Sunday, May 4, 2014

Nifty Fifty (Well, 49 according to Strava)

Stripping the seat and pedals off of Art.
*Note* The formatting on this post isn't spot on. I'm ok with that.

My eyes are burning as I type this. Why? Well, today was the first of the longer road rides for the year. These are the rides I crave. I had a light schedule today and the sun was finally shining. I was actually so excited about it last night I had a hard time falling asleep, and I was up at 5:30 this morning. I noticed as I was going about my morning business that I felt rather giddy. It dawned on me that what I was feeling was excitement.

Sweet potato mash is my fuel of choice. Today I nailed it. Here's the recipe:
1.5 humungous sweet potatoes
3T virgin coconut oil
A few drops of vanilla stevia
About 1t of cinnamon

Slice the sweet potatoes in about 2" round pieces. Boil them for about 25 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and cool. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until smooth. I put 1/3 cup in a snack-sized plastic bag (until I find a more eco-friendly way to do it). When I want one, I just open about 1" of the zipper part and squeeze it into my mouth. Delicious!

Joining me for today's adventure were Steve on his mountain bike (so he wouldn't be so incredibly fast, which he was anyway) and our friend Phil, for whom this was his first 50 mile ride. He did it on his 1982 vintage road bike (what was the name of it again??). Classic. I was intent on going at an easy pace due to the muscle and tendon issues which still plague my legs. I'm at a loss with that. At this point I just want to live my life. It's nice out.

We rolled out at the crack of about 1:20pm. I was riding a borrowed bike. A Cervelo P2-SL stealth fighter hot rod hang-on-tight-we're-going-to-launch fun machine. I might have a little crush on it. This is the 2nd time I've borrowed this particular bike for a ride.

We made a couple small stops along the way. Every spring I feel I'm being reacquainted with an old friend as I ride familiar roads. It's interesting to note the changes. Water is up on that lake. Horses are not out to pasture on that farm. Fishermen and women are also enjoying this brilliant day.

As we rolled along - usually behind the force of nature who is Steve, on his mountain bike, my mind wandered into that blissful state of meditation. I felt the sunlight showering me through my helmet, down to my toes. I felt the movement of wind, the rhythm of pedals, the sound of tires on tarmac. The pungent aroma of cedar filled my soul. Breeeeeaaaaathe in. I breathed in so deep my lungs couldn't hold any more. I loved the feeling of being independent and yet part of this unit. The three of us friends, sometimes talking and
sometimes just riding. This is biking. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude at times, to be on a bike on an incredible day with friends who I am quite comfortable launching a multitude of snot rockets around. Some were not all that successful. I was trying to breathe through my nose but neglected the Breathe Right strips today. It takes some training to use the nose as an effective method of breathing on the bike.

We rode on, at times Phil and I watching Steve ride the gravel shoulder just for fun, hopping curbs when we were in town and random logs on the roadside out of town.


So, why are my eyes burning?? My eyes are burning due to the wind on them. It turns out in an aerodynamic position, my sunglasses aren't very effective. It's a good burn, though. My legs are tired this evening. My calf is tight and enjoyed a soak in hot Epsom salt water. My mind is at rest. I love this feeling of contentment.