And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish.
One bad egg can rot the whole barrel. They’re coming apart at the knees. We’ll burn that bridge when we get there. Ah, the happy world of cliches, especially mis-quoted cliches. Where would people be without cliches to fall back on when genuine articulate communication fails us? Ian and I have a magnetic cliche set on our fridge, and we really do get many hours of enjoyment out of it. Here are some of our recent cliches.
For a not-so-quick ride report for this weekend, click beneath the fold. As most of you are aware, this “summer” hasn’t exactly come through, weather-wise. While other parts of the country swelter, we’re stuck in a rut of 60s and drizzly, with occasional sun breaks. As each weekend approaches, those of us who plan on spending more than half the day outside (doing crazy athletic things) start compulsively checking the weather forecast. If just checking the forecast could guarantee good weather, we’d have all sunny days in the mid-70s for riding.
Sadly, the compulsive weather-checking hasn’t worked out yet, and as a result, this Saturday dawned very wet and drippy. Some drizzle, I’m fine riding, but the kind of downright rain that Saturday morning inflicted on us… well, I’d ride in it in January, but not July. Dad and I decided to join the group of people who postponed the RAMROD training ride until Sunday, which had a much more optimistic forecast, and we took Carmel to the dog park. Ironically, the sun came out on Saturday afternoon and it felt quite summery and pleasant.
Saturday afternoon, Dan the PT texted me with an offer of an alternative ride closer to home on Sunday morning. Start from home, rather than drive to Issaquah? Ride wherever we want, at a reasonable pace, just the two of us, later in the morning? Sure thing. We set up a place to meet and I had a plan. Sunday dawned overcast but not particularly ominous, with high but not too threatening clouds. At least, that’s what I thought when I left my house at 8:30 am. When I got to the top of Juanita Drive, about 7 miles into my pre-ride warm-up, I noticed a drop on my glasses. By 9:30, when we met up at the base of Norway Hill, the rain had begun in earnest.
However, there was no putting off the ride another day. The workweek makes rides longer than 30 or 40 miles difficult. Who has half a workday to blow on a ride? Anyway, here’s where we went.
Most challenging for me was the ride up the steep side of Novelty Hill Road, which gets very steep indeed — 20% grade or a bit more — at points. Even before, though, I just wasn’t feeling particularly fast or strong. My stomach didn’t like the oatmeal or Clif bars I put in it, my legs felt leaden, and I had low stamina. Dan is a Cat 4 Masters racer (and as such could’ve dropped me any time he liked, but mostly he didn’t, which was nice of him), and I really wanted to be strong and fast on the ride. Instead, I felt tired and my legs started burning very early on. Oh well. I did my best, and that’s all anybody can ever ask.
So we rode. It rained. We sprayed each other and ourselves with that happy slurry of rain and road filth that may have stained my gorgeous new white kit* permanently. We stopped once, at my request, just after Novelty Hill. I worked hard and by the time we went up Seminary Hill, my legs felt exhausted. I was happy with my effort, though. I might’ve been able to go faster, if I was being chased by a tiger or something, but otherwise I pretty much burned up everything I had left at the top of the hill.
That was good timing, because Seminary Hill was our last climb, and I just had to straggle back home after that. Dan peeled off at the top of Finn Hill, as he lives somewhere up there. In the end the ride worked out to about 75 miles for me, which is frickin’ excellent for a relentlessly rainy, wet day. I got home and took a hot soaky bath, then read a book for most of the afternoon. Naturally, the rain stopped not long after we finished, but it never got sunny.
Overall the route was good, the company pleasant, and the weather crappy. Two out of three ain’t bad, right?
*Kit = biking uniform or outfit; “team kit” refers to matching shorts, jersey, socks, arm warmers, vest, and jacket that bike racers on a team wear (example here).