A couple of quick, random thoughts.
1) You meet nice people on bikes. I was out a few days ago and ended up riding along with a guy named Lance from Texas. Seriously.
No, it wasn't that Lance, but it was a nice guy and we rode along for about 20 minutes talking about bikes and motorcycles. It's a reminder of why I like this sport so much.
2) I recently heard Rider 1 breathing hard. Now, I have always assumed that this happens, but it would usually happen when I was several hundred meters behind him on a hill, or when he is racing in a category above mine, or when he is out doing intervals on his own, but it has been a long, long time since I personally experienced this. I happen to catch him on just the perfect day; he had put in a long, exhausting day of physical labor the day before and was tired before he slung a leg over his bike. Perfect. We were rolling along, came to a rise and lo and behold, as we approached a turn we slowed together and I realized he was breathing hard. No, not really hard, but more than I remember hearing. Wow, I also saw Rider 2 use his small chainring this year, so I guess I have experienced it all.
3) I have now ridden six days in a row. I'm sure this is the first time in 2009 that this has happened and it is really nice. I have been trying out saddles (see Friday's post) and wanted to do it day after day to keep in mind the differences, issues, etc. Also, the new bike excitement probably helps (see Wednesday's post). Anyway, the hot weather we have been having leaves the early morning the perfect time to get out and ride. I have been by myself except for Sunday which is also nice.
4) I should remember to ride by myself. I don't have a hard time pushing myself when I am by myself, in fact I probably do it too much, but riding by myself means that I have had the leisure to futz with my saddle, bike adjustments and riding issues with no pressure to not hold up others. Also, I have been more thoughtful about things like pedal motions and various position issues. It's nice to get out on my own to remember these things.
5) I miss riding with groups. Because of my schedule, I haven't made many group rides lately and I miss rolling out with a group of 20-30 riders just because of the camaraderie, shared joy and misery, various BS that gets handed out, and knowing that the larger the group, the more likely that I will be able to hang until the end.
6) I don't have visions of Tour de France glory when I ride, but I have hit or narrowly missed a few bumps lately that gave me visions of Jens Voigt. There but for the grace of divinity go I . . .
7) Yes, in the 50's they told us to walk and ride AGAINST the traffic. The authorities stopped telling kids to do that a LONG time ago. Please don't do it and tell others when you have the chance. I nearly got into a head-on crash with an 800 year old woman (no, not a typo) because she was pedaling 2.5 mph against traffic and I almost didn't see her in time. Yes, I should have been looking up more, but I was tired, it was windy, it was slightly uphill and I DIDN'T EXPECT ANYONE TO BE RIDING AGAINST TRAFFIC ON THE SHOULDER COMING AT ME.
8) Speaking of old riders, saw one Saturday who I knew. He looks and acts at least a decade younger than he is. I hope to hell someone says that about me some day as I tool around on my comfort bike with the handlebars 18-24" above my seat level.
9) Speaking of young riders, my 14 year old is the proud owner of his first road bike. I have been out with him a few times, but I need to ride with him more. I took up this sport without any parental involvement, so I don't know what this will do to him, but I hope he has fun with it and that it is at least a couple years before I can't keep up with him.