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July 06, 2002: Accumulating

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The plan was to get up however late the cats would let us sleep, and then hop on our bikes and ride to Winters for breakfast. After the ride with the Davis Bike Club last week, we figured out that round-trip from our house wasn’t going to be that much further than where the club ride began and ended.

The problem was that when I dropped the bikes off yesterday for their 30-day check-up, I was told that there was no way they’d be done by closing, and the best we could do was to pick them up when they opened the next morning.

Well. It’s a new month, which means we could buy new gadgets. So while we were at the store to pick up the bikes, we looked at new cyclometers because the old ones are going a little wonky. And besides they had them in nifty colors (mine is purple!). Then we looked at water bottles, and Richard needed new biking gloves, and we also got rear view mirrors for our helmets.

We finally managed to escape the store, but not without much whimpering from the credit card. I should never have worried so much about the cost of the bikes themselves; it’s the cumulative costs of all the accessories that I should have been concerned with!

We did do the ride to Winters, but for lunch, not breakfast, and not before Richard installed the new cyclometers and we both figured out how to attach the mirrors to the helmets. Because I am, after all, all about the miles, and these new cyclometers not only tell you your speed and your distance, but also your average speed! Woo!

So far, the helmet mirror is, hands down, one of the best investments we have made in the whole quest to accumulate bike-related gadgetry (right up there with the new water bottle. Hey, it was hot today!). This has nothing to do with the fact that it’s probably also the least expensive gadget we’ve acquired, either. It takes a bit of getting used to, and I can only take quick glances in the mirror – trying to stare for any length of time into the teeny tiny little reflective circle that sits about three inches from my left eye can get more than a little disorienting, but you only ever need a quick glance to see if something is coming up behind you. And cars – surprisingly enough – can sneak up on you if it’s windy enough, or if you are concentrating fiercely on trying to avoid all the potholes if you happen to take a ‘shortcut’.

The total ride was a bit over 31 miles, and I was incredibly grateful to have a nice new extra-large water bottle. That previously-mentioned shortcut turned out to be a road that was narrow enough to be called “one lane”, and we discovered the joy of trying to hug the literal edge of the pavement as we met up with two trucks during the length of that segment – one of which was trailing a plethora of farm equipment behind it. Needless to say we’ll be avoiding that particular detour in the future.

I’m getting better at these longer trips, although riding in the heat wipes me out far too easily. This time I didn’t collapse into a pitiful little heap when we got home, so I figure that’s a big improvement. This is starting to become a more important issue, only because we’ve signed up for a 37-mile ride in Healdsburg in a few weeks, and I have this crazy idea that it might be nice if I was actually *ready*.

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