I haven’t even looked at a bike in over a month. Other than when I head to the washer/dryer, that is, but then only peripherally. I believe there was maybe one or two rides in October, on top of that.
It’s okay and there are some okay excuses as well. Partly it’s burn out, partly it’s that darn Burke-Gilman closure which just makes the commute such a bummer (way more shaves with cars going the alternate route than I like). I caught the start-up entrepreneur bug pretty hard and had a close call with the big time. Then on top of that I was offered a new job at my current company, one I’m super excited about… plus I get to work with my old pal KonaLad!
Also this November I participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge, like last year. In itself that month-long writing slog is like a day-long riding slog, the mental challenges being equal to if not greater than the physical ones. There were some nights I was just tapped out and couldn’t muster a measly sentence. Other days I was on fire, churning out close to 5000 words in a case or two. However I stuck with it and it’s done and I’m immensely proud of myself, and it! I intend to self-eBook-publish it, as well as last year’s Tandem! novel.
[Literary aside: I’ve crafted this book to be a mediocre American’s homage to Raymond Queneau. It’s kind of a hoot wrapped in a farce wrapped around a kernel of semi-serious philosophical over-pinnings. I even manage to include a special appearance by Barbara Wright, as herself, as she helps foil the bad guys, naturally. This book is a keeper. I had a ball just inventing stuff on the fly, those flecks of mud that whistled up through the best-laid plans proving to be the best parts of all…]
[Donation aside: please consider going to NaNoWriMo and donating to a good cause, I’ve done so both years because I so appreciate what they’re doing!]
It’s good to take some time off of two wheels in the sense that, when I return to them, I’m sort of starting from scratch. I’ve definitely added my November/Thanksgiving weight gain (I tried going to the gym several times a week, but… it’s really not the same thing). I can feel muscle tone disappearing.
But then tonight I watched the Ride the Divide documentary and could feel the old bike blood running warmer and warmer. I feel like an old bike chain has been coiled around inside me and seeing that scenery tonight and just watching those riders, those pedal motions, those cadences, those roads, has inspired me, given me a few drops of chain oil to get the mental kinks out. (Ray was the mental kink, btw, but Dave would be okay with that). The picture above is of the Hartsel jailhouse, taken on our recent road trip. I was reminded of this pic as I saw that same building from a different angle in the Ride the Divide documentary tonight! Driving through Colorado this past September already prepped me for seeing Ride the Divide and now that I have I’m more than ever convinced I want to do that route… at a touring speed fo sho.
Turning over a new... mile
So with the November writing challenge done I’m going to take some time off from the computer and spend some time getting my hands dirty nursing the bikes along for a nice bit of winter riding. The current plan is to keep the La Cruz, put some aluminum VeloOrange fenders on it, some nice Panasonic Pasela TourGuard tires (same as what SurlyLady has on her Casseroll) and convert it to be my main commuter rig. Then I’ll take that nasty rack off of the Vaya and let her remain true to her all-purpose, off- and on-road roots, to be my main adventure bike. I’ll take the Woodchipper bars off of the Cruz and put on a spare set of Short and Shallows. I think I’m also going to butcher the brown B17 saddle, put some drill holes in it and sew it up a wee bit. Then I’m going to put some new wheels on the Sarthe, the Schwalbe 25c tires and rewrap the bars… and start to think about riding it this spring and summer to prep for the High Pass Challenge! As of today I’m officially in training mode!