Friday, March 09, 2007

Almost to Orick... almost

Mileage so far in 2007: 621

***

Sometimes when I’m on a long ride my thoughts turn to work.

I think about all the things I should have done before the ride, the things I should be doing instead of riding, and the things I need to do after the ride.

I need to make an ad for a local beauty parlor and get it proofed. Jody wants to talk about an article idea. Someone wants to know how to subscribe. Billing. Renewals. Page layout. Briefs. Articles. Subscriptions.

The list grows longer and longer and I begin to wonder what the hell I’m doing pedaling a bicycle to Freshwater Lagoon and back in the rain on a Friday morning when I should be attending to business. I work myself up into a lather. I should stop. Call a cab. Hurry home. Get back to work.

Then I come to my senses. Work can wait. Besides, whether I ride or not, I’m still going to put in 60 hours or more for the business this week. Ain’t that enough?

Besides, I’m on a mission.

The panic subsides and my focus returns. I maintain a steady pace and change gears frequently. I scan the road ahead for broken glass and rusty nails. I dodge an empty vodka bottle. I startle a red-tailed hawk.

It sprinkles. It rains. Then it stops raining. I take off my raincoat. Then it starts raining again. Raincoat back on. Multiple costume changes again and again. Gloves on. Gloves off.

Glasses are fogged over and covered in raindrops. I try to wipe them but it’s pointless. The rain keeps falling. Sometimes I view the road through a foggy kaleidoscope.

I have no pretensions about keeping the body dry – I just want to maintain some sort of relatively dry portion of the upper torso. Unless I’m mistaken it’s what bicycle guru Kent Peterson calls “comfortably damp.”

I get as far as Freshwater Lagoon and decide to take a 10-minute break inside the sheltered picnic area on the north side of the spit. I nibble on a stale PB&J sandwich and force myself to consume water. Not the tastiest meal, but it will be adequate fuel if I can get it down.

Break over. Time to turn around. Wind gusts hammer me as a make my way back home. The raindrops feel like a shotgun blast to the face. I lean into it. A wicked smile overcomes me. I shouldn’t be smiling. I should be frowning. But I’m loving it. I’m cold and there’s a burning sensation in my legs, but I feel pretty good. Damn good.

I feel a heck of a lot better than I did a couple weeks ago when I rode this far. I’m not sure if my training regime is adequate for the Tour of the Unknown Coast, but it seems to be working in the sense that this week’s ride is easier than it was before.

I left the house this morning at 7:52 a.m. and checked the watch on a regular basis throughout the morning. I thought about work more and more and, sometime near Stone Lagoon, I came to my senses. I vowed not to check the watch again until I returned home.

On the way home, I pedaled faster. I stood up and cranked the bike up the hills. I hummed along at a nice pace.

Big Lagoon. Highway 101. Patrick’s Point State Park. Larrupin Cafe. Trinidad Inn.

City of Trinidad. Scenic Drive. Casino. Luffenholtz. Moonstone. Little River. Clam Beach. Airport. Hammond Trail. School Road.

Home.

Time: 1:28 p.m.

Now it’s time for work.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer Savage said...

I thought of you today as I pedaled uphill into the wind.

Whew. Maybe I should start using blueberry muffins as incentive.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Kevin L. Hoover said...

Since the early, strugglesome days of our papers, we've become accustomed to thinking about work in the back of our minds at all times.

There are so many details to putting out a paper every week - thousands of big and small decisions - and we're always worrying that we've forgotten something. Usually it's that one detail we assume is done that comes back to bite us.

8:16 AM  

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