Listen, 67 degrees and brilliantly sunny don’t often happen on November 9 (especially when we were close to that on the 8th), so despite the pulled hamstring and general tiredness from yesterday’s yardwork extravaganza, hell yes I was getting out on the bike today. 50K on Saturday and 50K again today, some of the nicest rides I’ve had all season. The promise of sun and warm is hard to believe in November, and the blustery wind was oddly warm, so I found myself ridiculously overdressed for the task, shedding legwarmers and sleeves inside of 10K as the sun just beat down on me. It was glorious. I’m loopy on endorphins and I ain’t mad at nobody. A few final random ride thoughts from what may be the last best ride of the season (though trust me, I will make a few more miserable slogs, too):
- Drivers – I know that slowing down as you pass me is a mark of weakness, and I’m grateful for any little bit of breathing room you allow me, but don’t endanger us both by swinging entirely into the opposite lane. You can be too courteous.
- I’ve been afraid to say this, but I haven’t had a flat in months. These new tires seem much less susceptible to glass.
- Things I used to think were hills simply aren’t. So I’ve made some improvement over the past couple of years.
- Over 8176 km (more than 5000 miles) on my Specialized Roubaix in three seasons. Never as much as I’d like, but not shoddy. Rides were fewer and shorter this summer, partly from the awful weather and some other commitments.
- My poor Nike shoes have done all of those 8000K, and probably another 8000 on top of that. I go through a pair of pedals every season (lots of stop/start on the urban rides really wears out the left pedal and cleat), but these shoes seem to be indestructible.
- Since the rabies hit it seems like roadkill raccoons are not only rare but runty, but man I saw a big one today. Still, the roadkill of the year was definitely possum, and plenty of it.
- Once the leaves are off the trees, there’s hardly a place for a natural break, as Phil and Paul call it. Even the cemeteries feel a little too exposed at this time of year.
- Millions of insects were born on this sunny day in November. Long-term, probably not the best plan, but insects really play the numbers game well.
- Sometimes I see an abandoned styrofoam cooler along the side of the road, just the normal detritus of summer, and wonder if maybe it’s somebody’s kidney that didn’t get to the operating room in time.