Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday's commutes

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!

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