February 27, 2008

March cometh...

Let the bells ring…. MARCH is coming!
Quickly to follow, daylight savings time! Thank goodness …. Standard time is for chumps.

Tomorrow, it’s time to get started again – a long layoff from the bike, partly due to weather, partly due to the Texas 200K from a couple weeks back. Ok, mostly due to the weather not cooperating. As I was reminded by a friend from St.Joe recently – whom also finished the Arrowhead 135 this year, I should mention – the sloppiness of the roads is relative. I haven’t done too much this year to fill up the “I’ve-had-worse” folder – in fact, this is the first year that I’ve ever traveled to a warmer clime to get an early brevet in – even tho most of that was to see a friend, it should be noted that I didn’t exactly leap back into the saddle once I arrived home! This winter, as the news tells me, has been one of the sloppiest, wettest ones in over a decade, so I suppose we were due for it – but I didn’t use much of it as an opportunity to honor my north-of-the-Arctic-Circle heritage.
I’ve been playing it safe, I suppose -- nothing wakes you up in the morning like a near-miss with black ice and a trash truck! Ah, yes – there was that one morning, dressed in Bantha skins I took to the streets when it was +9 degrees, but that was a one-shot deal. This boy is ready for warmth.

I’m done with cold. Cold is dumb.

So, basking in the RELATIVE warmth of 40 degrees today, I feel pretty good, but I’m not sure if I’m just gonna wait until March actually begins, or start immediately getting back to the business of re-earning my moniker of “CommuterDude”. It’s a heavy weight, sometimes, knowing in the back of my head that I have NOT commuted to work in a while. There’s a guy – Crowbar – that sits only a few seats down from me that has been commuting, nearly daily – except for really icy mornings where the roads are beyond un-safe. It’s hard to hear him get all the questions and disbelief from co-workers that I used to get – I’m not jealous, mind you, it’s just interesting that only a few years ago that was me, and the last couple of years I’ve been full of excuses and stuff. I’ll get it back. I need to get it back – gas is just ridiculous. It’s solidly over $3.00 a gallon now for weeks, and it’s stupid. I honestly don’t know, however, where people will learn to stop – the demand is higher than ever, it seems. It’s just not going to stop until it’s 1973 all over again, and pumps start actually running out of fuel to give. That will be an interesting day, I tell you.

Man, I’m rattling here, aren’t I? I look to this weekend, and the promise of a flirt with 60ºF, and I start to look at the ride calendar and find it hopelessly bleak-looking. None of the regular weekend rides will probably start up until later in March, maybe April even. There are the usual faves like Longview, and I may just have to head east. That’s always a good one. There is a new local one in Olathe, the Bike America Ride from the new Bike America location at Santa Fe and Clairborne, but I haven’t been able to contact the ride organizer for a while now, which makes me wonder about it. Whatever I decide upon, it’s clear: the road is calling – I have had the bug for a couple weeks now, since returning from Texas, and the weather & my schedule have just not been meeting up. The first 200K of the KCUC season is on March 8th, and even though I already have a 200K in my legs this year I still feel like it’s probably a good idea to maybe get some spinning in – duh. I’m actually shocked how LITTLE the Texas ride affected me, after the fact. Yeah, it was hard to get thru, but perhaps the fitness center time and such has really paid off in ways that I can’t yet SEE on my body, or see on the scale. It wasn’t a speed record, no – but I had almost no post-ride fatigue like I would have expected from so much time OFF the bike before such distance. Not looking a gift-horse in the mouth, I’m keeping on it, and this cyclist will be leaner and trimmer by this time in 2009, fo-sho.
It feels good, and it’s far better than wallowing in shoulda’s and Twinkies; that version of the ‘Dude, which has been hanging around these pages for about 8 months, is dead.

Time to get on with business again! Fun! Rides! LIFE!

I feel charged up --- and I’m really ready to ditch February:
Bronchitis, strep throat, stomach flu (twice), snot, headaches, sinus problems: This February, the hardest month for anyone in this part of the country to get through, was especially hard this year. MAN, I’m ready to feel better, and for my family to feel better!
It’s been ROUGH! Finally, we are all well – or at least on the mend here… I have the last touches of a stomach thing that is finally letting go. Just in time. Man, I love vitamin C…. sometimes, it’s just not enough. Freakin’ public school system… germ-pool, more like. ANYways…. No-one’s fault – it’s sick season, and I’m ready for that to be OVER.

I have my 217km RUSA-sanctioned permanent route approved and posted now, also, and that feels good – after Bob’s brevet season wraps up, I am considering using it to keep the gander up when time permits – helping that, Bob’s got a few other 200K’s off in the distance summertime, which is new – and VERY welcome, and I’m excited about that as well. I think that I’ll be sticking it in town this year, so it’s nice to have a good calendar of rides coming up, plus all the usual local favorites that are always a treat.

I might also…. Hmmmm….. well, maybe….. I haven’t decided yet….
Nice teaser, eh? Crud, I don’t know --- this is very much gonna be a fly-by-the-seat year, just have fun, and ride lots. That’s my 2008 motto.

If it isn’t fun, don’t do it… and if it IS fun, by all means, enjoy it like it’s your LAST ride, because that’s how life should be lived. Smile, sing, laugh, and pedal hard when you can – revel in the hard times, because they are defining, but always remember that when the hard times come, it can’t be THAT bad…because you’re still on a bicycle.
Ahhhh… the open road CALLS! Bring the spring rains, wash clean the sand and salt of winter! Bring the shorts and throw away the heavy jackets! Ahhhh……

Dude, WHO ELSE IS READY FOR SPRING?!?! Bring it on! J J J


Noah said...

'Shacks is BEYOND ready.

I had some bronchitis a while back, took to the streets on a seemingly nice afternoon to hang with some nerds at a local coffee-and-alcohol-and-free-wifi establishment (what more could you need?!) and ended up catching a ride home with someone due to the combination of my cough, the rain, and the falling temperatures.

Someone called me on the disparity of the situation and my winter mantra. :(

Of course, just wait a few months and I'll be whining about heat indices approaching or exceeding 110°F

WildcatAl said...

I am so ready for spring. Plus when the heat index is 110 I don't have to worry about how many layers of clothes to wear.

So SPRING, are you ready? Cuz the commuters are ready for you!

As the Dude said, BRING IT ON!!!!

Dan said...

I'm ready for spring! We're just now getting some morning daylight as the days get longer, but the switch to DST will take it all away.

Chris said...

You would think growing up in the frozen tundra strengthens your ability to endure the cold crummy weather we are having...NOT...that's why I moved down here! Yea, it's not Texas or Arizona but man...think Minneapolis right now, we have it great! As for heat index, I'll take 110F over 25 any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Cold winds and frigid temps do NOTHING to improve my attitude like a HOT - SUNNY day will.

martinoffroad said...

Didn't I read sometime ago about you doing a Marathon at Disney World, I am thinking about doing that one for my first one but really am having a hard time getting motivated to train for that, anyway did you ever do it?