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May 11, 2002: Another one down

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The problem with deciding to not wimp out on a bike ride because of the wind is that now we can no longer use the wind as an excuse. Used to be, we’d get up in the morning, catch sight of the leaves on the trees blowing in even the gentlest of breezes, and use that as the reason we were going to be lazy that day. But this weekend we effectively got rid of any lingering possibility for that excuse. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about that. The healthy side of my brain insists we should be happy. The rest of me (that would be the sloth side) thinks the healthy side ought to go jump out a window somewhere and let me just eat my pop tarts and ice cream in peace. Actually, right now, the sloth side of me is craving Rice Krispy treats, because it is somehow convinced that they are much better for me than pop tarts. I’m willing to make a scientific experiment out of it if anyone is interested in donating a few large pans of both for me to test.

This morning I got up far too early (it was still dark out, in other words) and drove off to the office to do some QA things (because the poor QA manager was overwhelmed and several of us documentation types agreed to help her out, even if it meant doing weekend time). Luckily, the QA things did not take nearly as long as I had expected (and probably would have taken even less time if I was not seduced by the lure of the completely empty office, and decided to see if I could fill up the space by belting out show tunes at the top of my lungs, horribly off key), and so I left my coworker (who also came in to do QA things, but at a more acceptable hour of 7am) and headed back home.

We were supposed to meet friends for breakfast in Davis, but due to miscommunications on both sides, they didn’t think we were coming, so they stayed home and slept in. Lucky them. We decided to eat waffles with pecan butter just to spite them, and I drowned my sorrows in syrup as we made plans to meet them for lunch instead.

It was after breakfast that the whole “we laugh in the face of wind, ha ha!” thing kicked in. We’ve been planning this bike ride all week, which of course guaranteed that it was nice and windy today, even though it has been perfectly lovely all along. I’ll admit I very nearly wimped out, but somehow or other we donned our sexy little black bike shorts (okay, I can’t even type that without snickering), stuffed our handlebar bags full of water bottles and Kleenex, and set off for Davis to meet our breakfast-skipping friends at the Whole Earth festival on campus.

It is a straight ride from our house to campus. You get onto one of the back roads and you ride and ride and ride and ride and then finally you get to turn right and you go past some of the university’s experimental fields and over the freeway and suddenly there you are. The problem is that that first stretch is about 8 miles long, and it was completely against the wind. And since we’d been stupid enough to measure the distance we’d have to ride in that wind beforehand and therefore knew exactly how much torture we would have to endure before that nice and easy remaining 3 miles, I spent the entire 8 miles muttering nasty things about the weather under my breath, and glaring at my odometer in the futile hope that it would show that we had magically jumped further forward.

We made it, though, and even found the breakfast-skipping friends. We wandered around and procured lovely presents for relatives’ birthdays, and listened to loud music, and discovered that while you can get all sorts of information about why you should get solar panels on your house, it is next to impossible to find anyone who is actually willing to talk to you about *putting* them there. We also sucked down copious amounts of water and even ate Rice Krispy treats (because after that ride, we decided we deserved them).

Despite the offer of our friends, who had driven to the festival in their truck, just in case, we rode back home on our bikes. As expected, it was easier going home since more than half the trip was done with the wind at our back. Of course, by the time we got home, my butt was no longer speaking to me, my thighs were pondering joining in the protest, and my calves were simply in a state of shock. But we did it – all 22.7 miles of the trip, and neither of us keeled over. Go us.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go collapse on the couch with a cat or three and never move again. Unless, of course, there are Rice Krispy treats involved. Then we'll talk.

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