Sunday, October 17, 2010

What I've been up to.

I have to admit, it has been strange to be without my road bike for the past month.  Very strange.

At first, I had those recurring thoughts that spontaneously enter the mind of a habitual rider:  "When will I ride next?  Man, that last ride was hard!  Wonder if Mitch and Barry wanna ride on Saturday?  I better mow the lawn Friday evening since I'll be on the bike for 4 hours Saturday and will probably want a nap afterwards."

Within a week, the thoughts and feelings became more dramatic:  "I can feel my legs undergoing atrophy, I am definitely slower than person X now and person Y has been riding alot, too.  I wonder if I could borrow someone's bike."

Some thoughts bordered on the extreme:  "What if I just buy a new bike now, and sell the Cervelo when it gets back?!  Yeah, that's the ticket!"

I pushed through the madness with Barry's help.  I'm borrowing his 'cross bike and trying to ride once a week or so.  Rob also came through big when the CLM 100K rolled around.  He loaned me his Storck Fenomalist with Shimano Di2.  In a word, that system is seamless.  I still cramped up, however, so it's not perfect.
Despite all of this, I am still twitching and worrying that my form is evaporating.  Comforting words such as "it's almost the off-season anyway" will find no home here.  Beyond the physical aspect (I am well aware of my pack-fill amateur rider's all relative), it has been so long since I've been off the bike that I've forgotten how much I rely on it for my mental health.

My ever-patient wife and Coach will tell you that I've been challenging at times.  When on the bike, just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do my best to lay it down.  However, leave me around the house with most tasks accomplished and chores completed, and I might get a bit grumpy.  Fortunately, Jill has sensed this flaw in me and kept us busy with fun stuff, visiting friends, and a wonderful trip to the fall festivals of the NC high country.  With a trip to Baltimore coming up later this week and plenty to do in preparation, I think I'll make it through ok.

The bike is currently at Calfee, and should be back by Halloween, give or take a few days.  Once that re-build is final, I might not post up for a while as you'll be more likely to find me out on the road.  Until then, I'll be thinking of this thing called 'cycling' and how it is far more than a physical activity and a means to hang out with friends.  More and more, I'm relating to the subtitle of Barry's blog:  interpretation through cycling.  I continue to see cycling as a metaphor representing many aspects of life, but even after 4 weeks, I almost feel like I'm seeing a story written by someone else instead of by me and that's not a bad thing.

After all, interpretation must be taken from more than one view, even if the landscape seen from the saddle seems the most meaningful at the time.