Perhaps this is getting old –
Actually, this is all about getting old –
Yep- another day, another commute – Another record – this time by more of a slice than what I did yesterday.
But I am getting ahead of myself – some details that make this ride, this moment a little more special to me than otherwise would appear on the surface.
Yesterday I had a great ride. It was a great day by any standard. Sally rode to work, perhaps caught up in my passion for riding. She did great. Had a wonderfull experience in and out, felt refreshed and invigorated – endorphin lollypops for all. We had a not so gourmet dinner, and some adult beverages and were feeling rather proud of ourselves and basking in the shared experiences of the day.
It’s 8PM and the phone rings – Sally’s dad fell. It’s off to her folks to pick up her mom and follow the rescue crew to the hospital.
Looking at DC laying there, I could tell by the lie of his left leg he was… screwed. X-Rays soon confirmed his hip was a mess. He would need a trip into the body shop for some structural work if he was ever going to walk again. At 90 such a trip is always a concern.
After talking with the OS we were able to get Sally’s mom back home to bed around midnight, and we made it home late. Long day –
Then it was up early to gather the troops and be at the hospital to be on hand for the operation. I was going to work – you can have too many people in a waiting room – Sally was going to the hospital. As usual, I was riding in. Sleepy but better than DC was that morning.
Riding alone one has time to ponder. Mostly I think about work if I am commuting – sometimes I ponder philosophical things – Today I was thinking of being active and fit at my age, and keeping that up for the rest of my life. I don’t like the idea of becoming frail – breaking things – I want to be 80 and get up in the morning like I was on springs. I was curious if I have what it will no doubt take to see this though – or will I one day just stop and take up residence on a couch and slowly fade away consumed by my own agedness – go down without a fight.
Starting for home tonight I was tired. A co-working asked if it was time to break another record. “Not tonight, thats for sure – I could fall asleep right now” was my simple reply.
It is a familiar sequence. Once the muscles warm up, wind in the face – music filling the mind – I become re-invigorated, born again hard. So, I am still not setting pace, just easy tempo riding and a thought enters –
Laying there – post surgery, which thankfully DC seems to have made it through without complications, What would HE do if he were here and could be me at this moment? What would I do if I found myself at a doorstep moment in life and could back up to THIS moment and participate in THIS adventure, if only for the time I had to get home?
Time to throw it down. I picked up the pace and got steady freddy on my eddy with some upper tempo riding – right up to the “I think I am going to barf” zone, and stayed there. I looped on Ranbird on the iPod for the remainder of the ride. My 20lb bag with my laptop in it was making my back SCREAM, Legs were doing the mashed potato. I was balls to the walls riding like someones life depended on it. This one was for DC and I visualized HIM feeling the wind on his face and youthful power expelling from his heart, lungs and legs as I thew myself and my machine at every hill along the way.
As the ride progressed, doubt set in. I had announced over my inner-voice loudspeaker for all to hear that this was for him – a dedicated effort. The problem was, I was not sure what my exact record time was – thats what computers are for – keeping track of such things.
Towards the end of the ride is a not so fun hill. Almost the entire commute home is up hill, but this section has more than a little sting to it, and my Corsa Extra does not have a 27 out back – I would have to sit in on a 24 all the way up. My estimation of time had me well below record pace. What kind of dedicated effort was this? Well, I thought – nobody will know unless I relay the days events here. Simple.
Then I start making excuses. I had a slow start – I was down the road aways when the idea was on me –
Also, being a new build, I was having trouble getting on the big ring at times, and on the one downhill where I can get skinny and fly, I was spun out on the 48. That HAD to have made a difference.
There I was – in the vomit zone… Knowing for sure that with all these factors, I was not going to have anything to write about. This was NOT going to be a best time dedication worthy event. Sorry DC..
How about the best ride I am capable of RIGHT NOW? If I rode the best I could RIGHT NOW would that not cut to the essence of the matter ? – to the heart of the dedication ?
Thats what I proceeded to do. My quest became to do the best I could possibly do on THIS ride – let this moment stand for itself.
Two clicks down – and spinning up with renewed focus on the upper ends of the false flat of the hill through the orchards, the sweat was obscuring my vision, but correcting the situation to any satisfaction would only delay my cause. Press on.
The final turn then up the driveway, which is the technical crux for a street bike with 12% grade on loose gravel for 450 feet – but protocol says I can not stop the clock until I am at the back door.
When I did, there was a time. I had no idea how this compared to other rides – I mentioned that I had not bothered to commit the record to memory. It would only be after I load the 705 into Ascent that I would know..
But first there are dogs and cats to feed – A phone call with Sally, who is back up at the hospital and I am pleased to report that DC seems to be recovering from the 3 hours in the body shop. Good news. Being who she is, she asks how my ride was tonight. “OK” is all I come back with.
Now it’s time. Time to flip open the laptop, and plug in the 705
What have we here?
Damm. You go you !
That was for you DC. I hope that in your anesthesia filled dreamscape today you found yourself with the wind on your face, if only for forty-six minutes and thirty-nine seconds.
Not sure what it will take to top this – perhaps more of the same old thing…