Symphony of Howls


Alternate Title: There are no bad rides, just bad gear choices. That’s right, I reused/stole that phrase – again. It’s really quotable! Not “Ten thousand dollars between my legs” quotable…but it’s up there!

Sadly, my vacation from group-ride time was extended another day yesterday. I woke up Saturday morning with a headache that felt something like being repeatedly stabbed in the right temple with a large spike. While I expected that my first ride after a week off will be somewhat painful, jab-in-the-eye pain wasn’t on the list of expected (or acceptable) aches. Tired of hearing me whine, Charles promised to go cycling with me in the afternoon if I would just go back to bed for now. Honestly…it didn’t take that much convincing.

Around 7:00 pm, Charles and I set out from the house; Target: Los Gatos Creek Trail. A couple things to note here:

  1. Charles’ bike just got back from overhaul after 3-ish years in storage.
  2. Said bike is a pretty, bright red Specialized mountain bike.
  3. Charles is in gym shorts (not having a pair of “adult diaper shorts” to call his own).

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t (for once) going to be the slow kid in the group. A few interesting chain noises and some “oh gaaaaawd” groans from Charles about 20 yards in pretty well set the tone for the evening’s ride.

Apparently, three years off a bike (not counting the gym recumbents) paired with the aforementioned list of notes leads to a really unhappy boyfriend…really quickly. By the time we had crossed Meridian I was offering to escort him home and do the ride on my own. To his credit, Charles did tough it out – although we had several interesting conversations on the way (mostly ranging from “owwwww it huuuuuuurts” to hypotheses on potential causes of so much pain down “there” and “there”). We finally agreed that the dog park in Campbell was going to be the absolute limit of how far he could ride the evil contraption.

Entertainingly enough, it seems the puppies at the dog park were feeling Charles’ pain last night. We pulled up (aka walked our bikes up) the ramp to the puppy playzone to be greeting by a howling chorus you typically only hear in movies. Seriously, I have some loud-ass dogs, and they couldn’t come close to the pitiful whine-moan-growl noises that these dogs were making. Like I said – sympathy pains.

Charles and I headed home at a “reasonable” pace…with him constantly asking me to sprint ahead and bring back the truck. In the end, we both made it home alive and on bikes – but I think it’s going to be a good long time before I can get Charles back out with me. Hey – it’ll give me time to research whether or not he can legally off me given the torture I’ve obviously inflicted upon him (anyone know the answer to that by the way?). Overall, it was fun to do some cycling with the SO…but we’ve really got to get him fit onto a bike and in some good gear. On the bright side, my first ride back was a nice, ease back in pace/distance!

Random aside to attempt to diffuse any difficulties should Charles ever actually read this thing: I whined for a good week after my first 12mi ride with TnT – and I had proper gear. Training must be building those tail (not to mention leg) muscles up pretty well. Yay for improvements!

I’ll post it…but you won’t be impressed:

Distance: 9.48mi

Time: 56:00ish

Avg MPH: 10.6

Max MPH: 22.4

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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