My new old friend Mike (as reported the other day) has had a richer cycling life than I imagined. Distance rides, including a couple of double centuries (!) are part of his past. But now he is cycling in Portland, OR (not Santa Barbara as previously reported) 355 days a year, every year, rain or shine. Mike rides one of two regular routes, each in the 20-25 mile range. In that respect too Mike’s much more the Iron Man than I. I would petrify with boredom seeing the same route 177 days one year, and 178 the next.
In fact, I am going nuts here in our February/March from, well, not Hell, but maybe Alaska, with daily high temperatures approximating the IQ of that state’s former governor. We have not had a reading at or above the average high for the date in well over a month. So the snow only melts very slowly, dripping like water torture, and the bike trail, as reported yesterday, is still well socked in. I’d be about ready to tear my hair out, if I had any.
So I’m relegated to local street riding, and even there problems remain. Lanes disappear, or in some cases never have appeared, making for risky merges and small passing margins. But with the boredom factor I can’t bear to see the same two landscapes over and over, especially since there is some repetition in my two time-proven routes. So I am beginning to ride those routes con variazioni, slowly picking alternate segments that prove to be safe and practical. Yesterday that meant an additional six miles ridden–and that’s another objective, somewhat longer rides. I’m able to explore some of the byways of Vienna, maybe add a larger street or two (went a little way out Lawyers Road yesterday), and avoid reminding myself that until the trail clears I will still be basically in the same old figurative rut. There’s always some way to have fun on a bike.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2010.