Today was my lucky day, but it was also a good, good morning. As I wrote in my previous post, I think I’ve figured out my recovery problem. I went on a short, but hard (effort) ride Wednesday evening and a longer ride Thursday evening and still woke up this morning ready to roll. I’m feeling more like myself again. Does my use of ibuprofen make me a doper a la Armstrong? Well, an old guy needs an advantage.
All the organized rides looked likely to run past lunch either due to a late start or a combination of long mileage plus slow speed. I really wanted to be back home and grooming the yard by 11:00 latest. So, I decided to ride east through Huntsville and climb Monte Sano. Here’s the route I use.
I ran into another cyclist on Indian Creek Greenway that I had met and rode with on the AMBA ride last year. He was headed into Huntsville also so I had company into the city. But, once we got to downtown, he headed south while I continued east. Alas.
The first thing that made today good was that I think I had a personal best climb today. I should have set a lap on my Garmin at the start of the climb so I’d have the stats, but it just felt great. I’ve always been an out-of-the-saddle climber and it has taken quite a bit of training to be able to climb more from the saddle. Not only was I able to climb it totally in the saddle, but I felt good enough to crank the speed up on all but the two steep sections. I reeled in and passed a couple of mountain bikers spinning furiously in their little gears. I felt good and felt strong; reason #1 for a good day.
One the way back home, I stopped by Cafe 153 in Bridgestreet for a frappe. The barista was curious about my ride and, when I told her I had just come down from the mountain, she asked, “How do you climb a mountain on a bike”. I guess I’m not as quick on my feet as I like to think I am so I just replied, “Shift down. Grit your teeth. And pedal.” Being much more eloquent in retrospective, I started thinking about what one should say in response to that question. (Let me know how you’d describe it.) One might say that it is the same as “how to eat an elephant” except one pedal stroke at a time. I also read something a while back that I really liked and that could be applied to this question. It was something like “Step 1: Has my heart exploded? Step 2: Am I still breathing? Step 3: Pedal for 60 seconds more and goto step 1.” I really like that and that thought process was reason #2 for a good day.
On to my lucky day: I passed the Google Streetview car heading east on Old Madison Pike just inside Madison City. The blue pin marks the spot…
In retrospective (yet again), I decided that I should have a) gotten into the drops to look like a badass — OR — b) pulled out my phone to snap a photo. Instead, the inner cracker in me took over to wave at the cameras like the fools trying to photobomb the evening news by jumping around behind the roving reporter. This may well be my 15 mins of fame and I’ll be looking like a jackass waving in Google Streetview with a goofy grin on my face. Of course, you don’t want to miss that so check back over the next weeks or months to see if I show up. Reason enough (#3) for a nice day.