A Lost Month


As I recover from cancer surgery I finally began to feel strong enough to resume riding. But I didn’t ride at all in February. Until today.

Record snows throughout the month conspired to keep me off the road. Each one one of the scheduled group rides at The Bike Lane in Reston, Va. was canceled.

Yesterday I met up with some of our group in Reston for breakfast. Then today I got out for a neat little 23 mile spin. And it felt great. And I remember now why we wear bike shorts. That padded short sure would have felt good after about 10 miles. Instead I wore wind pants over underwear. Not much padding there but no big deal. I’ve been through worse. Much worse.

The temperature was 38 degrees and windy. I was struggling the first 6-7 miles and couldn’t quite figure out why. I began to curse those hours indoor on the trainer as not helping one bit. And then I turned to the east and my speed picked up, way up, and the winds I had been listening to for 40 minutes suddenly became still. I had been fighting a strong headwind and then picked up a strong tailwind. I love tail winds.

In the afternoon I drove to Charles Town, WV. As I came to a light on Rte 7 between Hamilton and Waterford a group of cyclists approached from the opposite direction. The Evo boys (Evolution Cycling). I had ridden with them last year this time when things were different. I can’t imagine anyone recognized me in the van but all waved as they passed. Maybe they saw the Share the Ride license plate on the van or, more likely, were grateful that I didn’t try to muscle my way past them.

Rockpl – Rockpile – The nickname for Mount Washington, N.H.

Total mileage for the month: 23 miles. Yuck! March will be better. I am hoping to do a repeat of the Hills of Ellicott City next Sunday and have mapped out a ‘Toona Metric Century for April 3 in which 6-7 of us are going to Altoona, Pa. for the day. Sixty miles of climbing and descending and lunch at Panera at 2:00 p.m. Can’t wait!

A Perfect Ride

Among other undesirable traits, I am a soccer referee. Some experienced referees realize there is no such thing as a perfectly called game despite the expectations of soccer parents. Nonetheless, we may tell someone we had a perfect game. No mistakes. Of course we are referring only to a game that has been rained out or canceled.

Reston Town Center

Today I had a perfect ride. No stopping too quick or touching wheels with another rider. No bonking near the end of the ride. Not even running a stop sign (not that I would ever do that). Perfect.

The Bike Lane, Reston

For the 13th straight weekend since my cancer surgery — I did not ride. However, I got closer. I made it to The Bike Lane in Reston. We had breakfast then I got fitted for a Trek 5.2 Madonne for my trip to France.

Alistair Hastings rode

There is a thrill in a group ride but the camaraderie also brings out riders. I have been cleared to ride for sometime but the weather or my schedule never cooperated. Since early January I have wanted to jump back into one of our group rides at The Bike Lane in Reston but never could. Then last weekend we had two and a half feet of snow plus more on Tuesday.

Bikes for sale

Adam Lewandowski sent out his weekly broadcast message announcing that the group rides in Burke and Reston were canceled. Again. Then he invited our group to breakfast at Mon Ami in the Reston Town Center.

Just talking shop

Maybe as much as I wanted to get out and ride I wanted to get back in with our group. We didn’t have a large turnout today which calls into question my theory that most of us ride just to eat. Still, getting back to The Bike Lane made it a perfect ride.

Andrew Steele’s balancing act