My ass has been properly kicked, no, for real. Proper kicked. The ride Monday, started in typical Ohio fashion, cool and wet. I rolled out of the driveway and headed on my way, but leaving the house wasn’t that easy. See my ego in an attempt to preserve itself….well, at least stay warm and dry, kept telling me “Go ahead and drive today, you can start riding tomorrow” Oh it was tempting to listen, yes it was cool and yes it was raining, but I also knew I had to take responsibility for getting out and riding. That little voice in my head isn’t real, real is getting on my bike and riding with no excuses. So, out the door went into the Ohio spring weather. As I mounted my ride, I got a few funny looks from a few of the neighborhood kids waiting for their bus to take them to school. Nobody said anything, but their looks were enough to convey what they were thinking…”What the hell is this guy doing on his bike when it’s so crappy out here?” So, I smiled to myself, clipped in and pedaled off for my first commute since arriving back in Ohio in October.
I’m not even out of the neighborhood, before I’m approaching my first climb of the commute, a short but steep kicker to get out of the neighborhood. Hell, of a way to start your ride, eh? I get up to the top, mind the stop sign and then commence to get out on to the road to join traffic, and then begin a steady climb towards the railroad tracks, and on a very crappy road. I can’t wait until they add the center turn lane and re-pave. Traffic is actually pretty nice at just past seven, the morning rush hour is about 45 minutes away, allowing me to get well on my way before it gets crazy. Wow, what a morning to start riding, but it feels good to be pedaling again…damn my ass is out of shape. I roll onto my next stretch of road, it kicks up ever so slightly, but it’s long. My legs are still feeling the results of Saturday’s ride and are filled with a not so firm rubber, and they are not really into it. I pedal on…just. I make my way to the junction and cut through the Speedway on the corner, I smile as I see the cemetery gates are open. This saves me from dealing with traffic getting on I-70, and it also shaves off a good bit of time, I’m not sure how much, but I know it’s worth it. Greenlawn cemetery is beautiful, similar to Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, lots of the early movers and shakers of the Columbus are are buried there, so there are some amazing headstones and personal mausoleums. I’ll get pictures of some of the stuff and post it in future entries. I roll out of the cemetery…OK, I got lost in the cemetery, only briefly…all is good now…and out onto Greenlawn Ave. I come to my final climb a train overpass, my legs have left the building, I have a peculiar feeling that they took leave and left me with what appear to be noodles. I have to stand to pedal just so I can finish. Damn! I roll through German Village and out into the onto Parsons Ave. I roll past the same intersection at which I broke my leg commuting 4+ years ago, and onto a long stretch of road that has little traffic, but some of the craziest and fastest drivers trying to break land speed records. The cars on this stretch always seem to be driving with a general disregard for all other living things, luckily I have two blinking LEDs (Thanks Tony and Kurt for the hook-up) on my bike and person. I am more than 3/4 of the way to work and I am feeling the effects of not having ridden in 6+ months. I feel almost sick and the noodles that are playing the part of my legs are even not digging their job…I think the noodles want to quit also…but it can only get better from here, right. I mean as my body adjusts to the torture I am currently putting it through. I arrive at work with cold wet feet and sweat soaked clothes, but I got the first ride out of the way and feel good about that.
Well, I now realize that even though Ohio is flat compared to Utah, flat is all relative, and wind is wind.
Thanks for reading my boring drivel and as always….Ride On & Ride Safe.
Peace, Patrick – SSD Crew