Okay, not exactly. Today I had a bunch of errands that required me out on the road, including dropping the van off to get a trailer hitch put on. This of course left me without net connectivity (GASP!) for several hours, as my laptop is still in the Laptop Medical Center undergoing major surgery.
What an excellent opportunity for a bikeride! I brought the recumbent with me, and after dropping the van off, loaded up my gear and headed off.
My route took me from Waltham into Lexington, onto the bike trail (see picture), and out to Bedford, and back. Along the way I took and placed a few phone calls, eliciting odd looks from folks as I chatted away on my headphone while biking along. After returning, and noting the van wasn’t done yet, I went into town and had lunch, and rode back. My bike computer said around 21 miles, but goole pedometer says 18.8. I trust my bike computer a bit more on this, I think, since it took into account all the little noodling I did along the way. My first serious bike ride of the year.
It was an invigorating ride all told. Weather was EXCELLENT (at the moment my outside thermometer says 71 degrees. Woo!), and I suspect I even got a little suntan out of it.
The most interesting part was on the return from Lexington. This is about the 15-mile mark, and I was hitting my stride. Riding on Lexington street is challenging because of the lack of shoulders, and the fact that there’s a lot of traffic. I realized after the third ‘weave’ that I had switched into NYC Bicycle Messenger mode. Approaching a traffic light, I looked for the best course through the standing cars, and took it – whether that was between the rows or on the sidewalk. I took no real ‘risks’ (never stopped short, never jumped through cross traffic, etc), but it felt REALLY GOOD. Between traffic lights I was sprinting with the flow of cars – many times I was moving at speed or faster than the traffic around me, and the cars let me have a space in the lane. When things slowed down, I slowed, found a way around the stalled traffic, and zipped on around, pumping hard to get back up to speed. I snarled at slowdowns “Grrr! I just got back up to speed!”
During one particular sprint, I realized I had shifted to my large front chainring, and was pumping away at a good pace. Looking down at my bike computer, it happily proclaimed 27mph, which is haulin for what is basically a very gentle downslope. I was in the groove!
I was able to hold this mode for about 15 minutes, between Lexington and Waltham. I now see the attraction to riding in town, in traffic, when in shape. I can’t hold onto it very long, I just don’t have the muscles or lung power for it, but I can see it coming.
I love my bike.