What a morning to ride to work!! Cool, dry, light to no breeze. 23.6 miles in 1 hour 14 min. Second best time, but the judges have disallowed the 1 hour 11 minute ride as wind aided.
I was on time this morning, leaving the house right at 6:00 am. Unlike last week, I have two pairs of clean gloves (matching, which is a plus), clean socks (also matching). Stoked. Once I get my computer reset (in the dark I hit an odd combination of buttons which fouled me up for a couple of minutes) and I am off down Paletto Ave out of Sanford.
I am still using the backpack. Got lots of advice on it last week, but without the laptop, it is not bad. I can live with it. The bike feels good, so do my legs and breathing. I push it a little, knowing that Paolo Bettini, The Cricket, would be doing the same today in the Giro D’Italia. remember, though, I look more like the Big Swede Magnus Backstedt.
I also take note that today the cars are giving me more room as they pass. It is noticeable. Why? It is too early in the ride for me to smell too bad, and I don’t think I am swerving much. Could it be that they are beginning to get an idea that a bike is commuting along with them each morning? I would like to ask someone, but no one ever talks to me in the morning. They do in the afternoon, but never in the morning.
I get caught by the double light under 417. Is this my chance to ask someone? No, the light changes and I am off. I feel so good that I am in the big chainring little cassette; crosschaining and rolling along at 23+. Big Maggie would be proud, and the Cricket would be tucked in on my wheel.
Ronald Reagan Blvd is clean and clear, little traffic, I make every light before rolling into Longwood three minutes or more ahead of schedule. I cross 434 with the light (Paul Sherwood is screaming…”Unbelieveable”). Same with 436. Same again with Mailand Blvd. Why am I excited? Time. I can loose between 10-15 minutes each way waiting on lights. I hate lights. It’s hot, exhaust, I am not moving, and I always feel safer and better when I am rolling.
Flip over to Maitland Ave., then right on Oranole. Again with the cars giving me a lot of room today. I take a breath, slow down drop the chain down, bring my speed below 20, take a drink. I am not drinking enough. As I approach Wymore, there is a small line of traffic built up behind me. Last week I had some trouble waiting for cars to pass before I coulld get left to turn. Not today!! They must know I am riding like The Cricket! A real classy act from one car lets me in so I don’t miss a pedal stroke.
Back in the big ring, 24+ down Wymore, under Maitland Blvd., I see all the suckers on I-4 nearly stopped. “Hey, I could walk faster…” Woops, spoke too soon. Wymore is stopped way before Kennedy. This is where I do things I am not as proud of. As I “skate” the bike for a while down the right side of parked cars, I get to a point where there is no room. There is also no one coming North on the road. I flip over across the yellow line and race down the wrong side of the road. Sorry, gotta get to work. There are no cars coming, but as I get close to the light I get back over on my side.
Cross Kennedy. Pass Channel 2 (Wendy where are you?). Cross Lee Rd. Right on Fairbanks, through Biltmore shores drafting off an M-series BMW, we cross Edgewater together. I am early and beat the rush at Bishop Moore. Hey, here’s a thought for all you car-poolers, shouldn’t you be cutting off the engines on your SUVs while you wait in line?
Down Maury Rd to OBT. Pulling into the parking lot exactly at 1 hour 14 minutes 7 seconds.