Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

When I let Dexter out this morning I was hit by a blast a warm air. I looked at the ground. It's mostly dry. It clearly hasn't been raining. I'm going for a ride! I go inside, eat breakfast and quickly dress to avoid missing this unforeseen dry weather in Portland. Wearing my RAGBRAI jersey over a long sleeved shirt and my tights I take Dexter for his morning walk. I fill my water bottles and go out the garage to pump up my tires.

As soon as I take the cap off my back tire I can tell something is wrong. Air is leaking out the the valve and then BOOM! it explodes. Thankfully it doesn't hit me but I feel deflated just like my tire. I don't feel like changing the tire or riding without a spare. Forget it. But, then I remember. I have another bike.

So, I grab Reilly, my hybrid and head off toward Tabor. I have been painstaking in my workouts this winter. As I ride towards Tabor I can't help but compare riding to the elliptical or cardio dance. For me, anyway, riding is easier. The combination of stoplights, flat riding and coasting downhills means I don't get the sustained high heart rates I get with the other two. But, boy do I feel how much the fitness in my legs has improved when I get to Mt. Tabor. It was so much easier than the last time I did it. How cool. Go elliptical go!

I climb to the top and circle it absolutely surrounded by people that must have had the same idea I had this morning when the rain starts, lashing us sideways as the wind picks up. Everyone's hair is flying all over the place. Leaves scurry across the asphalt. I'm outta here. I don't have a jacket on, I'm a few minutes away from being soaked, I'll finish my cardio at home.

On the way down I see lots of cyclists and walkers getting off the mountain as fast as possible. The wind is just ferocious and the rain stings. I see a dog running full tilt alongside of a car, no leash, and tighten up. Cycling has definitely made me wary of unleashed dogs. At the bottom I call Pho Van and order my favorite Sunday lunch: chicken noodle soup, or pho ga.

Riding towards Pho Van I pass through the smell of a wood burning fireplace. Now, those people have the right idea today. It almost smells like a different time to me. I pass a cyclist holding an umbrella and give him a smile. Then I stop at Pho Van, pick up my soup and head home.

When I get home I open the container and discover that they gave me beef. I give the beef a try but end up feeding half it to the dog. The other half I threw away. Hmmm...exploding back tire, a deceptively warm morning that turned into a fierce, windy rainstorm, and beef instead of chicken in my chicken noodle soup. Eh, could be worse. Oh well, I'm off to finish my cardio.