A Fool’s Errand

tin hat.o1Well it’s happened again. You find yourself staring in disbelief at the random sometimes fractured thoughts of an eccentric old codger who lives somewhere out there in cyberspace. A guy who barely survived high school as you can tell by the misuse and abuse of the English language. Maybe your delivery system is FB or an email alerting you to this update or maybe you were just surfing the net and stumbled upon this quirky site. Either way, strap yourself in it’s gonna be a heck of a ride.

It’s October 24th 2015 and Strava is telling me that I’m 3 miles light of 8000 for the year. With about 9 or so weeks left to go I’m pondering the logistics involved with making a run at the ever elusive 10,000. Simple arithmetic actually: 2000/9 = 222/week. Strava has my average miles /week @ 228 and so …………….why not.

I’LL TELL YOU WHY NOT. I’M TIRED. To accomplish this at my present rate means 5 rides /week. All I can think about is how to work another rest day in to what I’m presently doing. You go ride any of the the  Saturday rides around here and tell me how you feel afterwards. I’m slow to recover, can barely stand. My legs are shaky at the 1/2 way rest stop.  I can’t get enough to eat or drink and my pee is yellow. To even think about keeping pace Saturday morning means I have to prepare all week. Up and at’em early morning tempo, intervals, jumps, high cadence mixing in the bridges solo rides while trying to get enough rest and eating right, but this is the stuff I aspire to do. I may not be an ocean of wisdom but what’s so great about 10,000 miles/ year anyway. Is it so I can say “look at me!” Do I really need another meaningless, superficial, frivolous accomplishment! For who! For what! Just let it go. Nobody cares anyway. I should take the extra day off the bike instead. That’s what will aid me more with what I really want to do.

“But Ray riding hundreds of mile every week is a great way to stay in shape!” Nah. There’s no denying that it’s a great way to get into shape but once there all you need to do is maintain.

“But Ray it’ll make you strong!” Meh. You’re not paying attention, makes me tired. Interval training and riding with stronger riders will make you strong.

“Okay Ray! Be like that. But it’s a great way to loose weight. What do you think of that smart ass?!” Maybe. But putting down that glass of diet soda and picking up a glass of water works better. “You can’t out exercise a bad diet” I’ve been told.  Weight lose is 20% movement and 80% proper nutrition. And besides I’ve discovered that I can go too light. I’m about a buck fifty five and feel better when I’m a biscuit or 2 heavier than the other way.

“Okay so what! It’s what I like to do. It’s absolute simplicity. When riding my mind is clear of distractions giving me focus. The light is sharper, sounds richer and suddenly I’m filled with the deep powerful presence of life. I’m happy and I feel better physically after a long ride as well. It keeps my blood numbers in check and loosens and warms my otherwise stiff joints without all the impact of running.  Besides Ray, it’s sounds as though you’re rationalizing why you don’t want to do it! Sounds to me like you’re lazy!” Finally! Arrival at valid reasons, logical arguments to ride for distance.  And yes to me rationalizing and being lazy, maybe just a little bit.

Superfluous: (adjective) Being, doing, more than is sufficient or required; excessive, needless, unnecessary. “He rode his bicycle 5 days a week which seemed a bit superfluous.”

It’s now 11/7/2015 and Strava says I’ve ridden 8468 miles for the year and so………..10,000 – 8468 = 1532 / almost 8 weeks =192 miles /week / 5 rides / week =38 miles / ride (round numbers). I’m trending favorably.

Truthfully the bicycle has kept me in shape longer than any other sport or activity I’ve ever participated in. While challenging, it’s forgiving unlike running or swimming, even walking. Running has left me with a trick knee and life has given me a noisy shoulder. Swimming irritates both while the cycling disguises them  and so cycling it is. It just takes longer to get the heart rate up.

11/12/15. Time to check my numbers. Strava says 8581 miles ridden and according to my calendar I have 35 riding days left for the year. Simple enough. 10,000 – 8581 = 1419 /35 =41 m/r (miles per ride). This is different than the previous arithmetic because of the “almost 8 weeks” fuzzy data. This is the actual. Looks doable. What could possibly stop me!

Sure ain’t gonna be the weather! I’ve done nothing for the last 4 month but whine about the heat and humidity and so it’s gonna have to drop below freezing to keep me inside this winter and that’s not very likely to happen. Windy yes but so what. The cool breezes feel wonderful, bring it on. It’s our dry season and so rain is off the radar for the most part. What else ya got!flat2flat1


Something like this maybe. This pile of broken glass was so big that I don’t know how I missed it, but I did resulting in what you see here, and because this ain’t my first barn dance I was able to fix it well enough using a boot to get me home. Another 1/8″ or so and it would have wiped out the tire’s bead and …….well….that’s what they make cell phones for. Anyway this  slowed me down just long enough to hop on the new old bike while waiting for a new set of tires. Still hoping  that a drone brings them. Funny thing, I posted these pics on FB and the outrage poured in all directed at the county and FDOT for not cleaning this up. PEOPLE! I’m the one who was mind gaping or staring off at something and missed the huge pile of glass! Nobody held a gun to my head and made me ride the bridges.

We did talk the elected officials into coughing up some of OUR money to have the bridges swept weekly but 5 seconds after they’re swept any drunk passing by can chuck his MD 20/20 bottle out the window. However, The Peace River Riders FB page is watched by these same elected officials and their petty functionaries and the pile of glass was cleaned up the same day. None of the other obvious piles of hazardous trash within 10 feet of the glass pile were removed, but hey………someone was directed to clean up a specific pile of glass and that’s where it ended. Maybe I’ll post pictures of all the trash. Nah….too tired.

It has been suggested that I file a claim with FDOT for the damage. There is a form on their site for doing just that. In addition to the form having to be notarized FDOT requires a receipt for the damaged goods and pictures. Okay no problemo. This could very well be a fool’s errand, one of many, but I’m gonna go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? Hey maybe the FDOT drone will drop off a new Conti 4000! Their drone should hover the bridges on the look out for litter bugs. It would probably pay for itself in collected fines. (Riding buddy Ed Arnold suggested this. Actually his suggestion was for cameras.)

And so yes it’ll be mayhem and mayhem alone that keeps me from completing this ………..ahhh………..FOOL’S JOURNEY. Falling off the bike is never good but it happens as you well know and that could definitely end this whole thing quickly. Other than that what?HMMMM, I guess I’m gonna find out. Coming down with the flu, the crud, the plague, post nasal drip etc. maybe but they make drugs to deal with these things and so……….. NAH. (Note to self: Keep those water bottles super clean to avoid beaver fever. Wash your hands often and wipe down those shopping cart handles at the super market. Consider saluting people rather hand shaking.)

I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently about recovery. I was slow to recover from last Saturdays Cycle Haus Ride and noticed that he was kinda doing his own thing, intervals. We got to talking about it and he told me that he does recovery week when he gets a little beat down. Boy did my ears perk up at the mention of this. That’s just what the Dr. ordered. Oh and by the way he’s a doctor. Rather than a recovery ride make it a recovery week! Eureka!! Another cycling secret revealed! Secret #1 is Don’t worry about it and now secret #2, Recovery Week. A whole weeks worth of rides at a lower pace, lower gear, lower cadence, lower everything, except the miles ridden, at least until this fool’s errand is complete.

When last checked and based on 5 rides / week the miles / ride  were 41. And so if I ride 4 rides of 51.25 miles do I earn an additional  day off the bike? Stay tuned for the sure to be compelling conclusion.

The video is a Scotty Steingart production.





2 thoughts on “A Fool’s Errand”

  1. Great read.. Loved your argument with yourself.. I’m glad you won! Sounds like a possible year end party to celebrate 10,000 miles.. Lest I get ahead of myself: good luck! You will do it!!

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