Monday, November 24, 2008

Riding without a net (pump)

So Saturday came around after another quiet week from my riding group and once again I am heading out alone. There was a ride pulled together in Sonoma which was starting a little too late since my wife and I were heading to the City later that day. (BTW - for those of you who are planning a vacation to San Franciso, it is simply known as the City here.) So I decide on the single speed and off we go. A single rider and a single gear. What could be simpler?

Before I go any further, I have now decided that constantly typing the words single speed is just too much work. So I will start referring to it by my pet name. Yes, I have a pet name for my bike. I simply refer to it as The Vegas (it is the Las Vegas version of the Specialized Langster). I call the geared bike Paolo, after Paolo Betinni who also rides a Specialized. I am guessing his is a little nicer.

So I bundle up since it is a brisk 36 degrees outside at launch time. I decide to do what we call the gut run. This is a relatively flat route from Santa Rosa to Healdsburg and back. The entire trip is 40ish miles depending on the route. As I head out, I go by Sarah's house and this time she is looking out her kitchen window. So I make a quick u-turn and stop to chat for a bit. She is on her way to a special event but I'll let her tell that story in her blog.

So, with time for chit-chat over, I start heading out. Now remember the bike is fairly new. Up until now I have been moving my gear bag between bikes which was becoming a pain. So Friday, I bought a bag, tools, tubes, etc., On Saturday I put the new fully loaded bag on the bike so The Vegas now has it's own set up. However, I was about 3.5 miles from the house when I realized I forgot my pump. Are you kidding me??? So as I see it I have 2 options. Take a chance and keep riding or go home and get the pump.

Let me tell you why going back home is not a really an option. To begin with, you may remember it's cold. So if I go home I will have to go into the warm house, walk by the coffee, get the pump, walk by the coffee again, and then back into the cold. That's not going to happen. If I go home I will end up with a stunning 7 mile ride. Instead of reaching for my pump I'll be reaching for my coffee cup. Plus, Sherry will be up by now. So as I walk into the house there she'll be looking all cute in her flannel pajamas and drinking coffee. Then she'll look at me with her sexiest smile and ask the one question she knows will always keep me off the bike. "Do you want french toast for breakfast?" (FYI -I told her I came up with this line so I actually did get french toast on Sunday. Her french toast rocks.)

So I keep riding. I do have an amazingly supportive wife and I know if I flat she will come and get me. But where should I ride to? Going to Healdsburg no longer makes sense. I will have to wait quite for a while, in the cold, for Sherry to come get me if I do flat because you know Murphy is not going to allow me to flat in front of a coffee shop or even a Starbucks.

The question is - How do I get in 30 or miles while staying close to home? So I start doing short loops from town. I would head out on a little loop, come back into town and then head out in a different direction. I was having a great time trying to ride routes that never took me further then 7 miles from home and without riding the same road twice. In the end, I got in 32 very fun miles and, of course, no flats.

This is also where the benefit of living in Santa Rosa comes to light. Although I was never more then 7 miles from the center of a town of over 150,000, I was on rural roads riding through vineyards, redwoods, and other pastoral scenery. I can leave my house, which is near down town, and be out of town by bike in any direction within 15 minutes.

So, when it was all said and done, I got in a great ride knowing I could count on Sherry if necessary. I guess that makes her my safety net and I wouldn't want it any other way.


2 Comment(s):

Nicole said...

Sherry and I will have to exchange french toast recipes!! Sounds like a great ride...even without the always make me want to head out on my bike and go for a spin after reading your blog...but then I remember I'm boycotting the bike for the time being 'cause it's cold and I'm a total cold wimp!! :)

Sarah said...

I'm glad I just read this...because it's about 45 degrees right now and I'm still sitting here in fleece going "um...i am NOT going out there." You made me realize I should 'man-up' and get my butt out there.

Great post, Lee!! Curious what 'loops' you did...