No really. I was.
I was up early and out the door. My hands hurt form the cold on the run down 202 to Route 17. The climb up to Mountainview felt good. The quiet, sun, general peacefulness did my head and heart good. I passed the giant mountains of organic waste composting away, amazed at the height of the piles.
I turned the corner onto 17a feeling good. It’s a been a crappy season overall. I haven’t coordinated my riding very well. Never found the pocket. Each ride is a struggle to get out the door, and none of the things I wished to do have been done. It goes that way sometimes. I can let things go. Breathe.
This morning I was the breakaway. Out front, nose in the wind. Making my way. The peloton of worries and concerns was not far behind and chasing hard. But whatever inevitable catch was waiting me, for now I was off the front. The time, the wind, the sunshine, the birds, and views were all mine.
I hit the backside of Harriman and the long climb up from the valley. My knees took turns hurting, but remained manageable. I have the the final bit of climbing almost in sight when I hear a now familiar sound of a spoke breaking. I pull over, off the road, I hold up my hand. Nothing. There’s never a team car when you need one. Wait… who’s this? An old guy in a green truck pulls up. “You gotta problem?” Yes. A broken spoke. “Can’t help you with no spokes.” Thinking to myself… Offering me a ride was prolly not on your morning to do list. But it was fun to think that holding my hand up caused him to stop in the first place.
Since it was the front wheel this time I decided to wind the spoke around another and remove the brake pad holders to give the untrue wheel room to rotate. Sure, I could have made “The Phone Call”, but that sucks for everyone and it was only about 12 miles to home. Riding slowly and gently I made my way up the rest of the hill to the next circle.
Ran in to a frightfully cheery Aussie who was way too fit, asking about the road I just rode up. He seemed delighted that it went through to 17, and that it was essentially downhill all the way. His happy mood was not a match for mine at the moment.
As I tackled the last climb I realized sadly that I was going to miss out on the downhill. Not only would I have to work to keep my speed down on the gentle slopes, but the real plummet down into the valley would be crazy reckless on a weak and wobbling wheel and no front brakes. Imagine the ignominy of clomping down a hill. Oh agony, agony.
I finished up about 25 minutes later than I thought I would, happy that I hadn’t collapsed the wheel riding home and ruined anything else. Some small pride that I finished what I started.
I thought of Seth while all this was going on. He had a run in with a car at 25mph and who’s now working on replacing his bike (and that is no picnic for someone as tall as he) and glad for him that nothing really bad happened to him, just his bike.
All the crashing in Le Tour this year makes me concerned. But then I go for a ride…