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Overcoming the Obstacles

by on August 1, 2013

There are some mornings when a bike ride is all about overcoming the obstacles.  This was one of those mornings.

I woke up to rain.  It was a steady rain.  The radar showed that it was going to rain for a little while, then stop, then start up again.  It was 70° F.  Do I really want to ride in the rain?  I considered not riding, and then remembered the things that keep me in it.

1) Do I really want Dan to ride alone?

2) Since I’m on a weight loss plan, that will be 500-700 calories I can’t eat today.

3) It will put me behind another 20 miles if I don’t ride.  That’s $10 for the Malaria Project and 20 miles I don’t log in preparation for other rides.

4) It’s only rain.

So, I do my preparations and then go out to set up the bike for the ride.  I encountered more challenges.  I decided to ride the fixie.  It is the “rain bike” after all.  I move the battery for the light.  I remember that the front wheel is not working right, so I swap out my spare wheel and inflate the tire.  I wonder if it will hold.  That wheel, tube, and tire has not been used for a year to a year and a half.  I look for the “beaver tail” fender and I can’t find it.  Fine, I’ll try the race lite fender.  It looks like it will fit, but the rear flashing light is in the way of the attachment point.  I move the flashing light down closer to the rear hub.  That takes a while because the screw head is on the spoke side and I have to dig in the saddle bag to find the tool.  I install the race lite fender and it rubs.  There is no way it will work.  I remove it and look again for the “beaver tail” fender and find it.  I install it.  Now, I’m ready to go.  It is still raining, and there is still time to get to the Rusty Bridge, but it will be close.

As I roll down the driveway, the rain intensity picks up.  Traffic on Highway 2 is heavy and I have to sit and wait for the traffic to break before moving down the road.  It is no fun sitting in the steady rain, not moving.  Finally, I make my way to the Rusty Bridge, and start the short wait for others.

No one shows up.

Now the debate is strong in my head.  “Just go home.”  “Do you really want to ride alone in the rain?”  “Those other guys are wimps.”  “Thanks, Dan.”  I push off when it is clear that no one else is on their way to the bridge and I’m muttering all the way.  The rain is still steady.  I think about upcoming long rides where it might rain and set my mind on simply grinding out the miles and enduring the discomfort.  I compose a mental email to the rest of the group about what they missed.

Then, as I get to where White’s Road intersects with the trail, I spy a flashing red tail light!  I approach and it is Chip on his fixie!  He was waiting to see who else would show up.  The rest of the ride was an enjoyable conversation as we discussed and shared stories about Alaska.  I never noticed when the rain stopped, but it did.  The ride was shorter than usual, but the only thing that interrupted the conversation was the smell of bacon near The Big Bean.  We circled back to find the source, but couldn’t locate it.

What an enjoyable morning ride!

This Ride: 17.4 miles
Malaria Campaign: 1256.8 miles
Funds Pledged: $628.40
Contributed in support: $1,587.60

Total = $2,216.00

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From → Cycling

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