Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Morning...

I feel like writing this morning...   really I should wait until after this evening's workout to update... but I felt compelled to write a little bit this morning on some random things. 

This morning I was out the door and on the bike by 7am.  My plan was to do an easy 14 miler with some high intensity sprints in it.  I figured if I head to the boulevard which is about a 5 mile ride for me I could do a few sprints there and then head back.  So off I went down Smith street towards the east side of town.  Somewhere along the way I decided if I was going to go for an easy spin that I was going to at least enjoy it a bit.  So I let my route meander around things I like.  Such as the State House.  Its really an amazing building.  Through various events I've worked on there I've seen just about every room of it.  I've even been inside the dome at the top and stood all the way at the highest point of the State House next to the statue on the top of the dome.  I've been all over the roof and put lights all over it during the big New Year's Eve celebration there on the eve of 2000.  I feel connected to the building.  That was the largest show I'd ever done back then and I spent a lot of time wandering all over and inside that building.  And so somehow I became rather fond of it.  Even personally attached to it.  Now they light it up in different colors for different holidays.  They do it themselves, and they don't do it near as well as I did.  But when you see it lit up in color know this...   I was the first one to light up that building in color, and I gave them the idea.  I'm digressing again...     really I should have just said..   I like this building.  Because I do.

So then after a lap around the State House I was back on task and headed to the east side.  Somewhere along the way I realized I was riding through the city, there were cars everywhere and I felt very comfortable.  Very aware and cautious certainly, but comfortable.  My bike handling has come a long way.  The last time I rode this route was not long after I got my bike and I was very nervous for the whole thing.  There are many intersections, crazy city drivers, and lots of traffic.  Today I felt comfortable.  It was a nice feeling.  Its funny and perhaps a bit romantic in the classic sense but I think the more you ride and run through a city the more you take ownership of it.  Walking through a city just doesn't give you the same sense of things.  So today from my bicycle as the sun was getting higher over the horizon I felt at home in this city.  My city.  It may not be much, but its home.

On to the boulevard I went and when I got there I rounded the U turn at the end and then took off down the back side of the boulevard as fast as I could.  Over the top of the slight rise and barrelling down the back side of the slight descent with my speed climbing to 25mph.  And at that point I started to question my plan for the day.  Was there really much point in doing sprints?  Was that really going to add anything?  I shrugged it off, cooled my pace down back to easy and then rode down to the end of that length of the boulevard.  Round the end and then up to full speed again down the back side.  Halfway down this 1.6 mile stretch of road I decided to change my workout plan so I slowed down back to a reasonable pace and decided that instead of sprints I was going to work on getting in and out of my bike shoes while leaving them on the pedals instead.  Something I'm getting pretty good at, but more practice can only help.  So thats what I did.  While riding I would undo the velcro straps, grab the back of each bike shoe and pull my foot out and rest it on top of the shoe.  All while trying not to loose too much speed.  Once both feet were on top of the shoes barefoot I would pick a white line or crack in the road up ahead to be the dismount line and then swing one leg up over the top tube, squeeze the breaks and hop of the bike right as I hit the dismount line, grab the bike seat and start running with the bike into "transition".  Then I would reverse the process.  Leg over the top tube and onto the left bike shoe pushing it down and starting the bike moving forwards.  Right leg kicks off of the ground twice to add speed and then lands on top of the bike shoe.  Pedal barefoot on top of the shoes for a bit and then its grab the back of one shoe, slide my foot into it.  Pedal Pedal.  Grab the left shoe and slide my foot into it.  Pedal Pedal.  Close the velcro strap on the right shoe.  Pedal Pedal. And then close the velcro strap on the left shoe and were off.  I did this again, and again, and again.  At least 6 or 7 cycles of this.  I got faster and faster each time which was great.  I was even doing it while pedalling down the bike lane on the boulevard with cars just a couple of feet to my left.  Fortunately my balance was quite good so I wasn't swerving while doing this.  So it was good practice.

After doing that for a bit it was time to head back through the city to home.  Traffic had doubled in this time and there was not a whole lot of room between the cars fighting for space on the roads and the curb on North Main.  It made that part of the ride rather intesting, but kind of fun.  Then I came round and back by the state house again.  At this point and older cyclist rode up next to me.  We chatted for a bit at the light and he asked me where I was headed and our routes lined up so we rode side by side chit chatting most of the rest of the way home for me.  I like running into other friendly cyclists, or really any friendly person out for a workout.  Its always nice to feel like your part of a larger group.

So this morning was a lovely ride.  Some good practice, and a random chat with a fellow cyclist.  Every day should start this way.

Next up...   a lazy day of not much work, and then the open water swim / transition practice session.  Should be a good time.

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