fucking blogger . . .
all i wanna do is post some goddamned photos to complement this post. set the mood, display the tone. but it won't let me.
so humor me as you read along.
the past few days
have been amazing here in central iowa. average temperatures for this time of year is 31f, 0c, and we usually have received 8-12 inches of snow. but lately, the last nearly two weeks? holy shit, has it been great. looking back in my training log just now, i'm flipping back examining my weekly hours and kilometer totals. i have to go back to the first week of november to find a small week: just 230km, but my program only called for 9 hours, and that's about what i had [just reread: collarbone still mending, so that explains that. i forgot i was hospitalized in october. nice weather-induced forgetfulness]. but since then, here's the weekly totals: 237 km, 274 km, 257 km, 352 km, 300 km, 324 km, and for this week, with another day to go, 497 km. what the hell is this all about?
let me tell you. i've been fortunate to be able to ride with a lot of my teammates that i don't usually get to see this time of year [hollander between jobs, the robinson boys, paul, jimbo, and others--we're gonna have a very good 3s/4s group this season], and there have been the usual suspects [lippold, chad, donny, nathan] who have been putting in some long days and can be counted on to show up. but i've also been treated to the company of several riders who have been back for the holidays, including garrett, nick [the princeton asshole], acorn, sean noonan, randy reichart, and probably a couple others. it's great to catch up with them, talk about their plans for next season, where in the world they'll be racing, and such. the political discussions have had other voices, and that's always nice. several other riders have shown up largely due to this place, the gspot, which has proven to be quite successful as a tool to get folks out on their bikes, and riding with other folks. i've also been joined by several new riders, including little richard, and some great new buddies on the monday night fixie rides, including chris, tom, peter and billy, and every now and then, squirrel and steve the trackstand king of capitol city. sweet jane showed up once. every now and then, lou and pete show up and then go off together somewhere after a few miles. but they're still around, too.
but the groovy thing is that, as is normal for this time of year, we are doing lots of gravel riding. LOTS of it [80 milers--75% gravel--is not unusual]. we are mixing up the road rides, going places--gasp--we don't often go when the weather is nice . . .
. . .
[warning: soap box ahead which makes no fucking sense to me. seriously, it's stupid we ride the same goddamned roads all the time, but the collective stupidity of the riders around here baffles the hell out of me. individually folks are all about incorporating new routes, but when you get them all together, they become deer in headlights, afraid to vary from routine. splain that, lucy.]
. . .
and folks are having a great time. the miles roll along effortlessly, for the most part, although there has been a large number of bonks the past few days, and we LOVE that, kiddies, we do. LIVE to make others bonk. that's why i carry food: to give them AFTER it's too late.
right, garrett? little richard? others?
but the riding has been fantastic. eagles, deer, we saw a coyote today, enormous hawks,
actually friendly motorists, roads with hardly ANY traffic . . .
. . .
[guys, are you reading this? when i get on your cases for next spring and summer,
ASK THE FOLKS WHO RODE OUT EAST OF TOWN!!]
. . .
. . . and i remember why and how much i love cycling. i'm lifting weights now, and sometimes the weeks are pretty hefty, and the miles are long and the hills are a pain, but i just LOVE how it makes me feel. and i'm not getting all "i'm gonna eat flesh" or weird shit like that, but it's why cycling is so damned much fun.
you guys can ride your trainers in the basement, and you can do your off-weeks when the temperatures are 25-30 degrees above normal, but if you missed this shit this week, well, i'm sorry for you. really. not mean and vicious, just sorry. we've had a hell of a lot of fun out here. dcorn rode a few times, we made little richard late for home, we pissed off a few motorists, and a few cyclists, and we got some tough guy points.
the ride today was a "sacrifice" to the weather gods. they deserve it.
and so do we.
[hope you enjoyed the photos blogger wouldn't let me post.]