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I love my bike

There’s no way around it; my bike is special. If I’m feeling even halfway healthy, it’s an amazing, transformative machine. I can get up earlier in the morning than I want to, when it’s much colder than I wish, bundled up more than I want, and within a few pedal strokes I am where I want to be. Not just physically, but mentally as well. I had feared that spending so much time off the bike, while I was in Thailand, would make getting back onto my bike painful, something I’d want to avoid because I wasn’t in shape, and that until I got back into shape, it wouldn’t be much fun.

That was so wrong. My first ride, last Thursday, was pretty slow and I don’t think “fun” would have been the adjective used to describe that ride, but it felt good to feel bad, to have muscles remind me they were still there. And Sunday’s ride to the coast? Nothing short of awesome. I was a slightly-slower version of my normal self. The ride just got better and better by the mile. The power meter told a reassuring story; I hadn’t melted down, just cooled off a bit.

And this morning, climbing Kings, I almost felt normal. I’m still a bit new to this power meter thing, but I’ve found it helpful both in pacing myself and assessing my overall strength. I was climbing quite a bit better than Kevin (my son), who missed Sunday’s ride due to a hacking cough. True that I wasn’t going to be able to ride off with Karl & the other Kevin & Keith & Marcus & George (or catch up with Marcus, who’d started up the hill a few minutes earlier). But my pace was steady and I had no issue adapting to Kevin’s somewhat-erratic speed as he struggled a bit on the climb.

Cold? Not so bad. 45 at the start, lowest I saw was 36, up on Skyline. You can easily dress for that. A little bit damp in places from some overcast that had no chance of drying out, but didn’t make a mess of our bikes. A slight breeze at times, but nothing unpleasant.

My bike and I are, or should be, inseparable. That 60cm Trek Madone 6.9 is by far the best bike I’ve ever owned. But what about when I’m in France and need to use my folding BikeFriday? Or when it’s raining so I’m on my old Trek 5900? Guess it’s like the old Stephen Stills song. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.

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Lack of posts <> Karen got eaten by Tiger

Just need to clear a few things up here regarding the lack of posts. Trip to Thailand was great, too much going on to update. We did do one easy ride, for an hour or so, around central Chiang Mai on bicycles. We did visit Tokyo for a few hours during our layover on the way back, something that most would think pretty crazy to do, but hey, that’s the norm for me. And I did get struck pretty hard by some sort of “thing” that sapped my strength and made the final flight home seem like something that was never going to end.

But I’m back. I rode to the shop today, and rode home hard & fast, despite it being the first time on the bike in over two weeks, despite having lost literally 4.5 pounds of water that I sweated out last night. Yes, I weighed myself when I got back (ouch! 175!!!) and then again this morning (170.5). And yes, tomorrow morning will be the regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, on Kevin’s 21st birthday (and Thanksgiving), no less.

I feel great. Film at 11. –Mike–

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