Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Night Time Commuting

For those not in the know, I have established a training program to rival the likes of The Cyclist's Training Bible, Training Peaks, Chris Carmachael and any other coaching services/books available in the world. The title, How to be a Mediocre Cat 2 Cyclist with a Full-Time Job, will be available at your nearest book retailer shortly. Until then, I will provide the secrets to my lack of success through a series of brief training suggestions.

As you are probably aware, the days in the winter are about as long as...well, let's just say the night's are about as long as Dirk Diggler. Slaving away for 40 hours a week to pay bills often cuts into those daylight hours and makes training difficult at best. During the summer, I ride to and from work daily. Not only does the commute save gas money, but it also provides me with 2+ hours of easy training time. This is a habit I manage to continue into the winter months; however, I'm forced to combat the encroaching darkness on my rides home. So, I invested in a light system for my bike. With a bottle cage battery and wide angle beam, I'm capable of navigating the black ice and snow banks along my 25 mile journey. This does not come without its hardships.

Above all else, the worst part about commuting at night in the winter is the cold. I can deal with riding in the dark. I can deal with riding in the cold. But, the synergy of the two has the plants a seed of hatred in my soul: a hatred for Mother Nature and her incessently blowing cold winds, snow storms and terrible winter weather pattern in general. If you would like to learn more about my hatred for Mother Nature, please join me this weekend for a long ride in the tundra...George Carlon would even cover his ears.

Shadows are another problem I have been forced to deal with during my nocturnal commutes. Cars approaching from behind cause your own shadow to race infront of you. Like Mark Cavendish, this shadow is impossible to beat. And, it seems intent on hiding every pot hole large enough to swallow both of RKelly's feet and ginormous calves. These problems exist even without a riding partner. If you're lucky enough to be joined by a fellow masochist on your commute home, you will find his light system causes your shadow to appear on the roadside trees. This 30+ foot tall shadow crouched over his metal steed appears angry and ready to destroy any baby, puppy or kitten in its path. It hides the shoulder of the road from your view and dares you to ride into the "transfer station" river on Lee Camp road. Its 10 foot long fingers can be seen shifting gears, always one step ahead of you and knowing your next reaction. Basically, this shadow is a giant d-bag and tries to crush your motivation.

There are more problems with commuting by dark. However, I'm about to suit-up and head into the abyss that is winter. Another night of chasing the 30 foot stranger in the trees and another 30 minute shower to thaw my fingers once I get home.

More to come...

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