This morning I was determined to ride regardless of the weather, rain or shine, hot or cold, humid or dry. I did not hit the river yesterday morning because I wanted to watch the Niners final preseason game. Skipping a day was a gamble because the forecast for this week calls for a lot of rain. The climate at 5am was just about all one can ask for at the tail end of August and so I decided to partake in some much needed exercise. Red Chameleon and I hit the tarmac while it was still dark, riding upstream as the sun rose in the rear-view on this lovely Tuesday morning.
I fell asleep on the couch around 8:30pm last night, about an hour earlier than I wanted. The added rest was welcomed, helping me feel quite a bit better than on a normal weekday ride. Although yesterday was exceptionally busy, I rapidly recovered and was ready to hit the streets early this morning.
When I closed and locked the front door I was unimpressed with the climate. It immediately felt warmer and more humid than I thought. As I descended the stairs towards Red Chameleon a light gust of air brushed my face. The trees were whispering to each other, spreading words of wisdom and observations about us peculiar humans across their vast network. This calming wind was really nice, and a good sign for things to come this morning.
I mounted Red Chameleon while the sky was still dark. I exited into the early dawn hours, before the sun had an opportunity to awake. The first few hundred meters of the ride was enchanting. Soft flurries wrapped my body, providing me with much needed comfort from normal summer morning weather.
My vision was semi-impaired thanks to wearing dark sunglasses at this hour. I was able to see all I needed to see, so it is not as if I was in any danger. It is important to ride with some form of eye protection. I opt for standard sunglasses to protect my eyes not only from the wind but the bright rays emanating from the sun after he rises above Tokyo.
There are just so many precautions a cyclist must endure. Not only do we need to fear for our lives when on surface streets, but there are a whole host of additional considerations. These are not black and white decisions. Most of them are quite gray and up to personal perference. When it comes to eyewear, I like normal sunglasses because my eyes are sensitive to the bright light.
The entire ride today was comfortable. It was really a lot of fun, and I believe the weather had a lot to do with my constitution today. The brighter and more blue the sky, the more enjoyable the ride. Red Chameleon and I had a top notch time.
Despite my craptastic timing to hit the 25k mark, I had no trouble maintaining pace this morning. What I learned today was interesting. When I drop below my desired speed it is usually because I am paying more attention to the podcast than I am riding. I was thoroughly engrossed in the final episodes of In the Dark and caught myself riding slower as I was listening.
It had not occurred to me how much I need to pay attention to speed. Losing concentration has a definite impact on performance. Now the question is, how much of a decrease occurs, and is it worth the sacrifice or not? Over the next few rides I intend to conduct my own little experiments to see if this really holds true or not.
On the return trip I once again stopped along the river to enjoy the beautiful blue sky sitting atop the lovely blue river, listening to the calming and peaceful sound of the water running across the mini-dam. It is so relaxing I have actually contemplated riding out here sometime during the day, and doing meetings outside rather than stuck in my makeshift office.
The weather is becoming noticeably cooler in the evening. This is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, as I mentioned the other day, I am looking forward to a more comfortable autumn climate. On the other, it is at the expense of having to wave goodbye to summer. All good things must come to an end, summer included.
I am now planning a longer 180km-ish ride in Ibaraki. There is a course called the Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road, which if you do the full route is a bit over 100 total miles. The entire course is clearly mapped out on their web site, making it blantantly easy for an idiot like me to understand. Once autumn hits, and the weather is more cooperative, I plan to do this full ride. It looks like a load of fun, not to mention a nice little challenge.
Tomorrow is finally hump day. I have a couple late meetings today, so I am not expecting to ride on Wednesday morning nor does Thursday look doable thanks to rain. Hopefully I can get back out on the tarmac on Friday morning. Either way, I am really looking forward to finishing this week ASAP!
Peace out and stay well.