Day by day in Jefferson

Ascending Paradise

I’m starting to get this route down. Even my app has it named correctly and reports it to the web with accuracy. I’d prefer it lie a little – maybe they can get a fishermen/programmer to write the next version. Today was much warmed than my last ride – must be like 54 out there. F not C. So I went with helmet, tshirt under sweatshirt, underwear under sweat pants and socks and shoes. Oh, and some old Harley gloves I have. Turns out, I have about seven pairs of them. All in classic Harley black which goes with everything.

So it takes a lot less time to get ready this time. Slip everything on, grab the phone, put it in the new SlipGrip holder (check them out – awesome stuff!) and dial in the music app. Left glove on, right off to fasten the helmet buckle and start the bike app. Check pressure. A few pumps. Good to go. Out the door and up the driveway and GOD DAMN IT. I forgot the headphones again. Turn around. Once without them is plenty. OK, glove back off, stop, delete ride. Run in, grab headphones, ready. Turn ON headphones. Now ready. What jerkoff asswipe corporate pennypinching punk made the labels so small on headphones? They were easier to read when I was a kid.

Check the music – good playlist of Motorhead (Iron Fist), some Green Day (again), Metallica, Mad Season and Temple of the Dog. I won’t need all this so chose shuffle to ensure I get at least a couple songs of each. And off we go. Up the short court (short now – killed me first ride) and down the first leg. Almost exactly a mile to the bottom starting point of the climb. Takes four minutes. Average speed just over 10 mph. This time, hit the trail and not the park walking trail. Nice. Looks like I know what I’m doing. Gear down almost immediately to second. Start spinning. See, the incline at this point is minimal and I don’t have to mash – yet. Spin for a while, focusing on how my legs are moving , how they tilt and go up and down. Motorhead plays – abuses “Religion”. I keep my attention on Lemmy and cadence.

I’m convinced that, now that I’m going to ride, going to go through the pain, that it’s going to be worth it. In other words, I’m not going to laze through the climb. I want to keep the cadence – and therefore heartrate – up. Spinning works, so does a higher gear and a little pushing. So up to third. Push and push and push and back down to second. Then I spot them. Four teens on the trail. Holy spinning bat spit what time is it? 3:15???? I left when school lets out?? About half the kids – the ones that aren’t pussies and get their moms to pick them up – walk the trail. Terrific. Great. I’m riding, already in 2nd gear, pulling nearly 6.1 mph and now I’m going to be passing kids. Did I mention my huge enormous self-confidence issue? The one NOT made better by me already panting, ney, gasping for air and the app hasn’t announced the two mile mark yet? I roll past the kids who pay no more attention to me than they did all day to their teachers. I relax a bit and check cadence. Shoot, another grouping. Why do they move like that, in groups? Are they afraid of gangs? In our completely whitebread, mostly retired (even a large number of still living retired Nazis from what I’ve heard) town of 24000? Or is it just the want-to-belong mechanism? One thing, they aren’t going to acknowledge me nor move so I can remain on trail rather than mud/pine needles. Bastards. At least you’ll grow up in a world even more messed up than ours! And I helped screw it up! HA! Revenge.

Ah, crap, never mind. Down to 1st. Already in 1st. Incline has increased, cadence has decreased. Heart rate up, sweating and drippings from nose all present. Great. Must wait for gangs…er groups… to pass so I can pause. Catch my breath a bit. As mile 2 is announced, I notice that my ass doesn’t hurt yet! An improvement. Groups passed, I take a rest. Just straddle the bike, grab the h2o and take in the 3oz I can swallow. One limitation of the gastric bypass is the ability to take on liquid. Pouch is limited to 3-4oz – no matter the input. Makes keeping hydrated a challenge. I keep it under a minute. Foot on right pedal, push up to seat. Damn. It. To. Hell. Sweat pants catch on seat and pull down, exposing fat ass. Great. Check behind. No teens. Whew. No Amber alert about some guy on a bike flashing high schoolers. Pull UP sweats and off we go. Minute break was all I needed. Now this is my tenth ride, I’m getting some things down. I know where to put my ass on the seat, feet on the pedals, hands on the bars. Green Day does “She” from Dookie. Favorite GD album. Yes album. It doesn’t imply vinyl – it implies a collection. So album for me.

It’s all uphill for at least 3 more miles. Sounds like nothing but it’s  a lot to a former fat guy on his tenth ride. Feel like I can’t make it – KNOW that I can. Ride to app says mile 4. Also tells me that my speed was 6.4mph and average speed, which by now has dropped to whatever current speed is on previous rides, is still 8.2mph! More signs of improvement. That does not make the climbing easier. Still spinning in second gear. From mile 1 through mile 5, it’s solid uphill without a single foot of level or downhill – ever. From 1250′ to 2000′. Mile 4 is rest time. Again. Panting. I’ll rest two minutes. I’ll gasp for two minutes. Stomach/pouch still complaining from last fluid, so I forgo that. Two minutes is up – so are my drawers. Up on the seat, off up the trail.

From here, I have a couple choices: before I hit mile 5, I can turn right and head down and back to home. If I keep going up, I can get about 2 more miles in before I run out of trail. I’ve done it before. As I hit mile 5, the choice is easy and a graceful right turn is made. Speed picks up. App tells me I’m at 12mph, 2104′ elevation, 5 miles. Up the gear range getting some speed and power on the slight decline and level section. Hit the main drag and start the very fast descent. I go this way for two reasons: 1) faster downhill and 2) the other way has one last climb I’ve not made without walking. I don’t like to walk. Turn past the bank, jump a couple bad sections of pavement and speed piles on. Off to the left on the other side of the street, some kid on a mtb that cost as much as my laptop sees me and flies across the street. First driveway he pulls a wheelie which he rides across the green light and back up over the curb onto the sidewalk and down the sidewalk. Showoff.

Mile 6 chimes in (interupting Mad Season) and telling me I’m going 33 mph and rapidly descending. Duh. Mile 6.3 and a slower right turn and down into my court. 45 minutes, 6.3 miles, one aired-out ass. Can’t wait to do it again.

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