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05/27/2002: Raising the bar yet again

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At some point during the ride home this afternoon, Richard said, with a painful laugh, "You know, this was your idea." I bobbled my head in a nod, because he was right. This *was* all my idea, and up until the last four miles it really had seemed like such a wonderful idea too. It was only during the last stretch that I began to question my wisdom, but by that time there was nothing to do but keep on going.

There is this restaurant in Woodland where we used to go on Sunday afternoons when we lived in that town. We'd walk down from our house and sit at a booth and eat grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and drink Oreo cookie shakes. For a while there, we would each play one game of Road Blasters, but then they replaced that particular video game with something unspeakably lame, so we no longer had an excuse to save our quarters. When we moved, however, especially once we slipped into the whole Weight Watchers thing, we had to accept the fact that the days of grilled ham and cheese and cold Oreo goodness were long gone.

It was while riding to and from Davis two weekends ago that I came up with my brilliant plan. Woodland isn't that much further than Davis, I reasoned. Since we'd already tackled 23 miles and survived, we should have no problem whatsoever with something just a little longer. Initially I figured we might have to wait until June before we were ready, but suddenly we had this three-day weekend staring us in the face and it seemed as good a time as any to give it a shot.

This morning we got up and looked outside. It was windy. Really windy. I suggested a test ride to go show off the new bikes to my parents, but that didn't work out because they were on their way to the jazz festival in Sacramento and so they swung by our place to see the bikes instead.

All things considered, it was probably for the best that we didn't take that test ride, because I have a feeling we would have decided to forego the trip. That wind was with us the whole way there, all 18 miles of the trip to the restaurant. There are a few parts along that particular back road where the trees on the side of the road form a semi-protective barrier, and I kept my optimism high. It wouldn't be so bad coming home, really it wouldn't.

At least when we rode to Davis we only had to fight the wind for 8 miles because it wasn't a completely straight shot. This was far, far worse - no reprieve at all. Okay, so there was one completely blissful moment when we passed a thick stand of trees and for about 50 feet had no wind whatsoever, but in the grand scheme of things that doesn't really count. The last four miles were the worst of it, as we passed through the open farming fields. I'm sure that some of it was psychological, because we had entered territory my brain knows far too well. Only 4.6 miles from the freeway; only 2.3 miles from the intersection past the railroad tracks and then we would be home and I could finally stop pedaling and go collapse somewhere on a soft surface for a few days to recover.

I am currently shuffling around the house trying to avoid bending my legs any further than I absolutely have to. My butt will only speak to me if I sit on things with cushions. During our brief trip out this evening to do some birthday shopping for various relatives I nearly fell asleep in the car (luckily Richard was driving). We forgot to put sunscreen on our hands so we have little circles of color on back of our hands from the openings in the biking gloves. I am developing a lovely sock tan and apparently I also forgot to put sunscreen on the back of my neck.

But we did it. 36 miles today; 67 miles total for this three-day weekend.

Wonder where we should go next?

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