...this is the kind of stuff I'd post on it.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The worst day on a bike...

...is better than the best day at work.

My dad has been known to utter this phrase from time to time, with the phrase "on a bike" replaced with "fishing".  Regardless of what hobby you substitute, the maxim holds true.  Any day spent doing something you love is better than doing something you're forced to do.  Unless you are employed saving orphans from burning buildings, taste-testing ice cream, or cuddling puppies for a living, chances are you probably don't get suuuper excited about going to work every day.

Which is why I feel like I should stop my bitching.  You see, I, like many Americans had the day off work on Monday.  I decided to take a break from my strenuous schedule of eating amazing food all weekend by taking a little jaunt on the ol' bicycle, something that would normally bring me much joy. It ended up bringing me nothing but pain (literally).

As Murphy would predict, it started pissing rain the second I emerged from the front door with my bike, and didn't let up until I was cresting the hill back to my house, at which point it became sunny and warm.  I had tweaked my back the day before, probably while doing yardwork, but I figured it might work itself out during the course of the ride.  Wrong.  The pain steadily got worse as I made my way from Seattle towards the Cascade foothills east of Issaquah.  By the time I hit Duthie Hill Road I was in no small amount of agony.  I decided to cut things a little shorter than I had planned and make a quick loop to head back.

On my way back up towards I-90, I took a pleasant shortcut, one I've taken many times, through a quiet park and up some switchbacks to get to the I-90 bike trail:
switchbacks to the I-90 trail

While I coasted slowly over a pedestrian bridge, suddenly my bike slipped completely out from under me, and I found myself kissing the pavement.  I had come down pretty hard, but I didn't understand why.  After gathering myself, I stepped onto the bridge to find that it was icy-slick, almost impossible to stand on without slipping.  There was a coating of slimy-mossy-moisture coating the bridge.  Ugh.

slippery as shit!

So, the long and short of it is, my back is now killllling me, and I've got my first 600K brevet to ride this weekend.  How am I supposed to ride this:

when I'm currently hobbling around like an old man, popping ibuprofen like it's going out of style?

I'll tell you how: by remembering the maxim I mentioned earlier.  I mean, how bad could it be to ride your bike all day (and I do mean alllllll day) through some gorgeous parts of the state?  I could be working.

Speaking of gorgeous scenery, I'll leave you all with this image of Jobst Brandt climbing the Gavia Pass in the Italian Alps.  Is his back hurting?  Even if it was, who cares?
(image courtesy of Bike Intelligencer)

The ride will cross the Cascades, go over 4 mountain passes, and skirt the mighty Mt. Rainier.  Wish me luck.....I'm going to need it.


  1. If it's any consolation, my best ever showing on a 600km brevet was on a previous edition of this 4-pass funfest (but counterclockwise). I did it three days after being doored in downtown Kirkland, a crash that cost me a few stitches (where the door gashed my arm) and a back so sore that the next day I couldn't get out of bed without help.

    And yes, this one is a stunner. Did the pre-ride last weekend.

  2. Sorry to hear about the troubles.

    If needed, I'll hold your hand throughout the ride. We can talk about pizza and brunch well into the night.

  3. Mark: Thanks for the encouragement. Despite the tone of my post, I'm actually really looking forward to this route. Looks gorgeous, even on Google Maps.

    Robert: Yes, that would be great. Also, if I pick up some PB&J along the way, I'll need you cut the crusts off for me.

  4. Hope you're recovering! Because I need you to pull me into Naches.

    And Robert, how you gonna keep your bike straight if you're holding Dylan's hand as well?

  5. I just steer with my butt muscles.

  6. Uh, yeah, I hope I'm recovering too. My back feels fucked. Just got back from the doctor, have to go pick up my drugz.

    My performance is bound to be sketchy, to say the least.

  7. We've got plenty of time to finish it. We can stick together.