January 06, 2006

My Comedy Of Errors

Morning Workout
90 minutes
Heart Rate Zone: Aerobic (Zone 1)

Random Comments: It was supposed to be an easy ride this morning. If "easy" means "frustrating", then yes, Mr. Oxford, it was easy.

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and find yourself the lead character in a comedy of errors. Welcome to my life.

I got up a bit early this morning (5:45am) to make sure I hit the road by 6:15. I wanted to get back at home before 8am and get a little downtime before work. It was going to be a big day in the office... I needed to relax. Ninety minutes of Aerobic riding, that's easy anyway. The ride should be relaxing. The post-ride should be relaxing. It's going to be a good day.

I clamp my brand new headlight onto the bike and head out at 6:15am. Right on schedule. I hop on the bike and ride, oooh, maybe 5 yards. Something doesn't feel right. I stop, check the tires. Yep, got a flat. I lug my bike upstairs into the light, and quickly change the flat tire.

I look at my watch: 6:32am. So maybe I won't be back before 8am, but it should still be relaxing.
No problem.

I heave my bike on my shoulder and scamper back outside again. I hop on the bike and am off. I get maybe a 1/2 mile down the road and hit a red light. I stop at the red light, my bike stops at the red light, unfortunately my headlight decides to keep on moving. I'm stopped in the middle of the road trying to shimmy, jiggle and wobble, but the damn light doesn't want to stay on. Meanwhile, I'm to focused to move myself out of the middle of the road. Cars are passing me on both sides silently wondering what I'm doing (and most likely whispering words about me that perhaps children should not be hearing. Frankly, I don't want to hear them either - so I don't even look at their faces). After a few minutes of further inspection, I come to the conclusion that I used the wrong clamp on the headlight. Oops.

I look at my watch: 6:37.

The sun is coming up already so I jam the headlight into the pocket of my jersey and continue rolling, praying to the dear Lord that I won't be flattened by a car. So maybe I'll get home a little after 8:00, but I'm still focused on relaxing. I ride on.

I get down the rode another 1/2 mile and turn onto the main avenue. Just my luck, as I'm turning down there, the big La Grange ride comes breezing by. La Grange is a bike club here in Los Angeles. It is comprised of a lot of Cat 2 and Cat 3 racers (which basically means, "they're really fast"). Most of the La Grange rides have the 20-30 rider group flying down the roads so quickly you need slo-mo vision to find out what's going on. Friday rides are different. Friday rides are the recovery rides, meaning they go so unbearably slow I could practically run faster than them. I'd been on the Friday recovery rides before and some of the folks actually do the entire thing sitting up straight, hands free from the handelbars, cup of coffee in one hand and the other free to gesticulate during their seemingly intimate conversations about seemingly vital worldly matters. That's how slow it is. And because it's so slow, the Friday ride usually attracts a whole bunch of other not-so-fast bike riders so they can boast to their friends that they ride with La Grange. Whatever.

So I make the turn onto the main Avenue only to find myself in the back of the 30-40 person group of La Grangers muddling along at the aforementioned unbearably slow pace. With the group 4 people wide, cars passing by on the left and me suddenly cornered on the inside right side, I could barely get past the group. So there I was, lumbering along at 12-14 mph with my heartrate at pretty much the same rate as when I'm in full REM sleep. I spend the next 20 minutes trying to piece my way to the front of the group, each second becoming more and more frustrating as my heartrate drops down closer to mortuary-like levels. Finally, 30 minutes in, I take a right turn onto the beach path and escape them. I pick up the pace and get my heart into the Aerobic levels I was supposed to be at in the first place.

I flounder along for the next while, my mind in a bit of a tizzy from what was supposed to be a relaxing ride. I begin to try to relax. The sand on the bike path makes that difficult. The cars on the road make that difficult. I finally make it home.

I look at my watch: 8:27am.

Damn - I'm late for work.