Yesterday's weather was absolutely glorious. It was very nearly the most perfect day for commuting via bike, at least in the afternoon. The morning was quite chilly and I was downright cold until I rode into the full sunshine on the trail. My fully-loaded trunk bag and lunch bag made the bike heavier than the backpack-and-lunch-bag-in-basket combo of my last commute, but I managed. I think my biggest issue was how tired my legs were from Sunday's exertion. Plus, I didn't sleep well Sunday night because I was a combination of over-tired from Sunday and over-excited about riding to work on Monday. Good times.
But I made it to work safely and left Scott a VM that I'd arrived before locking my bike and trudging off to the gym for a shower and fresh clothes. My new bike shorts dry a whole lot faster than the yoga capris I wore last time and all my clothes were bone dry when it was time to change for the ride back home. I prepped the bike and myself for the ride, phoned Scott to let him know I was leaving (he gives me 45 minutes to an hour from the "I'm leaving!" call before he worries about me lying injured in a ditch along the trail), and set off for the uphill ride back home.
I did some huffing and puffing getting to the trail, but yesterday's ride back home was the easiest one yet. I blame the constant uphill battle of getting to Reston on Sunday. Even though I was working harder to ride home, my legs didn't hurt as much as they had during the morning ride. Must be getting stronger. And then it happened. I started up the long and steep ramp for the Rte 28 overpass. I told myself that I could bike up it and I didn't need to hop off and push. "Look," I told myself. "You're doing it! You're almost halfway there. Look! You're two-thirds there! Ooh! You're three-quarters there. Yay! You're at the top and you pedaled the whole time! WAY TO GO!!"
I took a congratulatory panting spell at the middle of the overpass and watched Route 28 traffic for a few seconds before continuing on. The ride from 28 to home was the easiest ever. Not only am I getting stronger, I'm getting smarter and smoother about shifting gears. That makes a hyooge difference in my momentum and fatigue. I did not pedal up Holborn; instead, I chose the slighter hill on Sherwood as a small reward for working so hard earlier. My big reward was a shopping trip to Sports Authority where I picked up two more day-glo shirts for riding and a couple more pair of padded shorts. I spent the rest of the evening stretching my super tired legs and relishing in the knowledge that I didn't have to ride on Tuesday. But I'm looking forward to riding again on Wednesday!