For once, I decided to let it out a little down Boston Mills Road after the I-80 overpass because I figured I knew every bend in that road by now. Besides, the steepest part of this road is actually the hill that rolls you into the overpass hill and I’d already passed that part with my usual cowardice. (This part of the road yields a very steep downhill with a bend so you can’t see all the way to the bottom, but you need the speed from that hill to launch you up the next steep incline that makes the overpass, which is actually a pretty steep hill and not your standard overpass hill. I usually tap my brakes down it so that I don’t get as much of a push as other people I ride with do, which results in me having to climb more of the hill than most. Oh well. More calories burned for me!)
On the overpass bridge, I stopped to get snap a picture of I-80 and the valley (where I was actually headed) because it looked cool this morning with the fog hanging over it.
So I started down the other side of the overpass, talking myself through letting it out a little and telling myself not to brake as I sailed down the hill. I was doing pretty good. One of my ways of preventing myself from braking is to not allow myself to look at my computer to know how fast I’m actually going. So I can’t say how fast I was going. But it felt good and I wasn’t scared.
Until I rounded the second corner to find two deer, maybe 20 feet ahead, right smack in the middle of the road. Fortunately, they looked about as surprised about me as I was to see them there. They scampered off. Meanwhile, my natural reflex to brake and remove my left foot from the pedal had already kicked in so there was absolutely no threat of collision–not even a close call. My heart had lept into my throat anyway. This is exactly why I don’t let it all out and speed. Was this a warning from the Universe, trying to remind me the reason I am over-cautious on the bike? Ha!
But actually I was kind of bummed as I continued because I had to start pedaling again and I’d already passed the best grade for sailing down the hill. So any hope of breaking my usual 34mph barrier was probably broken. Darn!
On the flat part of Boston Mills, in the valley, I saw a mother and baby deer grazing in the field by the Boston Store. I stopped to grab a picture because it was just so darn cute. Especially since they weren’t anywhere near the road. Good deer–and animals, especially dogs–stay far away from the road where they could cause a cyclist to crash. Yes.
It was a pleasant commute, as always. It’s so quiet in the valley in the mornings, even with the traffic. There’s a peaceful state there that makes me glad to be pedaling instead of locking myself in the box of a car to get to work. This living only 16 miles from work thing is really working well for me. After tonight’s return home, I will be at 3,000 miles for the year. Hurrah!
The only thing bugging me this morning were my gears. I don’t know what the heck is going on with my bike but I’ve been having the worst time with my gears. I had a tune-up and I was having problems with rattling in my big ring. I took it into Century Cycles and Derrick had it running smoothly again. But something happened midway through the Wednesday night ride with ABC where my gears are now slipping slightly and clicking loudly in all three rings at certain positions on the back cassette. Especially annoying is the fact that some of my low granny gears are slipping, causing the whole pedal to spin for a second as if the gear is not quite in place. I need all of my low granny gears. I don’t understand what’s going on. I checked the chain and it’s still good. I’m wondering if my rear cassette is having issues. I looked at it, but I can’t see anything wrong (like bent cogs).
Oh well. I guess I have to lug it into Century Cycles again. I’m starting to get paranoid that they think I’m a groupie or something. I swear, I’m just having issues. With my Giant. I know, the horror! Maybe my bike is getting pissy with me because it knows I’m obsessing about that Surly Cross Check. I try to explain to Black Beauty that she needn’t be jealous; the Cross Check will have a different purpose. Black Beauty, my Giant, will always be number one. I wish she would understand that!