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Inadvertent Adventure

Right, then…

So, on Monday, I didn’t need to be in until 9am, so I thought I’d ride all the way in from home – about 23 miles, judging by Google Maps.

Not that hard of a distance for me as I’ve done it before, even though I’m not in the greatest shape these days.  However, on this particular occasion, I was riding my new/old mountain bike as the Bob Jackson is now in the shop getting a generator hub, headlight, single speed crank and new handlebars.

The mountain bike is what I bought about this time last year. I had the frame powder coated this cool burnt orange color, transferred the good stuff from my old, unused FSR over and added a front rack.  Cool looking, not horribly heavy, but…it felt slow.

No matter, I gave myself 2.25 hours to go 23 miles…this should be doable.

In the old days, I used to consult maps and make a cue sheet.  With the advent of omnipresent GPS, I’ve come to rely on the iPhone.  I like Google Maps app and think it works fine, but the iPhone does not do well in cold weather; it dies at inconvenient times.  So, I went back to the old way:  Making a cue sheet.  Which was convenient for a while, until I could no longer find the road that I was supposed to turn right on.  This led to several minutes (longer than I thought, as it turns out) spent backtracking and trying to find my turn.  This went on at various parts of the trip between Menlo Park and Sunnyvale.    Ultimately, I rolled up to my office.  I figured I was maybe 1/2 hour or so late.  When I get inside and warmed up the phone to start it, I checked the time:  7 minutes after 10.  Holy shit.  In a panic, I checked pages and e mails for anyone that was looking for me and happily found none.  Showered, changed and at my desk a full 1 1/2 hours after I was supposed to be there.  It was not until after lunch did I finally warm up from the ride.

I took the time to map out the route, backtracking and all.  The original route was supposed to be 23 miles; I rode 31.

In the post mortem, I learned a couple of things:  1)  Don’t ride a new route if you have to be somewhere by a particular time; 2) Wool clothes do a fine job of keeping warm, but a beanie would have helped; 3)  Missing one minor side street can derail you’re entire navigation plan; and 4) despite all of the articles now saying you ride just as fast on wider tires, someone as heavy as I still needs to jack up the pressure, somewhat.  (this is why the bike felt slow, I reckon).

I was able to get through the day, but it was tough.  However, I wasn’t out of the woods, yet; I still had to get back home.  As I was rather tired after work, my boss (who is also an old friend that I ride with) took pity on my and gave me a ride to CalTrain.  As there was no recent train that would stop at my house, the thought was to ride it north to a particular station, cross over and pick up the southbound train that arrives a few minutes later and get off at my stop.  Well, my train arrived late, so I missed the southbound train.  There was another train in about 5 minutes that would get me home in 1/2 hour.  Wanting to get home sooner, and not wanting to walk the 1.5 miles home,  I decided to walk over and see if there were any cabs in the parking lot – there weren’t.  3 minutes until the next train comes, so I turned back…then I heard the horn.  The fucker showed up early.  Shit…legs too dead to run, I could not get to the crossing before the guards came down, trapping me on the wrong side.  While I could have gone under, that’s a $250 fine which I did not want.  I hoped against hope that maybe the guards would go up after the train had stopped; they didn’t.  So, I got to stand there and watch as everyone loaded up and took off.  Pissed, I put on my headphones, cranked up some music and hoofed it out of there, finally making it home about 1/2 hour later.

I’m happy to report that the first shakedown ride went very well, however.  Tahn builds a damn fine bike.  I still need to tweak some things (still getting numbness in the hands, even with ergo grips and padded gloves), but I like the bike.

But sometimes you get more exercise than you bargained for…



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