February 3, 2002
The Adventure Begins

Saturday, 9 a.m.

Every muscle in my body is singing right now  ...  at least, every muscle from the waist down  ...  and the song I'm hearing is not "Oh What A Beautiful Morning."  It's a dark, sonorous Wagnerian dirge: something that speaks of pain and misery and perilous winters spent trudging up the sides of steep German mountains. Shiveringmatching buttercups in my buttercup-yellow jacket, I lean forward and push the Schwinn a little harder into a frigid East Bay wind.

I knew the first bike ride of the season was going to be tough. I just don't think I realized HOW tough.

I was fine for the first stretch of the ride. It was actually pretty exciting, feeling foot reconnect to pedal for the first time this year, muscle reconnect to motion,  big sedentary butt reconnect to Spandex.  David and I beamed at each other, as we set out.  This is it! 

The beginning of The Great *2,002 in 2002* Bike-Riding Adventure.

But now, as we round the far north corner of the abandoned Navy Base, I can feel the past three months of chocolate and inertia catching up with me. But the grinding, excruciating muscular agony in my thighs and my pelvis is only half the fun: from the waist UP, I am one big ice cream headache. I can no longer feel my fingers clutching the handlebars, the tips of my ears are burning from the cold, and the droplet of snot swinging from the tip of my nose is threatening to freeze over.

Whose stoopid idea was this, anyway? What am I doing riding a BICYCLE in the dead of WINTER, forcryingoutloud? What ever possessed me to believe I could ride 2,002 miles this year?

When will this torment end?

After what seems like a double helping of eternity, David mercifully coasts to a stop in front of me on the pier, next to the USS Hornet. Thank god!! my throbbing thigh muscles shriek. I have reached the outer limits of endurance: I have nothing left to give. I am a limp, frozen, hollowed-out husk of a woman. As I bring my bicycle to a wobbly stop, four feet behind my husband, he checks the odometer and looks at me with a smile.

"Guess what?" he announces happily. "Now we only 2,001 miles left to go!"

2002 is going to be a very long year indeed.

First day of the 2,002 in 2002
one mile down ... two thousand and one to go.

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

of course, here in california anything below 50º
is considered a *deep freeze.*