A few times this year people have asked me what I was training for this season. I have always found that happily I can always answer this question "To be in shape". No specific race or event goals. I usually try to go to the Terrible Two, but I would hope to be in shape to do that event at any given time, at least in the summer. Somewhere around 30, I left behind trying to do well at some race and thus needing to do my workouts, to enjoying exercise on its own merits. Not to say I am not hyper-competitive, but there is a reason I don't have power meters or a computer on my bike. I just like to ride. Period.
This has come into play more now that I ride a lot with my wife - she is a good rider, handles her bike well, and is strong enough to get most places but we don't put the hammer down. I enjoy these rides as much as any in a fast paceline or up a steep hill.
However, I decided this year that I would put a goal in front of myself. Much like my Aussie compatriot Jonathan(known for his Tolstoy like messages as well) I decided I wanted to break 20 minutes on Old La Honda. My prior best - 20:41. My ace in the hole, I did that at 195 lbs. With a reasonable training load, if I could get down to 190, I would hit it easy. It's a good goal for me because it doesn't require training for a peak on a specific date, so the slings and arrows that work, life, injury, might throw at me can be accounted for.
I decided to open a blog to track this quest with a bit of personal ego by making it public. I put up a strawman first post, and was going to announce the quest once I settled a few things down so I could get a good baseline - a time up the hill, current weight, etc... This task slipped along as life got the better of me, though I have gotten in some riding.
Well, it starts tonight because if you wait too long, you never know when it might be too long. I met my friend Joe in Redwood City and rode up Edgewood Rd to meet my wife. I have ridden up this hill at least 30 times. There is heavy traffic but a very wide shoulder. I probably feel as safe on the upper slopes of Edgewood as I do anywhere.
Nearing the top, as Joe related some anecdote to me, and I laughed, I was thrown violently forward and to the right. I rammed into Joe and then it was over. I was standing over my bike but only in mild shock. Before I could even do a systems check I knew something was wrong, I watched the car driving away, heard Joe saying something about "Check this out" and carrying the passenger side mirror. I realized my right shoulder was sublexed and set about quickly getting it into joint before the capsule had even more time to get irritated. I then took stock.
I had been clipped by a Honda Prius going about 45 mph and didn't even go down. The rearview mirror put a nice scrape up my left thigh, I injured my shoulder ramming into Joe's backpack. I was riding at least 2 feet to the right of the white line, granted I was overlapped with Joe's rear wheel but still well on the shoulder. A second's inattention by a driver, perhaps assisted by gusts of winds in the canyon let her drift onto the shoulder. 6 inches more and I get hit by the right front fender instead of the mirror, and am most likely not typing this blog entry.
I walked up to the driver who had stopped at the first pullout. She was very upset, very apologetic, quickly offered all her information, told me to go to an ER (I skipped it, having been through this injury before - if it doesn't settle down overnight I'll get it looked at). Strangely I just told her thanks for stopping, got her information, said "please drive carefully" and we parted ways. I can get worked up for an entire day over someone who does something intentionally stupid on my commute to the train, this woman had just screwed up and she knew it, that was enough for me I guess. She's probably more upset than I am, thanks to the fact I am ok.
But now - game on. That hill is mine now. One more Coke tomorrow morning to settle my nerves and the race begins....
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