Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Kind of a rough morning

Last night, instead of going to the Trek Store ride, I took my bike back to the shop that fixed my broken spoke. I think a newbie worked on it, because it only stayed in true for a few miles. When I got it there, Kevin determined that almost all of the non-drive-side spokes were far too loose. He ended up re-tensioning my entire wheel, plucking spokes to make sure everything was even, then he went ahead and checked for dish and trued it up. I must say that it was a smooth ride in this morning.

Today just started off all wrong. First, I had to wait up for a load of laundry to finish last night so that I could dry the whites so I had a shirt to wear this morning. I got considerably less sleep than I should have, despite taking about an hour-long nap yesterday evening. This morning, I forgot to take my heart rate, but it was a moot point anyways. I was stumbling around like a drunken fool and could not even walk. My legs felt fine, but I was off balance and it took me a few minutes to recover from my sleep inertia.

Due to other circumstances this morning, I didn't have time for breakfast either and as-is, I left 4 minutes late. I do have another cursed slow leak in the back, though. I had inflated the rear to 105 PSI last night, and a squeeze test this morning tells me that it was probably at 60-70 PSI upon departure. I was already running late, so I didn't bother topping it off. I'll probably have to burn an inflater cartridge before I head home, though. To top it off, I slammed my fingers between the door and the latch striker plate on my way out this morning and left a massive blood blister on my left hand's middle finger. I was not fast, nor even peppy on my way to work.

Sonic and QuikTrip are the two deadliest establishments on the north side of Southwest Boulevard. Both of these are located just a little bit west of the Kansas side of state line. Approaching QuikTrip, there was a pickup driver that wanted so badly to right-hook me. The driver didn't commit to it, though. Instead, she stopped right there in the middle of three lanes on Southwest boulevard with her front passenger wheel in my lane, looking straight ahead with stoic resolve so as to not make eye contact with me as I rode past. I pondered showing her my brand new blood blister but thought better of it. She stopped, which means she realized that I am not just a stationary object in the slow lane. That's good enough for me.

I was fully prepared to make a hard stop and/or right turn into the QuikTrip parking lot had she actually hooked me. She was an odd one, though. She drove next to me for quite a while as I was going the speed limit. At the last second, she accelerated to pass me and I knew full well what was going to happen and prepared for action. She did not use her turn signal or anything. What's funny is that had she pulled in directly behind me some 10 seconds prior to turning, she would have SAVED herself a few seconds over trying to plough her behemoth pickup across two lanes and into a parking lot. I was going the same speed as she was. Instead of accellerating, she could have coasted and ducked behind me. I'm really wondering how much these people get paid, to where eight tenths of a second is so costly. Of course, those 8/10 are only costly when they're rolling. Half the time, these are the same people that are on their phone idling at a green light for 5 seconds before they realize they can go. Alas, I digress. Maybe I should write a " Tricks of the trade: Be aware of your surroundings" article. It wouldn't be much of an article, more just a phrase to take to heart. It's saved me from a few right hooks, hundreds of pot-holes, dozens of storm drains, and a few crazy and/or suicidal pedestrians.

I got stopped at the next traffic light up from there next to a green Tercel. This was easily the highlight of my morning. Inside were 3 men probably my age (25-30ish) in business casual attire. Looked like car poolers. When the light turned green, I decided to take off pretty hard. I was in the lowest gear of my middle ring as I often am when taking off from a stoplight. Front wheel was hopping off the ground as it often does when I take off hard from a lower gear. I work through most of the second chainring before switching to the hammer ring and dropping it down a few notches on back, then work my way up from there. Before I know it, I'm cruising along at the speed limit again (35 MPH) and the Tercel is a few car lengths behind me. I stayed ahead of it until the next light, which was kind of fun in a childish street racing sort of way. I got "the nod" from the front passenger. Haha. I own. I was freaking destroyed after the sprint, though, so I took it easy for the rest of the trip in to work.

My average speed was, well, average. 17 MPH or so before I hit the brewery, slowly falling from there until I got to Broadway. Between my mediocre speed and my belated departure, I was caught in the beginning of morning rush hour, so I took Broadway north a few blocks to 18th street, then towards Baltimore so that I could begin my death slog. I whistled to the Huskies poking their noses out under the garage door at 18th and Wyandotte. One stuck his paw out under the door, stretching and yawning. I think I woke it up from its nap.

I had my mocha. I got to work on time. Yay. I am starving, so I'll make a big steaming bowl of Malt-o-Meal in a moment.

Ambient temps are supposed to be triple digit this afternoon with HX approaching 110 Fahrenheit. I'm probably going to cut my homebound commute in half again with the bus. That worked pretty well for me last night.

Random Tunage:
Bruce Hornsby - Mandolin rain
The Killers - When you were young

1 comment:

A Midnight Rider said...

It must be a bit cooler today. Taking your frustrations out on the "good" guys car pooling works I guess. But a blood blistered finger salute, would have been just at rewarding.

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