Tuesday, September 22, 2009


15.75 miles
about 40 Degrees

So why is it that the Kevlar the troops use in Iraq and Afghanistan can protect them from bullets and shrapnel but the supposed Kevlar lining in my road tires won't even stop a thorn or sharp rock?

Knowing that I was doing a road ride in the morning I ventured out to the garage after watching Heroes last night to fix the flat on my back tire from Saturday's ride. On my way out the door I noticed the three flat tubes from the MS ride and decided to patch them first. About half an hour and four patches later (one patch didn't take so I had to use another one) I'm finally out the door and into the garage. I reach for my bike and set it down on the ground and noticed that it felt funny. What the heck, the front tire is flat as well? Remind me not to by Nashbar cheap-o tires again. I changed out both tubes with the newly patched tubes and kept my fingers crossed that they would hold for the morning ride. I could have put new tubes in, but why, when I'm just going to puncture them in a day or so anyway. I then proceeded to adjust my brakes that are almost worn to nothing after 2000 miles. I just haven't been near a bike shop during business hours for awhile to buy new ones. After adjsuting the brakes, I went back inside to patch two more tubes because I will need them later. Finally I am done fixing up the bike and patching tubes for the night. I head back out to the garage to put things away and notice that it is actually chilly already. I instantly think of my morning ride and how I'm going to freeze my ...toes off so I go back into the house and start rumaging through my gear to find my leggings and a long sleeve shirt for the morning.

This morning I woke up and crawled out of bed and could tell instantly that it was cold outside. I shivered in the house after putting on my gear and I hadn't even stepped outside yet. It was about 40 degrees or less outside and I felt it instantly, even with my long sleeve shirt, leggins, and jacket. I rode over to the Y to meet up with Mike and its still pitch dark when I get there. Mike shows up in shorts and a jersey because he has no sense of cold. I think he felt it this morning though. Upon deciding where to go, I stated "nowhere near water" and not thinking much of it, we headed out to the paved trail that leads into the Heights, you got it, along the Yellowstone River. I forgot about that portion of the trail. It was cold and of course the faster we went, the colder we got. My toes quickly went numb. I guess I should have worn my insulated socks. Poor Mike was freezing. He wouldn't say so but I could tell because I did all of the talking this morning and even I had a hard time with that. We proceeded down the trail, chasing deer as we rode, until the sun finally started to illuminate the tops of the rims with an orangish glow. We decided to turn around and head back, however Mike wanted to look at Bench Blvd. for something dealing with work and told me to head back so I could get home in time.

I took off alone and decided that the surface streets would get me back faster that taking the trail all of the way back. As I approached the intersection of Main and 6th at Metra Park, I realized that the traffic sensors were not going to pick me up on a bike so I tried to work my way across the street. I found an opening in the North bound traffic and bolted but wasn't quick enough to hit my window through the South bound traffic so I hit the brakes and skidded to a stop in the middle of the road next to the median. I felt like I was playing Frogger on level 100 assuming that anyone has ever had the attention span long enough to make it to that level. Cars had wizzed by on both sides without an opening for about 3 minutes when I looked up and saw Mike flying down Main St. and turn right onto 6th Ave, right where I needed to be. I doubt he saw me since he was focused on not getting clobbered in the traffic. So much for my shortcut. Mike fades off into the distance and I am still sitting there in the intersection. It has now been atleast 5 minutes and there is no sign that the traffic is letting up or that the light will change. Finally, there it is, a small window. I bolt and am now surrounded by cars on 6th Ave. Someone lets me onto the shoulder and I'm off towards home. Of course, I was late getting home so I rode over to the bus stop just in time to say 'hi' to the girls and get them on the bus. I took a long, hot shower when I finally got home. I still feel cold.

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