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August 25, 2002: Pressing on

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When I went out on my bike on Wednesday the weather was perfect. There was no breeze at all in either direction. If it had been as windy as it can get around here, I might not have been nearly as determined to get back into the whole biking thing, but I was lucky.

Thursday there was a bit of a breeze riding home, but it wasn't too bad. Friday there was breeze on the way to Davis, and then on the way back, just because that's the way the weather works around here. No, I'm not being wimpy; I've confirmed this with other bike riders (so when Richard and I are older than dirt and telling our grandnieces and nephews about how we had to ride against the wind *both ways* when we were their age, we won't be making it up!). Despite the weather, those morning trips back and forth to Davis have actually been rather nice. I get to see all sorts of wildlife, enough that one of these days I am going to have to bring the camera with me so I can try to capture just a few of the birds that rise in huge flocks from the fields as I pass. Friday morning I even saw a huge brown owl, which landed on the road ahead of me, swiveled its head in my direction, and then launched back into the air again to swoop low and gracefully away.

Saturday morning we managed to find a nice long 20-mile route to Starbucks (although in retrospect I do not recommend riding 20 miles - 10 of which are directly into the wind - on an entirely empty stomach!). I realize that normally people tend to try to find the shortest direction to get from one place to another, but when you're in training (Yes we still are. It's just a longer training schedule now, okay?), suddenly finding all the longest ways to get to places becomes a challenge. We'd toyed with the idea of tacking on an additional 8 miles after coffee and scones but with the wind as strong as it was, we decided against it.

We did another 30 miles this morning, getting up early to drive up through the hills to Napa for the Tour of Napa ride. It turned out to be a very nice ride - a bit chilly with the fog rolling off the hills and a few gentle hills, but nothing like the problems we encountered with the rides in Healdsburg and Sacramento. Of course by the time we got home we were both more than ready to collapse in a sore and exhausted heap on the bed for a nice long nap, but still it felt good to know what we'd accomplished.

So the tally as it stands so far is this: 120 miles in 5 days. I remember how excited I got when we managed to do 11 miles in one weekend and now I have done an average of 24 miles over the past 5 days. I sat down and figured out that there's a pretty darn good chance we might just break 2000 miles by the end of the year if we keep this up, and it won't even require us to ride daily. It's a pretty amazing goal to shoot for when you consider that it was only back in March that 50 miles in a month was something to be amazed at, yet here we sit with another full week of August in front of us and nearly 800 miles on the odometer. It took us 6 months to go this far. I think we can handle the remaining 1200 miles in the 4 months that are left.

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