Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Great Season

Fall is truly in the air this week, and my rides today and yesterday called for long sleeves.  Actually, that's true of my past 4-5 rides, now that I think about it -- temps are back around where they were in April and May, when I started riding outdoors again.

I took the picture above on Saturday morning, wearing a long-sleeved tee over another tee.  It was taken in Somerset, NJ or thereabouts, on a canal path.  It was a beautiful early-fall morning, with mist on the canal and the cool water doing its best to keep the sun's warmth in check.  The ride was easy; flat and only 11 miles -- time spent with a college buddy, as much as anything.  And once again I appreciated the versatility of the Schwinn, which carried me over packed rock dust, drying mud, dirt and sand without complaint and with nary a wobble.  There was only one portage required -- fifty yards across a mossy flagstone spillway, where the canal wall is lower, apparently designed to allow high water out.  The Paramount could have made it across, but the Schwinn isn't laid out for that kind of work.

The cycling season that's now winding down has been terrific.  I've logged over 1500 miles, split about 600 each on the Kestrel and Motobecane (the Motobecane now slightly ahead of the now-retired Kestrel), with over 300 going to the Schwinn, which I mostly used for errands or riding with my kids.  I'm working with odometer readings, not logs, so I can't say for sure how many of the Schwinn's miles were logged with the girls, but I'm going to guess it's somewhere around 125.

I might fit another 100 miles in, here and there, before I bring my season inside to the relative monotony of my training rollers, but I don't expect to hit 2000 outdoor miles. Still, 1600-odd miles is a pretty big number, facilitated in this case by a dry summer and not working.  It looks like that may be drawing to a close as well, which is good -- I'm ready to be back, fully recharged and ready to go.

Cycling no doubt contributed to that recharge.  I'm in better shape, physically, than I've been since high school, if ever.  My weight is good and I'm really strong -- at least for me.  With every pedal stroke and every mile logged, I've had time to process -- to think through where I've been the past few years, what I've learned, and the direction I want to head.  I have lots of perspective, some reasonable conclusions that should serve me well, and I feel great about the possibilities ahead of me, both personally and professionally.

1500 miles and a stronger body, mind and heart.  What a great season.

All for now,


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