Today was just another day getting between home and work via bicycle. It's definitely my favorite way to commute for a number of reasons. The foremost of which is that I love riding my bike.
Sometimes I forget that. When I'm tired or when it's absurdly hot out. Or on those days when for some reason the bike just doesn't seem to fit right and I can't get comfortable. And of late, I've been spending a lot of time officiating, so part of me hasn't been happy with the fact that I haven't been on my bike on a weekend since I don't know when - ok, so I just looked it up, it's been a year not counting computrainer time or the spin classes with the ABRT juniors on Saturdays last winter.
This evening, I left the office and cycled over the Hains Point to get some miles in. The first lap was pathetic. I had no energy and contemplated a one-and-done but then a friend pulled onto the loop ahead of me. We rode together for several laps, picked up Chris for a while and a fellow we didn't know but who had the simple courtesy to ask if we minded if he tagged along. Nice enough guy who was happy to hang with us - I wasn't going to tell him it was a Zone 2 sort of night. Mother Nature threw some large rain drops at us, but nothing much really. But I kept an eye on the sky anyway and noted the growing storm up river. I bid the others farewell, hoping I was guessing right about being able to ride fast enough to stay ahead of the storm.
So I take off, pressing the pace, once more riding at a speed that would scandalize many of the members of my recreational bike club. In other words, I was exceeding the 15mph speed limit on the trail. Oh dear. ;-)
I notice that my tail light isn't working. Batteries don't last forever. Just wish tonight wasn't the night it gave up - it's getting darker and darker as the clouds chase me. Love my new headlight. Running it in daylight flash mode because it's not dark enough to need it in headlight mode.
I cross the Woodrow Wilson Bridge - it's just a hair over 2km long (2053m to be specific). I glance to my left and see that DC is looking night-dark with heavy clouds dropping a shroud of rain on the city. I looks cool but I'm more interested in getting to my car before the weather gets to me than taking a photo. The winds are starting to pick up.
I hit the final climb and throw a lot of watts into the first, steepest section. When I push, in my head I'm often off in the land of pros. Tonight is no exception. I hit that first part of the hill and I'm Joe D flying up Mt. Baldy. The grade lessens just as my body points out to me that I'm fast twitch, not slow twitch... in other words, I'm a sprinter not a climber. Ok fine, I'm not Joe D, I've simply delivered him to the final phase of the climb. As I continue to push myself up the final segment of the climb, my phantom Joe D is flying up ahead.
The traffic light at the top of the climb even cooperates and turns green just as I arrive. As I back off to sort of cool down for a few hundred meters, I realize that I'm ready. Time to reach out to my old coach and talk about prepping for the TT championship in August, because I'm ready. Not only do I love riding my bike, but I love pushing hard on the bike.