Sunday, February 12, 2012
6:41 AM | Edit Post
On the fourth of February, I decided it was time to defy the cold early morning temperatures and get in the first truly long ride of 2012. My plan was to ride from my home in San Diego to Oceanside, and from there follow the RAAM route approximately 80 miles to Borrego Springs before turning south along the Peninsular Range to Santa Ysabel before turning back home along the familiar route of Highway 67. I intended it to be a moderately difficult ride over the hills with the main emphasis of familiarizing myself with the race course in preparation for riding it in June. All told, it would be about 200 miles.
Things did not go according to plan. I would characterize the ride as one in which I got none of what I wanted, more than I bargained for, and consequently exactly what I needed. Along the way there were discoveries made, musical interludes with homeless guitarists, encounters with law enforcement and conversations with my bike.
The ride started out well enough. I slept on the futon in my office the night before so I wouldn't disturb Carrie when I woke at 1 AM. By two, I was out the door. The weather report indicated 49-degrees. I'd ridden in those temperatures and felt prepared for them.
Fun geography fact-- La Jolla is predominately a valley. A cold, foggy valley. I believe the valley itself to be rather cool in its own right, but the kicker is that someone filled it with cold air.
So I started to get frostbite on my fingers. I barely got past the UCSD campus before I had to stop to warm myself up. I recovered sensation and got another two miles before having to stop again. Through this process, I discovered that there's a lot of wildlife along the San Diego roadways at 3 AM. If you think you're chasing a cat along a bike path and it suddenly turns to stand and fight, odds are it's a skunk. Nevertheless, I dodged said varmints and pressed on up the road.
Fun fact about bike lights-- I used a Light Motion Urban 500 bike light. At maximum output it produces 500 lumens and it is phenomenal... ly short on battery life. 4:30 AM. It died on me about five miles short of Oceanside. I stopped at a local quickie mart, bought a cup of shock coffee and a ham and cheese hot pocket. Not exactly healthy cyclist food, but I figured I'd burned more calories trying to stay warm and I wanted a hot ham and cheese hot pocket, so don't judge me. After scarfing said nourishment and having a conversation with the attendant and a local homeless guitarist, I felt the need to BM.
There are no lids on public toilets.
A recent NPR story reported that flushing a toilet without the lid down throws all kinds of germs into the air that can spread diarrhea.
Water conservation researchers indicate that flushing toilets is one of our biggest wastes of water. It makes a highly inefficient use of clean water in relation to the amount of waste that's disposed.
We invented the flushing toilet about, what, 200* years ago?
Given that we've invented laser-based weapons, nuclear power, 3-D printed bikes and plasma-burst space travel, you'd think we'd have figured out the three sea shells by now. iToilet, anyone?
And that's how the things that go through my head while riding a bike get into my head in the first place.
* 300, actually
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