Saturday, July 10, 2010

Good Times

If you would have told me, 8 years ago, that there would ever be a reason for which I would wake up early, with gladness, I would have had you committed.  When I lived in the Holy Lands (aka, Northern Virginia), and would drive to visit family here in The Wastelands (aka, Connecticut), I would sleep late and leave after the traffic died down, around 9:30 or 10AM.  My mother, on the other hand, is the type who gets up at 6AM and leaves promptly at 7, offering a bribe of caffeine.  (We won't discuss what my dad does except to explain that he leaves so early, he usually drives for a few hours before the coffee shops even open.)


It goes without saying that I don't do mornings.  A few years ago, when I was living in Arlington, I was riding pretty seriously- 70-100 miles a week.  I quickly discovered the air quality was untenable during the summer.  


To feed my bike addiction survive, I would get up at 5AM, down some sports drink or another, eat a little sandwich, and take my ride out.  I'd ride for an hour or two, and roll home between 7 and 8.  I'd be showered and changed and have the paper read and be at work by 930.  It remained, for years, almost the only thing that could ever coax me out of bed early.  The other thing came when I was first dating M. I once dragged him out of bed at the crack of dawn because he'd promised me a rock climbing trip to Great Falls.  But that's IT.


In the wastelands extreme mugginess of Hell Connecticut, I find mugginess makes riding and running unpleasant unless you are willing to play nice with Nature.  So our coaches set us a 7AM start time, with a 6:45AM mechanic/clinic check.


It made for a very nice morning today.  I woke up before the alarm, and had my bike racked and my old M.O.M's grocery bag super-cool gear bag in my car before I even remembered to feel resentful about the hour.  I made it out to the right commuter lot this week, with a PB and honey sandwich tucked away and a Clif bar awaiting me.


My Tri team has a lot of really nice people, and their best personality trait: they are even more bike-crazy than me.  So we can sit around and talk gear and tire changing and how high someone's seat should be and the colors of clips on pedals until we are blue in the face.  I mean, with whom can I discuss the merits of the hitch-mount tray rack?  Or find out which bike shop really DOES have a mysogynistic mechanic?   I rode with Coach Mike and Chris the newbie. I think the coach felt all paternal and protective of him... until Chris got onto a straightaway and just peeled off.  Coach Mike looked at me and said, "Oh.  I guess we better go catch him."  And it was WORK!  So my buddy Ben has not just me, but also Chris to raise money for a good cause.


And a 7AM start time was really, really fun.  (But, sorry, Mom, I STILL won't get up to do a road trip at that time.  The fun of a 5:51AM alarm will remain attached solely to biking exploits.  Unless you are buying breakfast.  In which case I'll get up, but I won't drive.)


We wrapped up just as the dark grey clouds rolled in, spitting the first drops of what would become a torrential downpour that would finally, blessedly, break the heat.  Same time next week, eh?

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