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.