Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Birthday Ride

As planned, I did some riding today. Although I had to work, I still managed almost 3-1/2 funtastic hours in the saddle. If I was the king of spo, I would hereby declare that it's how everyone who likes to ride must spend their birthday. Here's where I went:

The highlight, by far, was the section in the blue oval. More about that in a minute.

The ride was in four acts. Scene 1, the first 16 miles, was home-to-work, early this morning. What's so cool about this is that until fairly recently, there were no showers at work. So I've normally taken the bus most of the way there, so that I don't arrive drenched in sweat. But my employer recently expanded the office building and added showers as part of that project. This was my first shot at riding in and showering.

The shower is basically one big stall, about 12 feet long, with a shower on one end and a place to change on the other. It works out pretty well.

The project didn't include any locker space, though, so I need to figure that part out. For now, I hung my wet clothes and towel in a basement storage area pretty close to the shower. Lots of details still left to work out.

Coupla other things. New parking place for the bikes at work. Outside, but covered:

And the sandals, oh the sandals! Ever since buying them, I can't bear to put my feet in any other cycling shoes. This morning it was 37 degrees when I left the house and I knew that I was pushing the limit pretty hard. Yes, my toes got very, very cold. And yes, it was still way better than wearing any kind of closed shoe. If I was the king of spo, I would hereby declare that all cyclists must let their dogs breathe.

Now, about that blue oval. My mom recently moved into a nursing home on the north side, near the Northpointe Shopping Center. Scene 2, another 16 miles, was a ride up after work to see her. There's not a ton of route options from the valley to the north side. There's a coupla different ways if you're going as far north as Hawthorne or Hastings, but I was going just a little past the Y. I could have just taken Upriver to Frederick, but that takes me farther south and out of the way. So I map-spotted a route through Northwood that would dump me out on Wellesley. Here's more detail:

That's about 4 miles of variable-pitch climbing and fast, fun descending, with some great views thrown in. Here's a shot coming down. It's taken on a straight section of Wellesley, with another straight section of Wellesley off in the distance. In between, just over the crest of that first hill, is a narrow, swoopy, roller-coaster section. You won't see any photos here, 'cause I was having way too much fun to stop and take a dopey pic.

Scene 3 was an 8-or-so mile ride from Northpoint to downtown. Pretty uneventful, except that it was fun to see all the kids spilling out into the streets to enjoy the warm weather. Except for the one little bastard who threw a rock at me, but I just envisioned the royal punishment that I would inflict upon his scrawny ass if I were the king of spo. This thought amused my royal self. The dude wasn't even close to putting a dent in my wonderous day.

I've been jonesin' for a good burger for weeks, so my lovely bride cruised down the hill, met me at the Onion . . .

. . . and treated me to the cure:

In Scene 4, we nonchalantly picked our way through the streets of downtown and up the hill. It was great fun. When we got to the house, a birthday surprise: My friend Maddie had left a card on the gate . . .

100 more bikes. Yes, why not! I've obviously forgotten how to make a good wish. Meanwhile, Patty cringed.

Damn, what a great day. Wish it was my birthday again tomorrow.


Rachel said...

What a beautiful day it was for riding! I wished I'd had more time today to be doing the same.

Happy birthday!

Hank said...

100 more bikes, eh? I can see how you'd need some help with storage. I just happen to have room for a custom built Serotta. I can send you the specs.

Yesterday was great for riding (and running). The timing must've been off or I would've seen you on the Addison/Standard bike route. Glad you had a great day.

Lucas said...

Happy B-day Pat. I live near your mom's retirement home. If you ever want company on the ride back toward home let me know.