; another friend got 53. Weekends are when we can get those higher mileages in… and I completely missed it!
I’m a little panicked, if you can’t tell, that my riding mileage is going to suffer from my delayed start this year. Michael already has somewhere upwards of 150 miles on me. I’m sure many of my fellow ABCers do (BOB WHITTINGTON). I know it’s early, but one must be on top of these things. And, again, I mention the simple acronym: TOSRV. 210 miles. Ouch. I must have been nuts for signing up for such an early season double-century.
Sunday was equally as beautiful as Saturday; however, I had a baby shower to attend that cut right into the middle of my day. I was going to cut out of there immediately after the obligatory proceedings–the droll games, the present opening–but my friend Gwenn was there with her newborn daughter Margaret Grace (“Margie”). I was distracted by visiting with her and holding Margie.
I love newborns for the simple fact that you can hold them and they don’t do much of anything else. They make cute little cooing noises. They cry some but it never bothers me when they do. They have small little fingers they will wrap around your own, gigantic-in-comparison finger. They (usually) smell good (especially their heads!). I guess I like children at the stage where they are most helpless. As soon as they start walking around–the stage most people think is the more fun–they scare the crap out of me. They start becoming individuals, and the next thing you know, they are telling you point blank that you are ugly or your teeth are weird or something like that. And eighteen years later, you’re trying to figure out why they want to become a pro football player when you only watched baseball in your house.
I’m being a bit gruff; I like kids fine. They are fun to babysit. Besides, cycling isn’t everything. (*gasp* Did you hear the thunder of reproach from the Cycling Gods??) Once in awhile, even at the end of a long week in which I didn’t have much time to myself, it’s refreshing to visit with friends I don’t see as often anymore. And play with their children, wistfully calling myself aunt as though I can be any real influence on their lives.
So on March 29, I did manage to get 15.07 painful miles in. They weren’t that painful, really. Having all those heavy clothes on just made it less enjoyable than it should have been–I felt so heavy and the colder-than-I-like weather made me feel a bit sluggish. Otherwise, it was a very beautiful day and I am glad we did take the ride. Wayne County roads are great in that they have very little traffic, which really makes them a pleasure to ride (if you can stand the occasional stench of manure).
Last night was warm–in the upper 60s–so I decided my window of opportunity was open for another ride. I managed to get another 20 miles under my belt. I would have done another five–I was feeling so good!–but the sun still sets too early. Since I work all the way in Mayfield Heights, the earliest I can get home is 6. After all the shuffling around of getting ready to ride (suiting up, getting water, waiting for your ride partner to be ready), we managed to get on the road by 6:30, which really only leaves about an hour and a half, if you’re lucky. The sun had just set when we rolled into my driveway at the 20 mile mark, so I’m glad I didn’t try to push it to my 25 mile route.
At least I got something. I know, it’s still pathetic that I’ve only got 35.12 miles in for the year. In the summer, I can squeeze in 35 miles in one evening ride (when I am alone and pushing hard). Pretty soon, I’ll be getting those 35 mile evening rides in, provided I’m not volunteering for the hospice. My Wednesday and Thursday nights will again be devoted to cycling with ABC. And my weekends will be filled with rides, both registered and not. My obsessions with the winter weight gained will drop right away, as hopefully, so will those pounds.
All ridicule of my low riding mileage aside, I must say that it felt absolutely fabulous to ride yesterday, more so than my first time out on March 29th. We didn’t do a particularly difficult route–I didn’t want to kill myself on my first real evening out–but it was enough to get the blood pumping and my legs tested for small climbs. The straight-aways provided some good practice on spinning and speed, though I couldn’t really tell how fast I was going as my computer was not working. (I think the reader needs a new battery.) Sometimes it’s better not to know your speed.
It was nice to get out. I’m going to try to go out again tonight. Hopefully those predicted storms will hold off. This Saturday I again have hospice training, which will cause me to miss my club’s first official ride of the year, the annual Think Spring ride. Though, from what the weather people are predicting, it seems that the day will yield its traditionally crappy weather (which has kept me from the ride two years in a row now)–showers and 51 degrees. Bleh.
Sunday is predicted to be 42 and snow showers! WTF?! Time’s a’wasting on my TOSRV training. Anyone else frustrated with this @#$%ing weather?