Friday, January 08, 2010

blame the interval

tonight i came to an important conclusion: never do your last interval.

now, i know that some people are of the 'do an extra interval' school. and perhaps on occasion i would opt for extra credit, but mostly no... tonight i needed those 12 minutes.

so maybe i went on a night ride on wednesday for 2.5 hours....
and maybe it was 4:45pm today and i realized i forgot to plug in my light
and maybe i just did a 15 minute "quick power charge."
and maybe i didn't even give a second thought to that maybe being a problem...

so i finish my intervals and am riding along redwood road and going so slow i can barely bike straight. and it is foggy as hell (...well, hell isn't probably foggy, but trust me it was foggy), and i am thinking about how happy i am i have this bright light and thinking about how cool bot-dots are, because they are the only thing keeping me from steering straight....and i think about how i could write an ode to bot dots. and how funny that would be, because when i was a cat4 (waaaay last year) i hated bot dots, and now i was getting all sentimental of how much i love them for lighting up the road.

and as i was having this sappy thought about writing a sonnett to bot dots, it looked like my light was turning red.

'whoa, those must have been some hard intervals' i thought to myself, assuming that blood vessels in my eyes were causing optical illusions.

and then maybe i kinda remembered that my intervals were a good 10 minutes ago, and i shouldn't be seeing funny.

and then maybe i thought: wow, my light is going die. and this red thing is probably some super fancy pants technology like the "gas light" on a car.

digression. now i love the gas light on the car. how far can i go til i run out of gas? yeah, i know this is bad for the engine... but the adrenaline rush is kind of great sometimes. getting all panicky driving and not knowing when the gas station will come, and then the relief. note: i've never /actually/ run out of gas; cause i am very lucky.

but this light situation was a bit different. maybe....

it was dark. and there were mountain lions out there. maybe....

and so i maybe start another interval and pedal really fast for 2 or 3 minutes. and then maybe my light starts getting dimmer and dimmer. but not out. maybe it is reducing itself to a different setting. the orange "on" light turned red.

so how long do i have? i wonder. maybe i shouldn't have done that last interval.

and i start thinking.....

maybe i should call someone. who should i call? and so i make a little list in my head: karla, ben, sean, mel. that was be my list. because i know they we all pick me up. and they all live kinda close to where i was. and they will all make fun of me terribly. but lovingly.

then i think: maybe i will call them when my light actually dies.

so i keep pedalling and come to the pinehurst/redwood intersection. and then i know i only have 2 miles uphill to go. and i feel like i will make it.

and then it dies. but right in front of a driveway with a light. wow, i am lucky.

so i pull out my phone to call karla, and ...there is no service out there. maybe i'm not so lucky.

so i start pedaling. people say "your eyes adjust to the dark." adjust to what? dark is dark! i still couldn't see jack shit.

and the thing is when it is dark dark, you start hearing things. animals. like maybe mountain lions.

and so i start the plea bargaining. 'just let me get to skyline blvd, because then there are street lights, and then i know i can make it home.'

and then cars come by and i make up my 'car interval' game.... which is close your eyes as they approach so you don't get blinded by the headlights, then go as fast as you can when they pass you to use their taillight for a few seconds.

and as i was biking in the pitch black i thought about how this ride is going to make a great blog post. and then i started thinking about how many of my blog posts are about bad things happening to me or me being stupid. and i wonder why i only ever feel inspired to write when something bad happens. and i wonder if i make bad things happen so i can write blog posts. and i thought about how all the people who read this blog must think i am a big nitwit.

and then i started to see the street lights at skyline. and i thought about how lucky i am. honestly, i am very lucky. in 5th grade i won an american girl doll in a raffle. in college i won a $500 gift certificate to where i bought lots of running shoes. and then how a couple of years ago i got picked out of hundred of people to be a juror on a murder trial. maybe not lucky, but chance. and then i hoped luck would get me home. and then i hoped that luck will extend to make me a redistricting commissioner.

and so my little bowt in the dark make me feel pretty good about my lot in the world.

but it also scared me enough to teach me a very valuable lesson.

charge my light early.

no, silly! clearly it was the final intervals fault! i would have *just* made it to skyline if it wasn't for that last interval. never do it!

open letter to 7-eleven

dear 7-eleven,

i am having a hard time figuring you out. your relationship to biking that is. as someone who rides bikes, should i consider you an friend or foe?

sure, i do realize that you supported a kinda big deal cycling team awhile back... and i do realize that sometimes your store comes in very handy... like when you are out on a long ride and bonking and really need a stale doughnut or piece of beef jerky....

but, i really have to question the slurpee.... making me believe that 7-eleven is really a biker's foe.

what am i talking about?

january 7, 2010. 9:00pm. i am biking home from the team tufunga gym, heading east on 40th st, just crossing telegraph avenue in oakland, california. there are some young men idling on the corner, all drinking slurpees. as i bike by, one boy removes the lid of this 44oz slurpee and tosses the contents of the cherry flavor all over me and my bike.

now nothing makes someone feel quite so lame as getting a slurpee thrown on them. not to mention, this then resulted in me having to: 1) clean my bike, and 2) shower -- two things i *really* hate doing. (although i do admit i did have a few tastes of slurpee off my top tube on the way home, and that was quite yummy)

so why am i blaming you, 7-eleven, for their behavior, and not their juvenile delinquent selves...or the cheap-ass weed they were probably on that caused them to buy the slurpee in the first place?

that point is clear in my mind, 7-eleven.

c'mon -- 44oz of slurpee? why do you make a 44-oz cup? it's like 2 bucks for that much slurpee. and you know people won't be able to drink it all. thus, bad things are likely to happen with that extra slurpee... and moreover, let's be honest, that amount of high fructose corn syrup causes crack-like behaviors in individuals. at some point, throwing slurpee remnants at passer-byers does become the logical course of action.

so, 7-eleven. what's the deal? 44 oz cups are only created for trouble. and of course you buy that size and not the 12 oz size because it is only like 55cents more.

as compensation for my emotional scarring, i would very much like a life-time free slurpee card, usable at any 7-eleven establishment worldwide. thank you for this consideration.

with warm regards,