I rode the last 800 meters with my helmet strapped to my stem. There is a doughnut shop that far from my front gate. If I take the long way.
Before leaving the house I told myself that I could have one of these fried circles of dough – this one stuffed with cream – if I completed my ride in a timely manner. That would be 100k in under four hours. I also had a cappuccino . I used to worry more about time, and I still do, but since I haven’t really been doing any distance, so it felt important for me to do at least half the distance of the first brevet coming up in March.
By time standards my ride didn’t qualify as a long one. I’ve accustomed myself to believe that you haven’t’ done a long ride if you’ve been pedalling for less than four hours. Yeah there’s some wiggle room and “Well what if I?…”s that can fit in there, but these are my measures and I don’t expect anyone else to use them.
Today’s ride was a little under that mark, but the pace was good for a solo outing (by my standard) and I burned enough calories to knock back that doughnut I wanted.
Like I said. I haven’t been stepping out for these distances, mostly because I’ve exchanged solitude for companionship and I’ve been ending my rides when we’ve completed the agreed upon loop and I almost didn’t complete this ride. It was raining when I first thought of getting dressed, but on this day procrastination pays off and an hour later the rain stopped.
Today my companion is a pair of earbuds and a series of podcasts. I don’t listen to much music anymore – which makes me a little sad – but I don’t really listen when I’m riding anyway. The various voices slip in and out. An hour of politics becomes an hour of listening to longform journalist talk about the craft I’ve chosen becomes a long discussion on Sartre and finishes with two cyclist bullshitting.
Today I decided to take in some of my favorite climbs and head north, where I first started riding when I moved here. I can tread some old ground without worrying about bad faith.
The weather is a bit nicer in the convergence zone, with small patches of sun opening over the Sound. On the climb into Everett I stop by the park I used to stop at to eat on my pre-work rides last year. I don’t know its name, but I always ride by sign without looking.
I took one other short stop to run into the old shop, to talk for a bit and refill my pockets with more food than I’ll need to finish. I’ll save the leftovers for tomorrow when I go even further, this time with good company. Most that ride will tread new ground for me.