Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DID YOU HEAR THE BIG “KERPLUNK”?

No, that big KERPLUNK you heard wasn’t The 9” plus of white stuff that fell at our home over Christmas Day and the next couple of days. That particular falling frozen precipitation was actually nicely quiet and served to soften most of the normal outdoor sounds. No, the KERPLUNK wasn’t the sound of crashing systems and power lines. Even though it was a bigger snow for our area than we’ve received in the last few “global warming” years, we didn’t lose power at all and stayed nice and toasty while we sat on the couch and watched the horses playing in the field across from us as we had our morning coffee. And no, the KERPLUNK you heard was neither the Navigator nor myself falling and busting our butts as we slipped and slid on our icy deck…

Nick's Lengthening Icicle

(Photo of growing icicle by Nick “Il Plummer” Nicholson)

In fact, that BIG KERPLUNK you heard was…

…the sound of my riding time in December dropping like a lead ball on a greased pole from a 10 story drop on a hot and humid summer day! I’m embarrassed, almost ashamed, and somewhat disgusted that I haven’t been out on the road since the last days of November! A resounding SPLAT is all I hear when I think of my monthly riding goals late at night.

Yes, I take some solace in knowing that I exceeded last year’s mileage again this year and yes, I have lots of good excuses for my barren performance this month. Let’s see, in no particular order…

  • Hey, I didn’t want to over train! All the cycling mags say to take some time off and not burn yourself out. I seem to have done a good job of following that advice!
  • Trying to bring up a new website and associated business has taken a little more of my “disposable” time than in previous months cutting down on my time to get out on the road.
  • Sub-freezing weather took its toll more than I would like to admit. I’m just not as motivated to get out and about on 2 wheels of any kind as I get older – some would say less daring.
  • That darned thing called “end of day light savings time” really bit off my post-work riding time. Despite such motivating words recently put forth by Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson, I just haven’t developed a fondness for sharing narrow 2 lane roads without shoulders with traffic trying either to get home in a rush or get their shopping done in a rush.
  • Didn’t want to make my Harley upset that I rode the Fuji but not the Ultra-Classic. (Yes, I realize that I am ascribing human emotion to metal. More importantly, I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel for excuses for not riding in December.)

I fully anticipate that the recent snowfall and lingering frozen roads will keep me off of the roads for a little bit longer. Maybe that warming trend will get here by Thursday or Friday and I will get out on the road for some final miles in 2010. Of course, to do that, I’ll have to overcome yet one more “reason not to ride.”

  • Cleaning all the darned road salt and grime off my bike just takes too much time and energy. It takes up valuable time I could be using to eat all that chocolate candy the Navigator gifted me with over the holiday.

Should I actually once again fail to ride in December, I will immediately put into play my backup plan! My #1 New Year’s Resolution will not be to become a better husband (although I shall strive to do so) nor to become a better lover (hey, there’s ALWAYS room for improvement guys and gals).  It will not be to become a member of the Presidents Hair Club (some things are just doomed to failure before they begin and re-growing hair on my beautiful bald pate is one of said doomed endeavors).

My #1 New Year’s Resolution for 2011 will be to start the year properly and ride some distance outside on the road on New Year’s Day even if it’s only 10 feet! I figure that can set the tone for the year and I’ll be off and running toward my 2011 mileage goals!

Right now, I’m off to a meeting with our representative from the French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organization as she gives us some last moment advice on writing up our Request for Proposal for the Haywood County Bike Plan. She is heading for Baltimore, MD to take on the task of working exclusively with that city’s bike and pedestrian pathways. Our loss is clearly Baltimore’s gain!

So, until later and until somewhat warmer temperatures!

- Zeke

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