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The stuff that keeps me riding (for JeffreyH)(39 posts)

The stuff that keeps me riding (for JeffreyH)lonefrontranger
Oct 9, 2001 9:39 PM
A little rest now and then is a good thing. Too much of any good thing (like Neapolitan ice cream?) can lead to boredom and disillusion. A combination of dumb riding and SPD non-release caused me to spend the last six weeks in a cast (busted ankle), off my bike and gnawing the furniture in frustration. Stuff that keeps me riding my bike (in no particular order):

- Brothers Grimm Part I: Stuck on the wrong side of the ridge in the Black Forest at nightfall. No lights, charging thru pitch-black singletrack. Navigating by smell, adrenaline and the paranoid fear of getting lost in the Big Bad Wolf's backyard, 3000 miles from anything familiar and/or a decent pizza. German MTB studs I'm with don't comprehend the phrase "Slow down dammit, I can't SEE!!". (they: "Ja, Ja, Schnellen makst!") Unsure whether to laugh, scream or bawl like a baby, but my MTB skills improved about a thousand percent.

- Butterflies Part I: Long, steep climb in rural Southern Ohio on a sweltering day, on a 60-mile grovel of a training ride. A brief rain shower wet the road and us, to our vast relief. Suddenly we were climbing through this enormous cloud of butterflies, and the countryside below looked like something right out of a Skittles ad.

- Brothers Grimm Part II: About a half-dozen roadies and moi are FUBAR lost in the sticks of rural Kentucky. A ride buddy got chased by a randy miniature billy goat. Dude happens to be a rabid Scottish patriot, so the ensuing hilarity associated with the caprine species is best left to the imagination.

- My first time trial: I flatted. My first road race: it snowed. I finished, DFL. My second road race: gorgeous day. I crashed and removed several dozen acres of skin (note to self: always wear sports bra; road rash on boobs quite unpleasant!) My third road race: It poured freezing cold buckets. I won on a solo break.

- Butterflies Part II: Third lap of a Sport race. Long, hot & sunny powerline climb. Midway up, a big Monarch perched on my forearm and took the chairlift to the top.

- Jumped into a duathlon on a lark, never mind I run like a slug on Demoral. Transitioned from the run about like I figured; dead last amongst the 75+ age groupies (I'm 32). Passed 537 people on the bike leg, won my cat. by 17 minutes (God, I love my bike!).

- Stopped to wait for some stragglers partway up a dirt climb in the Colorado outback. Big freakin snake crawls out in the road to sun itself (me: !!?). Even bigger redtail hawk drops out of the sky and flies off with it. (snake: !!!!)

- The satisfaction of tearing into a good, dirty overhaul on a crappy November Saturday.
- Autumn rides through woods that look like a stained-glass window.
- The rush of breeze, color and excitement as a pro men's field speeds by at 40+ mph.
- That comfortable buzz when you're sitting around telling tall tales after a long group ride.
- The opulent feel of a new Record hub.
- The bracing smell of citrus cleaner and rubber when you walk into the LBS.
- The indescribable magic of skimming along on a silent machine on a snowy, full-moon night.

Anyone else?
The only thing I can say is:Spinchick
Oct 10, 2001 4:19 AM
you and I should never, ever ride together. We would get in WAY too much trouble.

Glad for you the cast is off. I spent a very similar 6 weeks back in Feb. (have the holes in the furniture to prove it) after dropping a 45 lb. plate on my foot at the gym. Can you say KLUTZ?????
cast comes off tonight...lonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 8:57 AM
and I'm looking forward to nothing more glamorous than a darned good scratch!
Been there...done that...Kristin
Oct 10, 2001 9:03 AM
On your way home from the doctors office, stop by the store and pick up some of those green scrub brushes (fingernail or facial brush will work too)...you'll need it. I was shedding skin for 2 weeks. (wrist was only casted for 4 weeks.) And prepare yourself, its gonna look nasty!
oh, yeah...lonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 10:33 AM
I busted my arm bigtime as a teenage bike-racer wannabee, before I understood Rule #1 of Crashing: hang on to the handlebars all the way to the ground.

I had surgery twice and was in a full-arm cast for eight weeks each time. I vividly recall the scurf and nastiness, and have armed myself accordingly with various loofahs and pumice stone. A good long hot soak also goes a long way towards removal.
cast comes off tonight...Turtleherder
Oct 10, 2001 1:53 PM
This may be too late, but don't forget to take a shoe and sock with you for the foot that is in the cast. Happens everytime, your foot has been in a cast for weeks and you forget that you won't be going home that way.
LFR's back with a vengeancemickey-mac
Oct 10, 2001 5:00 AM
Wow, this is just what this board needed. Welcome back!

*Seeing that same look of annoyance on the faces of morning commuters as while flying past them on a bike.
*Seeing the same 75 year old man on a Colnago almost every morning and hoping still to be riding at that age.
*The sound of the pump coming off a presta valve.
*The rubber smell left on the hands after changing a flat.
*The view from the top of a 15-mile climb.
*No need to stop for gas.
*A daughter who asks "Did he/she win?" every time she sees a rider in a yellow jersey.
*Seeing bikes every time the garage door opens and knowing they're being put to good use.

mike mcmahon
good on ya, mikelonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 9:08 AM
Now THAT's what I'm talking about!

The worst part is that I was so incredibly bummed that I torpedoed my cyclo-cross season, that I went out and bought a new 'cross bike. A Colnago Dream Cross with Campy, to match my road bike.

I need help. Or maybe an extra wheelset.
good on ya, mikemickey-mac
Oct 10, 2001 9:26 AM
As you can probably guess by now, we missed you around here. Hank's also been AWOL lately, so there hasn't been a lot of discussion of the Dead Milkmen, Thelonious Monster, fIREHOSE, or bands from the good old days.

The cyclocross bike sounds like fun. I'd love to pick one up, but will probably end up divorced if I do. I floated a trial balloon the other day by jokingly mentioning that I was thinking about buying a cheap used bike. It didn't go over very well. Maybe next year.
pardon my french: this is F'ing poetry. exactly what i needed. nmJs Haiku Shop
Oct 10, 2001 5:11 AM
ps: welcome back, LFR. you were missed. nmJs Haiku Shop
Oct 10, 2001 5:12 AM
Yah! We talked about ya!Kristin
Oct 10, 2001 6:20 AM
Welcome back. There's only one thing I have to say. You are super human sister! Hey, how long have you been racing/riding? Please don't say 1 year. :-)
thankslonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 7:17 AM
Being missed is very flattering; it's nice that you guys/gals noticed.

To address your question, Kristin - I have been riding seriously for over fifteen years and racing for ten. Andy Hampsten was my inspiration in the mid- to late '80s.

Several factors interfered with me lurking while I was laid up. Mostly I just wasn't fit company for man or beast. Work got fairly hectic last month, and after 8 hours a day unable to elevate the leg, the injury hurt/swelled up so bad each afternoon that all I wanted to do was lie down and elevate it, so sitting at the computer at home out of the question. Last, but definitely irritating, my login is busted in the new format, so I have to re-enter it every time I reply or post.
I was having the same log-in problem. TrySpinchick
Oct 10, 2001 7:24 AM
logging in when you first open the board, before you try to post anything.
my pleasure. nmlonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 8:20 AM
further remedies for cycling burnout include...lonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 9:57 AM
- Get on your beater and ride through mud puddles like a six-year-old.
- Build dirt jump(s) in your backyard. The dog digs SCUD craters and the lawn died in June anyhow, so live it up.
- Get together with a few similarly obsessed and/or crazy people and play bike tag (or hockey, or Frisbee).
- Teach a kid (and/or yourself) how to wheelie, trackstand and bunnyhop.
- Learn how to remove / put on a jacket safely while riding no hands (practice on grass until you have it down). Then do it ever-so-nonchalantly on your next group ride.

Feel free to add on here:
my stufftarwheel
Oct 10, 2001 5:19 AM
- keeping a log book and counting those miles add up
- setting a personal best average speed on a long ride
- the natural high that lasts for several hours after riding
- being able to wear clothes again that were too small a few years ago
- cruising along at 20-25 mph in a paceline
- admiring my celeste Bianchi that's endured for 15+ years and still rides like a dream
- the look and smell of a freshly cleaned and lubed bike
- talking with other bikers before and after group rides
- appreciating the scenery on a country road
- getting waved to by other bikers, runners, walkers and even a few drivers while riding
Can't compete, but...Mel Erickson
Oct 10, 2001 5:26 AM
Early October (year ago) Saturday afternoon and the temperature calls for tights. Sun is low in the sky about a 1/2 hour from sunset and just peeking out from below some scuddy looking clouds. The newly paved road is wet from a brief shower and the cool wind feels good toward the end of a 40 miler. My shadow is long against a blazing gold field of soybeans. Everything is right with the world.
Wow! LFR = Cycling Goddess. (nm)RhodyRider
Oct 10, 2001 5:59 AM
I've got a crush on her. I admit it. nmbill
Oct 10, 2001 7:15 AM
nm
no goddess, merely obsessed...lonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 8:21 AM
but thanks anyway! You guys are cute.
All joking aside...RhodyRider
Oct 10, 2001 9:08 AM
...I truly admire your passion and respect your dedication to this cycling lifestyle that you so obviously love. I hope you heal up fast & well and get back in your groove. Best to you!
Oh go ahead, how many chances do you get to be a Godess?nmMB1
Oct 10, 2001 9:26 AM
Good stuff...DINOSAUR
Oct 10, 2001 6:06 AM
You should be writing for Bicycling Magazine, keep on pumping out threads like this, it's what this forum needs.
She's too good.look271
Oct 10, 2001 6:54 AM
Admit it. Her post took you more than 10 seconds to read. Way too much copy for Bicycling. Great imagery! One to add:
Cruising home after work, on a crisp autumn night, no one but me on the road, moon brightly lighting the sky. I can see my breath as I seemingly fly over the tarmac. Light is getting dim. I don't care. I can see by the light of the moon. All, for now, is right with the world.
re: The stuff that keeps me riding (for JeffreyH)FlySpinner
Oct 10, 2001 6:16 AM
Here are a few thing that keep me riding.

- Knowing that every time my daugther asks me to ride with her It is time more valuable than any other (and she is learning by example).

- The wonderful feeling of peace and release as the problems and stress of the day slips away with each mile.

- I agree the cloths are fitting much better.

- The interesting people you meet.

- And, being the only person on the road on those autumn mornings when the light is perfect and God's canvas is full of color. It is these time you can feel God smile... it is good.

Richard
My saddle, to this day, looks painful. My bar looks low, mybill
Oct 10, 2001 6:38 AM
hoods look away (and that silly knob on the ergo shifter still looks ridiculous). Every last ride brings a little trepidation, isn't all of this gonna hurt? But then I climb on, and I get settled, and I grab the hoods, and I start to breath the air pushing into me, forcing into my lungs and opening them up, and I remember -- that saddle has supported me for many miles and it doesn't hurt at all. The hoods are right where they should be, bringing me just a little closer to the road now moving beneath me. It all feels like home.
Great post, thanks - nmWannabe
Oct 10, 2001 7:45 AM
nm
re: The stuff that keeps me riding (for JeffreyH)Len J
Oct 10, 2001 9:04 AM
Welcome back LFR, we missed you. Great topic too.

Stuff that keeps me riding:

-Those moments in a ride when the bike as a seperate thing disappears. When The bike & I are one, moving effortlessly forward for an extended period. Cool feeling.
-Being 46 & knowing that riding is keeping me young.
-The quiet from a well cared for drivetrain.
-Early morning, no cars, sun just up, first warm rays of the sun, Stillness.
-19 year old son saying, "Damn Dad, how do you do that", with a mixture of admiration & incredulity after I tell him about a long ride.

-Feeling alive.

Len
Hey thereBipedZed
Oct 10, 2001 10:23 AM
Glad to see your cast is coming off and you'll be back on a bike. Think you'll make it to some cross races towards the end of the season? The Boulder cross series is shaping up to be really good.
Hi Chris,lonefrontranger
Oct 10, 2001 10:55 AM
I'll certainly make it to one of the races, don't know yet if I'll actually be racing or just spectating. I've been vegetating for 6 weeks. Plus the Redline is history, since I sold it to make way for a Colnago 'cross bike, which won't be in for a while yet. I guess I could always pull the bar-ends off my MTB.
When I come backKen56
Oct 10, 2001 11:36 AM
in my next life, I'm gonna find me a woman like Lonefrontranger or Spinchick or Kristin. Or some female who likes to bike. :-)
Ken
re: The stuff that keeps me ridingTig
Oct 10, 2001 11:27 AM
The pain of a long, hard ride. You know, "it's a good kinda' sore" feeling. Cycling is about dealing with pain, so I try to remember that "Pain is weakness leaving the body".

Riding for a while and enjoying the whole mix of feelings, sensations, and scenery so much that you haven't even looked at the bike computer in over an hour.

The sound of autumn leaves crunching under your tires while riding a trail under a canopy of golden, orange, and red filled trees.

Rolling up to a group ride and seeing an old teammate show up that you haven't ridden with in years. Then catching up with events and chatting about past races, rides, and missing teammates.

Not getting dropped by the fast group like I did just a few months ago. Sometimes getting dropped several miles later than before! It's been a while since I was in my 20's like these guys and girls are, so the challenge is a good one!

Waving at a fellow rider coming the opposite way, and seeing them wave back. A group of runners that cheer you on when you pass them.

After a long, hot ride, being covered in sweat from head to toe. The feeling of personal accomplishment is greater felt through this than looking at the day's mileage.

The excitement you get thinking of tomorrow's ride. Preparing the bike and bottles the night before is a special ritual. Putting on all your riding gear and filling your pockets is the other pre-ride ritual, like a matador before the bullfight.

The sound of a chain shifting into the big ring.

The powerful feeling of riding an extra 10 MPH with a good tailwind.
Welcome Back LFR! You're the Xena of RBR!!!Jon
Oct 10, 2001 12:20 PM
speaking of road rashnfm
Oct 10, 2001 12:25 PM
http://gallery.consumerreview.com/mtbr/gallery/files/shannonauckly.asp
Ouch! (nm)look271
Oct 10, 2001 6:37 PM
re: The stuff that keeps me riding (for JeffreyH)harlett
Oct 10, 2001 1:39 PM
lonefrontranger..............girl, you are like a deep breath of fresh air....

learning that pain is temporary.
turning lifes friction into momentum..
learning the real contours of back country roads..
realizing that it's not always about getting somewhere, but rather the joy of randomness...
having a curious young girl want to talk to me about bicycling..
testing my potential..
when i am at a stoplight and another cyclist is there, i usually know their name by the time the light turns green..

life is a verb..
Turning Friction into Momentum......Len J
Oct 11, 2001 4:01 AM
I Love that!

May I steal it for something I'm writing?

Thanks

Len
Call it an uncredited source. BTW harlettMB1
Oct 11, 2001 5:31 AM
sure writes well, doesn't she? I don't usually interact with her since she manages to stay out of the gutter and doesn't ride a tandem but I always read her posts.