This morning, I woke up at 4:35 since I planned to ride the 17 mile bridge loop that I am accustomed to riding.
|From yesterday’s AM ride with Keara.
However, upon waking, I was feeling a bit adventurous and a bit more lazy. I didn’t feel like packing up my bike and gear and driving the whole 20 minutes to my usual bike route. I decided I’d do an exploratory ride around my very own neighborhood. I’ve run these streets many, many times and knew there wouldn’t be much traffic at 5:00 AM.
One of the things that annoys me about cycling is all of the schlepping and prepping. I got dressed, filled a water bottle with my caffeinated Crystal Light (perfect for early rides), put on my back blinking magnet lights (I have a back light on my bike as well), pumped my tires, put on my bike shoes, put on my helmet, and grabbed my bike. I went to turn on my front light and it didn’t turn on. Ugh. The battery must be dead. After all that prep work I was going to be resigned to the boredom of the trainer.
I carried my bike upstairs from the garage and looked for the light charger. Not being able to find it, I figured it was also in the garage. I may as well charge it while I try not to die of boredom on the trainer, right? I go back down to the garage and find another front bike light. Hooray! I am saved! I go back upstairs (still in bike shoes mind you) put the working light on and head down the stairs only to slide on a few steps, almost bust my butt and smack my bike into the wall. I have a small heart attack and chuckle at myself. I’m now shaky from almost breaking my neck and back and bike. I laugh it off and finally head outside to ride.
So, the found bike light is kind of a turd. It’s bright enough but it’s not fitting my handlebars that well and it’s basically just lighting up everything to the right of me. Super.
|Lighting up everything on my right. Gee thanks.
But since I’m determined to ride at this point I just sorta fumble with it periodically to kinda see in front of me. Fortunately, there are street lights as I get rolling and not a car in sight. I ride almost a mile down to the start of a multi-use paved trail and get the shit scared out of me by the always useful talking crosswalk.
I ride along and realize I can’t see all that well and I have no idea if there are any big cracks in the trail that I should be worried about. Running is so much easier. My handling skills are definitely feeling wonky because of the darkness and general unease of not knowing my route. I continue on at a snail’s pace and think I should at least get in a few more miles.
I reach the pier which is surrounded by little shops and thankfully more light. I bump along the brick road and decide to never ride on this brick portion again. I head down a quiet neighborhood street and think I hear the ch-ch-ch-ch-ka-ka-ka-ka of Friday the 13th and decide never to ride this portion again either.
As I turn onto a busier road where three cars pass me going a little too fast for my liking, I decide that I’ve had enough. As much as I wanted to make this close to my house ride work, I’m just not having any more of it. I live in a very safe area but the dark and my not-so-straight light make my will to ride zilch. (I did see the most amazing shooting star so that was a bonus.)
I turn and head back to my house and reach the talking crosswalk. It scares me. Again.
I look ahead at the section of trail that I could ride if it were a bit lighter out. It’s lined on both sides by trees making it dark, but it’s probably fine. I consider it. But then, I think, nope.
|My flash is on here, mind you.
|Courtesy of The Oatmeal
After a whopping six miles in thirty minutes, I was quite relieved to roll up into my driveway.
|The face of driveway relief.
I am chalking this up to trying something out and it not working. I think if the S.O. goes with me next time (he was dead asleep!) and shows me a better route it would be much better. Otherwise, I’ll be sticking to my usual route with all the lights and big, fat bike lane.