Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On The Mend

It took a little longer to get out of the apartment this morning seeing as I was frozen into inactivity by the Chicken Little tone on the CBC. Listening to them gave the impression Halifax had evidently eschewed salt trucks in favour of Zambonis and had spent the night carefully grooming the highways. Seeing as it was significantly colder in Truro than Halifax and Halifax was (apparently) an icy hell, this did not bode well for a ride, indeed I clearly should have stayed in bed, the evidence of my own eyes notwithstanding! Sure, the view out of the window might have looked nice but the CBC was telling me it was treacherous, and if you can't believe the CBC, who can you believe?*

Anyway, it wasn't an icy hell, it was actually very nice. I think Environment Canada might have been in on the conspiracy too, as it didn't fell like -6C. It was the nicest ride I've had in a while. Partly, I think, because the pain in my ribs is starting to subside (finally, after nearly three weeks!) and it no longer hurts to yawn, sneeze, breathe deeply or get out of the saddle. What little pain there is feels more like the after-effects of a stitch.

I was able to get out on fixed again today too. Not being able to get out of the saddle negates going fixed because as nice as they are to ride, they do need muscling up climbs which is incompatible with dinged ribs. Makes you think of pro riders soldiering on with cracked ribs and broken clavicles and the like. Robert Bartko just DNF'd the Zesdaagse van Vlaanderen after racing four days with cracked ribs. The day afterward I couldn't open a door, can you imagine doing a hand-sling? Pass the Advil...
Fixies are great winter bikes by the way. There's that feeling of "oneness" with the road. Cutting through the hipster "spiritual" bull there is an aspect of truth, You do feel the road through your feet and when conditions get dodgy, fixed feels safer. There is no feeling the bike is trying to run away from you to dump you ignominiously on the shoulder. There's also the mechanical aspect. There aren't any moving parts to get all gunked up with salt and spray. Oh, well I suppose there are a few moving parts but they're all ball-races and I don't suppose any of us strip our hubs down after a wet ride! Well now I think of it, once upon a time Dazza and I used to strip our racing bikes down to the hubs and BB every Saturday before a race but don't get me started on cassette BB's or we'll be here all day and current evidence to the contrary I do have a couple of papers go go through and order something flammable. I guess too, if you crash on a patch of ice there's no gear-hanger to snap or bend. It's one thing to lose your gears in a crash, but unless you're carrying Allen keys and a chain-tool you're going to have to ride home with the rear derailleur clink clink clinking in your spokes! Then there's the purely practical. It's hard to change gears with big lobster mitts. Even if you can squeeze your hands between the 'bars and the lever then trying to flick that little inside lever doesn't come quite as easily as it used to!

As far as riding goes, I'm determinedly living in the present. I know, on an intellectual level that there are very few rides left this year but I'm not letting that bother me. I'm pigheadedly riding outside knowing that soon it won't be a question of pigheadedness as of something entirely different (actually there's a guy in the department who makes us all look like big girls blouses when it comes to riding outside but we'll meet him in February). I'm enjoying every ride and not saying "gee it seems like only yesterday I was in shorts" or lamenting that the CBC (and my own significant inertia) made me late this morning and I had to go shorter than I wanted. No, today was a great day to be out and I enjoyed every second, no ifs, ands or buts.

I'm even looking forward to tomorrow! Yes I know it's supposed to rain (but I've got mudguards) but if it does then I might get to "drop" a new pair of gloves. Stay tuned....


*This is a rhetorical question by the way.....

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