Off the Radar

Yeah.  I’ve been off the radar for a bit.  Flying low.  Avoiding so much sonar.

Portland riding has me up, up, and up in a happy place.  But I’m dangerous like downtown traffic with ipod headphones cranked full-tilt.  Sammy tells me not to ride with the music in my ears but I can’t help it.  I feel emotional and wreckless.  I feel daring.

I’ll keep my helmet on – I promise – but I’m not getting rid of the headphones.

My mommy and daddy will come tomorrow with my sister’s children.  God knows what we’ll do besides yardwork (need a weed-whacker) and cooking (have kale, will steam).

I rode into the NE on Tuesday morning at 5:30am.  I did not realize that it was freezing.
(It feels like this is becoming a pattern.)

I was wearing Spring gloves (fingerless)
[This is the Entry De Parentheses in case you didn't notice]

and my hands summarily went numb.  You think numb hands are bad when you are back-packing?  Try cycling.  Hands = brakes.  I was already over the top of Mt. Tabor before it struck me to turn around and go back for winter gloves.  By then I was able to convince myself that it was much more impressive to keep going, unfazed.

Except that I was fazed.

And my 20 mile loop abruptly turned into a 10 mile loop as I turned left on Tillamook, instead of right.

Home, home, home, home.  Have to get home.  Freezing.

I’ll admit. It’s nice to freeze and ride sometimes in the early hours of a Portland morning.  The coffee maker was still hot when I rolled in and I wrapped my hands around a ceramic mug and cringed as my fingers dethawed.  Slowly.

Getting up in the morning has become a kind of sport.

I have all manner of tricks employed for ensuring my prompt ejection from bed.  The coffee maker brews at 430am at which point I switch on the bed lamp and groan.  The cats begin to stir.

I try to convince myself it is too cold to get up, but I’ve strategically placed slippers and a sweater within arm’s reach, so the excuse loses validity in a glance.  Black coffee (black and hott) draws me out of bed… I stand in the kitchen sipping, like it is the only thing that will keep my alive.

The only promise that I make to myself is that I will put on my cycling shorts.  That’s the only promise.  I can put them on and then go back to bed, I can put them on and sit on the couch, I can put them on and then stand in the kitchen drinking black coffee.  I’m off the hook but for putting those things on.

And trust me, I have never put them on and done anything but ride.

It’s like there’s magic in the chamois.  Magic motivation.  Head-clarifying chamois-inspired motivation.

It feels strange to write here.
Hard.
And strange.

I don’t feel like myself and then every once in a while I do.

It’s a strange time.
So I keep riding.

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