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dancestoblue days @ 10.2 miles
Day 98 @ 10.2 miles
I set out maybe @ 8PM, somewheres in there. I didn't stop until on the dam, and that the briefest of stops, turned on the flashing strobe headlight and then moving again. From there I went til the Billy Joe Shaver album was over, stopped and put on another and set to moving again.
And then, even deeper than last night, I came to: The Water.
As last night, I stopped. Looked. Considered. Said "Fuck it." and went on through. At least 30 inches deep. Fun! Then the rest not as deep but still very much fun.
Day 99 @ 10.2
Water. It rained really hard again overnight thus the river even higher than yesterday and, unlike yesterday and the day before, I skirted that section rather than just going on through; it would have been at least waist deep, no way could I have kept pedaling, would have had to walk through with the bike almost completely underwater.
Slowed me down, and took some of the fun out of the ride but not too much. And the pace was slow today anyways; a gorgeous evening to enjoy. Which I surely did.
Tomorrow a big deal -- 100.
Myself? After working with a friend putting up a fence on a pretty day, and our shirts off, I really was/am ashamed/appalled/disgusted/horrified by my mushrooming gut rolling out over the top of my fattest fat-guy pants, and I got a bug up my ass and decided to ride my mtn bike around Town Lake every day for 30 days, consecutive, 10.2 miles. After 30 days I just kept on -- today was day 100. I rode today in two places through water that was knee deep, and for the last three miles it rained so fkn
101 days @ 10.2
A gorgeous evening in which to ride, a heavy shower just before the ride cleared out the air and cooled everything, the sky really nice, reflecting upon the shimmering waters of the river.
You might think this a pointless exercise, wonder perhaps if I get bored with it. I certainly don't see it as pointless, and I sure haven't gotten bored.
I like to ride in the gloaming, or just before, because the play of light on the water is so beautiful, a gorgeous, shining silver-blue; it really does look like mercury.
A sweet ride today.
102 Days @ 10.2 miles
Really sweet. Even prettier than yesterday, the interplay of the light reflected/refracted absolutely gorgeous. I found a small dock and rode out onto it and watched it move and shimmer.
And it was cool, too. Here we are in Texas in flippin' June and I don't know that we've even cracked 90F yet. Unreal. Tons and tons of rain but I'm fine with that, keeps the lightweights off the trail.
My body has changed so much. I can make hills that killed me at the start, make them fairly easily, too. Fitness.
This is fun,
A gorgeous evening. Just beautiful. And it'd been hot during the day, but the sun, even still a presence in the sky, it'd turned down the heat. And there was so little humidity.
I rode into it, and in it, and chugged up the dam as though it'd never ever given me a problem ever, and chugged up other hills no problem, too. I stopped to change from one artist to another on the mp3 player, and drank some water, and rested my back, which was hurting considerable.
But it was so pretty -- So pretty! -- just such a sweet ride.
I don't know that I've written about this here -- I am much less rude when on the trail now than when I first started riding. So much of this is because it's so much less difficult now, I've really gotten better at riding. I am mostly able to give ppl the right of way -- speaking mostly of pedestrians here, but other cyclists also -- rather than barking at them; they're out taking a walk, enjoying the day, I've got to give them a break, they don't need some moron blasting through their midst like a hard wind through leaves in autumn.
Day 105 @ 10.2
The latest I've started out on this thing -- after 9 PM. After sunset. After the gloaming even. Maybe 9:15 when I took off, I don't know for sure, didn't check. But I rode the whole of the ride with one flashing LED headlight and at least half the ride with the other, super-bright LED headlight. It's never Full On Dark because I'm in the heart of town, and anyways tonight there was a rocking-horse moon lighting the way to a degree. It does make sense to ride late, so much cooler, and less humid.
I started later tonight than I did last night, and last night was the latest I'd started. I didn't get that bike moving until 9:40 PM, full dark, the trail mostly empty. I ran with the strobe headlight only; it provides plenty adequate light to see the trail, even as it dims down as the battery fades.
A fun ride. An easy ride. I've written before how astonished I am that this has become so easy for me. It is work, I do sweat, work my body, but it's not a brutality as it was at the first.
Today I learned about my back.
Specifically: Why it hurts when on the ride.
How did I learn about it?
My back was starting in with its usual shit, beginning with that ache about seven miles in; without stopping, I stood on the pedals, and leaned back, straightening my spine.
I've done this before, but never really put it together. I'm going to have to hold my spine straight as I ride, rather than the swayback thing I have unconsciously been doing.
The rest of the ride: pain-free.
I'm going to have to use muscles I've not used prior.
More data on the back pain front.
The position of my low back is fine. What it is that's needed is a pushing away from the handlebars, by using muscles of course, to hold my back in a straight line.
We're talking: deltoids, pecs, abs, a lot of shoulder, which I'm not yet able to differentiate, aside from knowing that a *lot* of it is in that smaller muscle on top of the shoulder.
Oddly, almost unbelievably, it's reached down into my calves, also.
Now *that* is fkn weird.
So today I moved slowly. Feeling my way.
This is interesting.
I started the ride at 91F, 85F at completion.
I hydrated as best I could, both before and during the ride, tires pumped hard like rocks for less rolling resistance; still totally blown out when done.
Even scared myself, some, stabbing pain in my heart; mostly I tell my body to fuck off, that it's going to do what I tell it to do, but sometimes I remember the fkn heart attacks and death and whatnot, chewed an aspirin upon walking in the door, totally sweated out, wasted.
I wonder: Did yesterdays shit diet affect how poorly I felt in todays?
What was painful, a huge struggle, a determination of will every day, well, now it's just a bike ride. Yeah, it's a good ride, and I love the fact that I'm doing it every day, and my body has got to be loving it also, I mean my heart, but also it's good for my head and just all-around good for the muscles. I love the fact that I can do the whole thing without a break, and do it easily, though I usually do break, catch the last of the sunset over the river, five minutes or ten.
A bit difficult as I warmed -- seems I've got to warm not just my muscles but also my head, get warmed to the idea of it, also get my breath moving nicely. I'm guessing two miles.
From there on, it's mostly rote movement. Going up the dam, which was so. fkn. hard. at the first -- now, movement. There are two short but *sharp* climbs after that, and I don't like them, but they don't stop me.
91F when I started tonight -- 8:30PM -- and humid. An unreal sweat. Summer weather, Central Texas. At least three months of this, likely four.
Goddamn, what a great ride!
Yeah, okay, sure -- it was 92 or 93F when I started out, maybe just before 8PM. But there was this breeze, not like I wasn't totally sweat-soaked through and through because, come on, Austin in mid-June but still: nice.
The colors on the water: it was so goddamn pretty, if it was a painting I'd want to eat the fucker, rub it all over my head, etc.
I'm stopping this side of calling it a glorious evening, but it sure was pretty.
I stopped, resting and arrested by the beauty in the gloaming.
Exhaustion. I was on so little sleep, so wacked out, nothing making sense, but I got on that bike and rode. A nice ride, mostly, rested on a bench and sucked down some water, took it easy, mostly. I was just so fkn tired, and I am so fkn tired, this one is easily a day I could have blown it off and broken the chain of consecutive days. I'm really glad I didn't. This is important to me, gonna keep it up. I'm so fkn tired I can barely make the sense to type these words, but I rode.
I think I took off about 6:45 PM. 97F !!! What a hoot !!! I drank some water before leaving, made sure to fill up bike bag bladder.
97F is a bitch, no way 'round that, but it's also a state of mind, one which I can make worse by being a big pantywaist about it
I rested maybe 2/3 the way through the ride, a bench in the shade, watching the river flow, truly happy as hell, smiling at all the nice people on their Friday night bike ride or jog or stroll.
I love Austin just ever so much!
I think I got out there about 8:40 PM. It was not as hot as yesterday, and the sky was this gorgeous blue and gold.
I fucked up by not being out a half hour earlier. I missed tremendous beauty.
But -- I *saw* tremendous beauty, too. The colors reflected upon the water as I rounded the trail and headed up the dam was as pretty as any Monet I have ever seen.
It was breathtaking.
It was awesome.
I do not want to focus on what I lost by not getting out earlier but instead on what I saw.
It's just so easy for me now.
Going up that dam was unbelievably brutal for me when I started this. Now -- yeah, this rather sucks, but it's not bad, really.
I could easily do the whole trail without stopping, ho-hum. Could *not* have done that at the start.
Tonight, I stopped on the pedestrian bridge that runs over the river, the west end of my route.
I stopped because I love to stop there in the gloaming, and leading up to the gloaming also.
Tonight, it was in the gloaming, and so beautiful. I am filled.
I love Austin.
Day 118 @ 10.2 miles
Just the sweetest ride, easy, enjoyable. Set out late, plus it's a Monday night, so very few ppl on the trail with me. Nice.
And it was full moon @ 6 AM this morning, so both last night and tonight, it was quite a show. That big, bright, General Electric white moon shining on the water, shimmering on the water.
I dogged it, no hurry at all, really polite to everyone.
Hard to believe what a jerk I was when I started out, hating everything and everyone "Get the fuck outta my way!" Christ, what an asshole.
It's so much nicer to ride now, all new gears and chain and everything adjusted -- I forget the pleasure in it.
It feels faster. Probably *is* faster, because I'm happier riding it, and not afraid to hit it harder, push myself more than I otherwise might.
I got out early enough that I was in the best of the beauty of the sunset, and the moonrise, and it was beautiful, all of it.
Rested on a bench watching the end of it, talking to Phil, describing what I was seeing, how gorgeous it is.
I am lucky to live here.
Day 120 @ 10.2 miles.
I started this thing by saying "I'm going to ride the trail around Town Lake every day for 30 days." When I hit 30 days, I didn't want to stop, for any number of reasons -- heart health, overall health, mental health (endorphins!), fat loss, muscle gain, etc and etc.
It is now Religion. I don't give a fuck if it's raining, hotter than hell, light or dark, whatever. I'm going to ride me 10.2.
I've had my bike 15 or 16 years, and I love it more now than the day I got it.
Day 121. No sleep last night, only about an hour this evening, just prior to the ride, yet it's like I came up with a second wind while on the ride. It is such a pleasure to ride the bike newly repaired and newly tuned by Andy, it just eats up the miles, it's just fun.
And today I sat again on that bench and watched the colors change and it's just ever so sweet. I think I'm going to try to set up my rides so I watch the beauty of the sky and the water there at sundown.
Day 122 @ 10.2.
1/3 of a year.
But it was a bitch of a ride.
It's like I had no juice.
By the time I got to the boat rental place I was about stark raving mad.
I'm certain that's what the nice ppl there thought.
I don't blame them.
I thought they sold energy bars and whatnot, I go up raving "Hey, I need some carbs or sugar or some shit!!!"
This one nice young woman gave me on of hers.
It is a big job, being me. It seems I'm the only one qualified.
God, what a sweet ride!
Not even 80F, unheard of in ATX in summer. A little rain, a lot of gray.
It was cool, a soft evening, and no wind.
To go from yesterday, which -- for no reason I can tell -- to go from the horrific ride of yesterday into this easy-peasy ride today, well, it was Pretty Darned Nice, if I do say so my own self. Which I just did.
And the colors of the sunset -- just gorgeous tonight. The sun cut through the gray at the perfect time, rose and silver light on the water.
Another cool night, very pretty.
It was almost dark when I hit the halfway point in the trail. My headlamps were dim -- weak batteries. No problem.
One dip in the trail I really love, great fun to hit it fast, and I did, and everything went south, no idea wtf happened but I went down HARD.
I didn't move. Took stock. How much pain? Where? Bit by bit, I checked my body -- legs okay? Ankles? Neck? Hands? Arms? Back? Shoulders -- oh fuck, plz not another rotator cuff tear.
Worst is my elbow. Bleeding like hell, and sore.
I am sore.
I got out about ten minutes too late for optimal sunset beauty, but it was still pretty, sitting on that bench looking west.
After yesterdays debacle with low light, you'd best believe I had a strong battery in headlight. I stopped and checked out where I took my dive last night -- I slid off the trail (no light) into a small hole and then back onto the trail, a two inch rise, and that's that. WHAM!!! Down I went.
Down onto concrete -- wouldn't have been near so bad if it were just the trail. Concrete *hurts*. It doesn't give.
Oh, just another fantastic day on the bicycle, that's all.
72F. Unreal in late June, esp given that earlier in the day we hit 101. But the gray clouds and rain cooled it all down nicely for my ride. Which made it almost effortless, really.
Tons of fun to listen to books instead of music. Sopolsky today -- guy is funny and bright, too. Learned.
The injuries. Healing fast. The hurts in the elbow and hip no phantoms of what it was just two days ago. Still, takes an hour to bandage up, after removing old stuff, then taking a shower.
Again and again I have almost fallen asleep. Which would have made this my "missed" day. But I want to write. So here I am.
I've been listening to books rather than music on the rides. An entirely different experience! I am surprised how much I enjoy the rides with a good read going.
And I've found myself deeply into the sunsets. Riding to a pretty place, well past the halfway mark, sitting on a bench or a dock and watching the colors in the sky and on the water.
Tonight was so, so beautiful.
Austin is Disneyland for adults.
What I'm enjoying this past week is the sunsets, esp from this one bench. I want to get there early enough to see the whole show, to watch the sky on the water for an hour or more. Likely more. It's just so beautiful.
I can see where this could turn into a daily part of the ride. Yet another payoff of the ride. And it's a great place to sit and call someone on the phone, too, and describe the beauty I'm watching unfold.
But I like to just be in it, also.
Austin is so great.
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