Monday, January 17, 2011

Hammer, Hammer, All the Way Home

I felt like I lacked the oomph to get up and go for a ride today. Maybe it was the pre-marathon feast I ate last night with the marathoners. No, I didn't run in the race today myself, but I felt like I should do my part and stuff my face right alongside those about to rock. But man, did I feel like a bloated hunk of blubber today.

I knew the right thing to do. But, I don't know, maybe it was blood sugar out of whack, lack of rest, stress from work, probably as usual a potent combination of the above. but I just didn't feel it. So I made a cup of strong chai, put the Rolling Stones Some Girls LP on the turntable, and cranked it.

Note first release cover with Raquel Welch, Lucy, and Farrah

After listening all the way through Far Away Eyes, I reminded myself: motivation follows action. So I stopped moping, dressed up for riding, got on the steel mountain bike, and headed for the hills. When the Whip Comes Down.

On the way out, I still felt the food bulk from last night. As I warmed up, though, and it was a mighty pretty day out there, I still felt a little sick to my stomach, but my brain-body machine began to feel good about the muscles burning up a few calories.

Feeling motivated to ride through the pass up ahead

Just when I got to the trail, I started to feel more connected to the bike. I had no particular trail, route, or destination in mind, I just knew that I had to get to the rocks and ride. I don't know if you have been out on a fairly rocky mountain trail lately on a steel mountain bike with no suspension, but it's a special kind of vibe you get. As in, the trail buzz resonates up through the frame, through your hands and feet, and into your muscles, a pleasant form of punishment. You make like a big spring, and absorb it all with your muscles, sinews, and bendy parts. As I felt the rhythm, I opened it up a little bit, which can feel pretty out of control since I was running smooth, skinny tires, but that's what I came for.

Having fun, keep going...

I rode out to the parking lot on the other side, took a big slug of water, then turned around. 

Sometimes people practice for the Grand Canyon by hiking up this steep antenna road/trail with packs on.
I wasn't sure what the plan was for the homeward leg, but then I felt it as I topped the pass: hammer, hammer, all the way home. Through four types of riding: rocky trail, road, gravel canal path, paved path, big ring at a good cadence, as much as I could take. The variety of a mixed ride like this one really appeals to me. I pedaled as fast and hard as I could. When my quads and knees started to burn, I upped the cadence in a slightly easier gear instead of coasting. I hit a hard pace that I thought I could keep up all the way. And you know what?

It hurt. I cranked. I pushed as hard as I could, and I felt like I hit some kind of sustainable pace that was faster than I thought I could go for that far. I wheeled into my driveway with a clear mind, not feeling too bad about the food last night, and feeling a kind of balance and peace from ten miles of hammering. All the way home. I have to do that again soon. Maybe without a feast for marathoners weighing me down, though. Get up. Go ride.



  1. I remember when that album came out. Some very suggestive lyrics. And the underwear ads on the inside. I loved it!

  2. My daughter wants a turntable, she likes a lot of classic rock. I'm thinking about buying her a turntable with a USB port so that we can record some hard to find music to the hard drive.

    Sometimes you just have to go fast. Even though my bike isn't really set up for fast riding I find myself chasing people down on occasion. It just feels good.

  3. The Stones!
    A good day.

  4. I useta have that album. The original, pre-lawsuit. Great album. Great album cover.

    Keep the hammer down.

  5. Big Oak, I was going to post the underwear ads, but that might change the rating of this blog. But: agreed.

    RTP, mine is a Sony with a USB port. It does the job. And while I usually maintain a sedate and steady pace, the occasional burst of relative speed is cool.

    limom, yes, an excellent day.

    Clowncar (great name btw), current hammer status: DOWN position.


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