Journal for the Day
I do love my bike, even if I look a clown.
I am not one to write journals, instead I like to depend on my undependable memory. I know this sounds a bit off, but if I don’t use it, I tend to lose it. I am trying out something different though, and just taking a slice of time out of my life and inserting it here.
Wake up – I spoke to my beautiful fiancé as we woke. We spend the night sleeping on skype, just listening to each other every night. It calms us, and gives us something to look forward to do together. Today was rather hard, we did not want to part, but the realities of life made us get going none the less.
I perused reddit, because who doesn’t need at least two tons of bullshit to start the day with. I finished up with some glances at wordpress, yay, I got more views yesterday than ever!
I then got dressed and collected my gear for the day. Grab the wrenches I borrowed but never needed, as my bike is quick release wheels. Collect the bike and out the door.
The weather is delicious. Perfect, warm and breezy, but no harsh wind. The sun is behind the clouds, and everything looks perfect, no rain, just beautiful.
Out the door and a quick ride to work, its only a block away, and I never got off my bike, woot. I handed the wrenches to my friend who loaned them to me, and he suggested I go The Denver Bicycle Cafe, as I had a bend in my front rim. We discussed our plans for friday, which includes going to the awesome Cowboba’s for a steak. It will be a perfect day, cause then I get to geek out at the computer store after a kicks ass coffee from Pablo’s. Well almost perfect, I have to work after our adventure.
I took off at a brisk pace, using sidewalks to avoid traffic, and there were no people on them. Once I hit 17th Street I had to go into traffic a bit to get down to the cafe. I am still very nervous about it, and I don’t have LED’s to flash and warn drivers. I am however, still a bit over 140 kilo’s so I am hard to miss. I hit the sidewalk for one bit, but eventually, a block later realized to many people to stay there, and back on the street. It is a bit scary, but I go fast enough that cars don’t whip past me, so I can hear them coming. I want mirrors and LED’s definitely though.
Hit the cafe and met only one disapproving stare. I am fairly confident on my bike now though, so I just stared back. I am not impressed by a skinny dude with a beard, no matter how tough they think they are, I am pretty sure I am a bit tougher. The cafe smelled absolutely lovely and coffee-ish, nice dark roast in there I will try, after I get my paycheck tomorrow. The mechanic was very nice and told me it would take an hour and about 20 US to true my rim, and he would be there from 11-6 in the afternoon. I stepped back out after a nice long inhale of coffee, but today is no place for such, I am fasting and it is sugar-free green tea or nothing for me.
Now was time for the real ride, and I hit 16th Street with its bicycle lane. Also, traffic is almost nonexistent because of all the stop lights and stops signs, so a lot safer for riders. 16th is pretty much a hill all the way downtown, so I cruised as fast as I dared to get down there. I enjoyed the break from pedaling, and once I hit Lincoln, I knew I had to mix in with traffic again, but to my delight, since it was after 6pm, and the sidewalks were bare, so I took them until I had to go inside downtown proper.
Let me explain quickly, there are two 16th streets in Denver, one goes east/west, and the other runs at a slant north/south through the city. It is a pedestrian mall, the n/s one, and no bikes. I got off my bike and took a brief walk down the mall, a little breathless from my ride. One of the new attractions downtown is donated sorta working pianos, so I sat down and played for about five minutes. I got two bums applauding my very meager piano skills when I stood up, and it gave me nice smile. I continued my walk to check out the brand new Leonardo DaVinci exhibit in the old Virgin Records store, but they close at 6. Maybe tomorrow…
I walked to the end of the block, and got hoisted back on my bike, it was time for the goal I had in the back of my mind the whole time. I was to hit the two block incline most call the Cardiac Hill. So named because every year or four, a senior citizen will pass away while climbing the steep incline. A physically fit biker in front of me was pedalling right to it as well, so I was a little jealous, knowing he was in far better shape than I.
I put my head down and made it across the busy Broadway intersection, and began the climb. Geared down to 1st gear, I was pumping my ass off, and could feel the breathing increase. I had noticed his tires were off-road knobby, and mine were street smooth. I was not going to even laughingly try to overtake him, but I wanted to measure myself. I got halfway up, and had caught up! I was winded, and he was waiting for the light, just smiling, never looking over at me. I was just amazed, even thought it was traffic and he had to stop, I felt I accomplished something.
The light changed, and though he was not struggling like I was, he never outpaced me by much. I felt like I was finally a bicyclist, and it was a great mind outlook change for me. I was winded as all hell, but felt like I had made a great step with such a small, undefined, ethereal victory. I cruised home, and still my breath was coming back slowly to normal. My old neighbor greeted me and said it was good that I was riding, a good workout. I stretched because I felt a small twinge in my thigh muscle, and smiled at my silliness.
I will end here, because basically, after cooling down on the porch, the urge to write about it all struck me, and here we are. I will take another walk tonight, and I will write some more, but it is mostly over. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!