23/04: The Season Opener

You may have noticed that I spend a lot of time writing about bicycling. In fact a lot of what appears on the pages of Pedal Pushers is written by me, but lately there has been a problem. You see, of late, I spend a tremendous amount of time writing about bicycling and very little time actually doing it, even less writing about riding! Hopefully this is going to change, effective with this morning.

Let’s consider this to be the opening chapter in a season of addled thoughts which spring spontaneously from the oxygen starved brain of an over 60 rider, me!

The first though I had this morning (the first ride of the season) was that the best spring training have ever done on a bike, was done off the bike. I occasionally play at running over the winter by doing the Long Island State Parks Winter Runs with my daughters Chris and Candice. Somehow this season I allowed Chris to talk me into training up for the Long Island Half Marathon (Not happening - ITBS). But, having made it to the 9 mile level before retiring from training, I actually found myself in far better shape for this ride than I expected. Far better, in fact, than any other first season ride – ever! Mental note to self – Run over the winter!

I set out with the idea that MAYBE I’d make it down Cedar Creek, but if I adjusted the terminus, well that would be ok too, so I set out at a leisurely pace and took Seaman Ave East instead of Sunrise. I thought, "Lee might enjoy it if I made it home alive." Note to self… remember some kind of visor, this is the time of year that the Sun literally blinds you riding East. Good thing I took Seaman. I looked down at the odometer 19 MPH, What???

Crossing Merrick Road heading the Cedar Creek Park I realized, once again, that no one in Nassau County ever cares one iota about cyclists. I waited for three cycles of the light (it turned green for opposing traffic exiting the parkway, but never turned green for me) before a car finally showed up behind me to trip the sensor for the light. I had looked around for a pedestrian button but found none... (note to self – complain about this at the next neighborhood watch meeting)

Finally made Cedar Creek (elapsed rolling time 22 minutes) 19.85 Average speed? OK something is definitely wrong, but hey sounds good anyway… (Note to - self check wheel diameter settings)

God the fact is that I still love things about Long Island, once you get away from the traffic and the noise, the ride down Cedar Creek is really lovely, and today’s ride was once of the perfect ones, Slack tide, no wind, the bays were like glass. The only sounds, the chain on the cassette, whirring tires and the ragged breath of a sweaty old man huffing down the trail.

Passed a couple of inline skaters. They are much nicer than most spandex clad full kit arrogant Lance wanna bees. They say hello, and good morning, they smile and are happy to be out on such a morning as this. Pass the typical Tour de Farce Roadie poser, and they look angry and rule number one if you ride in a matching team kit, NEVER BE NICE TO ANYONE PASSING IN EITHER DIRECTION. Who the hell wrote that rule anyway? Find a nice dude all sweaty and working hard as hell on his 28 lb. Huffy Mountain bike, and he’ll be all smiles and short of breath but he’ll smile and say “hi, how ya doin’?” just like a real person. Ahhhch, the heck with it, enjoy the morning, ignore the posers and enjoy the nice folk.

This might come as a shock, but every now and again I manage to slip into a less than optimistic attitude, the last few weeks were particularly bad. Then I figured it out… I had quit running and replaced it with nothing. No endorphins, no exercise, nothing, and the mood slipped. Climbed back on the bike, put in about 23.8 miles and the world was all smiles again. Gotta Love it…

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