when i think back, it wasn’t so bad…. rolling for about 50 minutes dripping sweat into a puddle beneath my bike. yelling my conversations because i have my ear buds on. what is there not to like? warmness? feeling your toes? non-frozen facial hair? oh…and tires full of air?

it was a nice warm day today, at least compared to yesterday. yesterday was 3!!! this morning it was 15. i was going to ride in yesterday but i took too long to get ready, so i bailed. this morning, i was ready. i even had time to fix a flat that i had before the ride. it turned out that fixing that flat was just a warm up for the ride. i got a flat about half way through the ride, or about 7 or 8 miles. son of a…. it happened on the rear wheel…next to the cemetery. not that the cemetery had anything to do with it, not that i believe in ghost or super natural events…. but i just thought i would mention it, because it was interesting. so there i am; 15 degrees above zero, next to the highway and cemetery, trying to remove my rear wheel of my internally hubbed bike. it a very challenging task to do in the comfort of you living room, but given the conditions on this morning, my friends; this was impossible…. and yet it was ten times easier than trying to put it back on.

my hands were ok initially, or for the first minute or so. then something very cryogenic came over me while holding a cold metal wrench in one hand a wheel axle in the other. i was very cold and yet i was only 10% complete. i got the wheel off and tried to keep all the hub parts from getting lost by putting them in my backpack. then i turned out that i only had one tire “iron” so i had to use the cold metal cone wrench i had. did you know that warm rubber stretches much better than cool rubber? did you also know that cold rubber stretches much better than super cold rubber? i got the stupid tire off and examined the tube. looks like my ‘slime” green teflon tire liner rubbed another hole through the tube. i will never buy those pieces again. they have rough edges and really damage the tube. choose another brand!

just before i was removing my wheel from the bike, someone passed by and ask if i was ok. he saw the daunting task i had before me, and changed his question to, “do you need a ride”. he said he could take me into town, and that it would be no problem. i smiled and without even thinking… i said no thank you, i should be ok. the guy said, “are you sure?”. then i said, “yes…thank you so much though”. then off he went, and there i stayed…. nearly frozen.

i got the wheel back together, and started mounting the wheel and shifter stuff back on, when i realized that i don’t need to shift, as long as i have the chain connected.  this was something i have been worried about since i made the bike, but now i realized that as long as the bike runs i’ll be ok.   so i did the impossible. i changed a flat in the bitter cold weather, on my bike with an internally geared hub!!!  another small accomplishment was that i rode another 7 miles of road in granny gear!!!

got to work super late super cold and super hungry….. but very gallant.

i made it home with out incident… it was 9pm, and 15 degrees.

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so there i was, 43 minutes into my 45 minute roller episode listening to lemon jelly when their song called “experiment number 6″ started playing… this is a weird song; it talks about pulse rates, pupils dilating, body temperature, and blood pressure accompanied by a heavy techno beat.  all while i am sweating profusely just trying to finish my set. it’s actually a very good song to listen to when your very tired.

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ride to work.

well, the days before yesterday’s indoor ride was  a mild disaster.  i chose to listen to natasha bedingfield while i rode.  unfortunately,  i was unaware that 95% of her songs are ballads.  i realized this after the third song…but kept hoping that it would change soon.  i was using the album as a timer my goal was to get through about 12 songs which would equate to about 45 minutes.  i usually don’t ride indoors so i didn’t want to do an hour and a half like i did the one time last year. i guess my strategy kind of worked because i feel like riding indoors again.

on yesterday’s ride to work i was like a dog being untied from his leash.  i was thrilled to not be inside, and i was on my super light road bike for a change.  i never used to call it super light it weighs about 20 pounds, but compared to my bianchi it is “super light”.  the bianchi is super heavy right now, it has both panniers, and the studded tires, it’s like riding a tractor to work.  anyway, i felt light and free on my road bike, and i decided to not listen to natasha, and opted for paul okenfold instead.  it was a good choice….i think i made it to work in about 45 minutes. each song was more heart pumping that the next.  there was no rest.  i arrived at work dripping wet, even though it was 19 degrees outside.

the ride home was equally as cold, but dark, and no music.  i don’t like to use music at night, a little too dangerous.

today i’m driving in….. so i’ll be on the rollers tonight.

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i have to loose weight. i gotta drop 20 pounds by april. i decided that i have to do at least an hour of something besides eating and “nothing” everyday. if i don’t have time to go out and run, or ride… then i must ride in the house… hairy legs and all!

on saturday i woke up about 7 or 8 and decided i was going to go on a bike ride. the sun was out and it was going to be near 50 degrees. before anything i had to check my email… then i had to check the status of some bike parts i ordered. then i had to look for pictures of bike that looked similar to the new one i was going to refurb. oh crap 10:30! time to start gathering all my bike stuff. it can not be 11:30 already…i’m not even dressed yet. mmmm.. the wife is making something yummy over there in the kitchen. ok, i’m dressed. alright… the kids want to play me a game of foos ball. 12:30! now i really have to hurry. find some food and drinks to take with me. put wheel on bike, put panniers on, check tires. oops, almost forgot to fill my water bottle. wow, looks like yummy stuff is done… don’t feel like having it when i get back; i want it now! 1:00 holy shit! i got to get out of here. finally got everything together… and i’m off. i get all the way out to the highway, before i realize that i forgot my bike lock. i need my lock because when i get out to the trail i plan on running. so i have to go all the way back up to my house at the top of the hill. i head out once more. you know… i forgot to tighten my loose break pads before i left. i pull over dig through my panniers for the allen wrench and tighten it up.

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finally!!! i’m riding my bike wooohoo! nothing real eventful happens from here on out [just so you aren’t waiting for my story to climax].

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the trail was not in the best of conditions. i parked my bike at the trail head, and ran a few miles of it.

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the trail was a bit muddy, too muddy to ride. by the time i got to the trail the sun had gone away and the cold began. as i was leaving i saw some deer…. can you see them in the picture?

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my ride to work will not be televised
my ride to work will not be on at 8 o’clock 7 central
you can not teevo my ride to work
play it back in slo motion…and reverse
make copies for your friends
post it on youtube.

my ride to work will not be televised
my ride to work will not be rebroadcast in japanese
or seven other languages
sold in syndication
canceled for lack of ratings

my ride to work will not be televised
my ride to work will not star lance armstrong
…or marion jones
it will not take place in the summer
in the middle of the city next to bob’s deli
or jim’s cameras
it will not take place on the roof top of some swanky motel

my ride to work will NOT be televised.
my ride to work will not keep you at the edge of your seat
holding your arms
waiting for the good guy to win
my ride to work will not make you fat
it will not make you sit on the couch and eat hot pockets
rancid dough nuts and mountain dew

my ride to work will not be televised
so you’ll just have to read about it

thanks gil scott heron

trail work

i went for a run today, and noticed that they were expanding the parking lot.  this is good news, because since the trail expanded there has been very little parking.

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question…

is it possible to give your abs a workout by “sucking in” your gut?  my stomach is sore for some reason, and the only thing i can think of is that i have been trying to keep it from sticking out.

here i am at work.  i am almost an hour away from leaving, and i can’t help but notice the temperature dropping into the teens.  it’s 17 right now.  i don’t know why this is bothering me… oh wait a minute i have something new to worry about. i just realized that i didn’t charge my head light.  it’s not completely empty, but i don’t think there is enough to get home…. crap!  this morning when i left the house it was about 5 degrees…yep you heard me 5 degrees!  it wasn’t so bad however.  something about the sun shining makes you feel warmer.  also, the fact that there are cars on the road, and the fact that it is only going to get warmer, makes the whole experience less frightening.  right now on the other hand, i have semi-wet clothes to ride in. i am deathly afraid of getting a flat with my studded tires on.  i don’t think i can stretch frozen rubber over these rims on more time.   also, i am not sure of my head light’s life span.  it was completely charged two weeks ago, i used it for ten minutes last week, and now it only has hour charge…..yikes!  i have an led headlight that i use as a supplement, but i hate using it as my main light…it’s not bright enough.

anyway…wish me luck.

-ex-cyclist