Tuesday, September 06, 2016
I haven't ridden much this year by my standards. I'm at around 1800 miles on the year so far, which probably sounds like an avid cyclist to someone who doesn't ride, but I easily had double that by the beginning of last September (hell, in one week in July I logged 500).
There've been reasons I guess. Got into a bit of a winter funk at about the same time I discovered how the bus schedules work. If I wasn't feeling peppy of a morning, it got to be an easy default to throw my bike on the 101, ride down the hill and transfer to the MAX and I'm at work early with only three miles in the saddle. And if I'm running late, those run often enough to make up lost time for me.
Time was when just keeping up with Corinna would have put me in the saddle more miles than I've managed this year. I managed 1693 miles the year I missed four months to a double bypass and then a couple more weeks to a vasectomy (because thanks to the miracle of insurance out of pocket limits, you get a free vasectomy with any open heart surgery).
But Corinna's own injury issues have put a big damper on her miles, and she used to be able to bury me in miles just with her ridiculous touring jags (170 miles in one go, in the winter, in a snowstorm, with a fully loaded bike, stopping only to pee, eat and drink coffee). So all of a sudden I realize I'm a week out from Bike MS, which anchors my year the way Critical Mass anchors my month.
So Corinna suggested a bike ride with Molly, which is a challenge, mainly for Corinna. Molly pedals some, but basically you're putting a 15 stone passenger on your bike when you put her in as stoker.
What Corinna wanted to show me was a castor bean plant in the yard of a daycare. Which is funny, up to a point, but unfortunately I knew too much about castor beans from reading a true crime book about Deborah Green, who made a credible attempt on her ex-husband's life with castor beans. They're in a spiny shell, then there's the rock hard bean. Swallow one, you'll poop it out whole, unharmed. Grind it up, mix it with a highly sweetened coffee beverage, you might get it down someone.
So after the castor plant, I rode them home and then went on a bit of a ride around, just trying to knock the cobwebs off. This Wednesday and Thursday I can ride round trip to work and then it's off to the Ozarks for 80+ miles two days in a row. I feel underprepared but my first Bike MS I only had 600 training miles in before it total. So I'm three times more prepared than I was for my first Bike MS.