Bruised rib. Rain. Back-to-back Tot visits. Flu (David). Head cold
(Secra). Rain. War. Family obligations. Job stress. Flat tire.
list of reasons why
David and I haven't been able to ride our bikes much, the past couple
of months, reads like a crash
Excuse-Making 101. (All that's missing is jury duty, "stomach flu" and
a fictional Dead Grandma or two.) Taken individually, any one
of these excuses -- my stoopid back injury, for instance, or the war
starting last month, or even the fact that this has been a freakishly
rainy April, even for the Bay Area -- would, to the average normal
non-bike-riding person, probably seem like a perfectly legitimate
reason not to climb onto a bicycle. It's when you string all of the
problems and setbacks and weird physical maladies together, one after
another, that the whole thing starts to smell as fishy as one of
David's tuna casseroles ... as though we've been going out of our way
to find reasons to get out of riding.
And that's simply not the case.
Honest. Even it smells
because we haven't set a riding goal this year. "Without a goal," he
moans, "we're worthless." As loathe as I am to agree with him on this
one, I think he may be right. Last year's objective of racking up
2,002 miles in 2002, while often punishing and painful -- I wanted to
quit at least once or twice an hour -- did manage to get us out of bed
and onto our bikes ... even on those mornings when all we really
wanted to do was sit around the apartment in our jammies, eating
pancakes all day. It forced us to continually challenge the limits of
our physical /mental/marital endurance, every week ... especially late
in the year, when time was running out and we were still 247 miles
short of goal. Without that sort of motivation now, poking us in the
backside like the mighty pitchfork of God, we've found that we're a lot
less likely to push ourselves to ride when conditions are less than
optimum (read this: when we don't actually feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel like it)
and a lot more
likely to sit around the apartment in our jammies eating pancakes all
-- as we reminded
ourselves this past weekend -- it's only April. There's no law that
says we can't still set a new goal for ourselves for 2003, even four
months into the year. So we've begun tossing some ideas back and forth.
It's not likely to be a huge mileage goal: that much is certain. David
knows that I would rather squat in a rice paddy and give birth to
octuplets, sans drugs, than attempt 2,003 in 2003. But we're both in
*agreeance* that it should be something moderately challenging. An
endurance goal, David suggests: sixty miles in one day, maybe, or a
300-mile month. Or perhaps another group ride ... just to make sure I
get my annual dose of humility and heatsickness. ("How about
goal?" I suggest hopefully. "Let's see how many pairs of adorable
cycling socks we can collect in one year?") We'll be batting around
ideas for the next few days, trying to come up with something we can
both get excited enough to commit to.
in the meantime, we did finally manage to ride this past weekend.
Nothing major: just a
couple of sweaty fifteen-mile sprints around Bay Farm Island ... a ride
we both could have managed in our sleep, during the height of the 2,002
in 2002, but which feels a little like pedalling at the bottom of the
swimming pool now. It's going to take a while to get back to last
year's level of fitness, I'm afraid. Still, I've got to say that it
felt good to get out and to get on The Butt D-Luxe and to stretch those
flabby middle-aged muscles again. With any luck, we'll be doing lots
more of that in the weeks and months ahead.
long as the dog
doesn't eat our bike shoes, that is.
to throw a rock?