Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Morning madness and the conquest of Summit

Let's go over my gear assortment for the day, shall we?  It's supposed to rain today, or that's what it looked like on the radar when I woke up.  No laptop today.  In its place, I packed a towel and spare set of shorts, socks, and shirt for the ride home in case I got wet this morning.  I also put some tunes for work on a USB drive.  On the other side, I carried my usual clean-up gear and work clothes, and a tasty cinnamon roll that I haven't partaken in as of writing this.  All of this stuff is wrapped in plastic bags in case of rain.  I had the handlebar bag on, but it's meant for a flat-bar bike.  It seemed to fit alright.  Inside it, I have my windbreaker, cell phone (in a ziplock), keys, and wallet.  This is what I was planning on using for the C'Dude ride tonight.
I got off to a late start.  I stepped out around 5:45 which is at least 5 minutes later than usual.  As I pulled away, I realized I didn't have my gloves.  I don't NEED them, but they help absorb some road vibrations.  A round trip without them wouldn't be pleasant.  I went back up the stairs to get them, only to find that my wife had already locked the door behind me and she wasn't answering the door. I went back down to the bike and grabbed the keys.  I went back up to the apartment and unlocked the door to find my wife smoking on the balcony; that's why she didn't answer the door.  Grr!  I grabbed the gloves and locked the door on my way out.  I trudged somewhat angrily back down to the bike, put the keys away and slid the gloves on.  Let's roll!  I'ts only 5:52 -- 12 minutes later than usual but better than driving!
Well, not long after taking off, it's apparent that the handlebar bag is interfering with my front brake.  It's pushing the cable over to the side and causing some brake rubbing action.  I took the handlebar bag off and threw it into a pannier.  I'll need to find some other solution to carry my small stockpile of gear tonight.  Up the road a ways, I got barricaded by a train that was on the brink of stopping, causing at least 10 minutes of further delay.  I narrowly avoided being cut-off by another train near Mission and Southwest, but I blew through the crossing as the bells started clanging and before the arms started coming down.  This is NOT my day, is it?  So much for my morning coffee.
With that out of the way, I decided to try to conquer Summit.  Summit is a little road just west of the downtown loop.  It's a 9% climb at some points but about 5% average over about 3/4 of a mile.  Then, it levels off, goes over I-670, past the FBI complex and into the loop.  I made it, and didn't even need my granny ring.  I was tempted, though. This is one of those roads that I said I'd never intentionally take, but this morning I looked up it from the stoplight on Southwest Boulevard and it just started calling to me.  It's easily the steepest and longest climb I've had to make, which isn't saying much.  I know there are people out there who could zip right up it, but I hate hills.  Well, I don't hate them, I would usually not ride up them if I can help it.
Since I have no laptop, I'm making this post via email, too.  If it shows up with strange line breaks, blame Blogger's silly email posting feature.
Random Tunage:
Way Out West - UB Devoid
Orbital - The Box

1 comment:

Doug said...

Any day, even the bad days, commutng by bicycle are way better then any day sitting in traffic in a car. I used to spend close to four hours a day in a car when I lived in Chicago and had a 84 mile round trip commute. All I have to do is think of that, and it makes every day on the bicycle a joy.

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