Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Oh the humanity

So I've got a BIG deadline coming up at work next week.  And the Fates laughed at my stress and sent me a summons to jury duty for the week before - absolutely the worst time.  I could tell it was predestined that I would end up serving since I was the first one called out of about 100 people, and they seated me on a civil case right away.  It's been three days of testimony so far - hopefully we'll be done tomorrow and I'll be able to get back to work.  And to top it off, this is not a fun case - very tough.

But having jury duty has changed up my schedule for a couple of days, and that's always good.  I've had enough time before court starts that I've been able to take Kenny to school and then hurry out to the rail trail and crank out a couple of miles before I had to head in to jury duty.  I'd much rather be out riding on the dirt, and I probably could find the time, but after spending so many hours building trails it actually pains me to leave ruts in the dirt - and so I make the most of what is available.

I managed to get in about 20 miles this morning, in unseasonably warm temperatures of nearly 50 degrees.  All the snow has melted once again, and everything in the woods is wet.  If I had the time it would be great to be able to get the kayak out and take advantage of the high water, but right now my time is at a premium.  I'm very lucky to be able to fit in these short rides during jury duty time, and I know it.

Another nice thing about getting in those rail trail rides is that I've managed to get in some sort of decent exercise for the last eight days.  I've got my MapMyRide nutrition and exercise routines back in full swing, with some good calorie counts for the last week.  My legs are actually feeling pretty good for the first time since October, when I fractured my skull and fell out of the routine.

Now I'd like to place bicycle riding exercise in a list, ranked by increasing fun levels.  The least fun is not riding at all and moping around home sitting on the couch.  Shortly above that is riding the stationary bike in the basement - exercise but mind boggling-ly boring.  Only slightly less boring is the next step, riding on the local rail trail, which can still almost put me to sleep.  Next higher in the fun hierarchy is road riding on pavement - although this can be quite exciting as people try to run you over, sic their dogs on you, or throw trash at you from their car windows.  Note that road riding in town can be more fun, but you can also get twice as many threats of bodily harm.  The next step up would be riding familiar singletrack on a quick outing - fun, fun, fun but the feeling of exploration isn't there.  And the best time you can have bicycling is a long day on new trails, riding and finding out what's there and how you can use it.  This list hasn't been blessed by Fatcyclist or anything, but I feel completely confident in stating that this is the same order all mountain bikers everywhere would list.  Thus spake swampboy.

One of the things that I check on the web every day that I have a chance is the Picture of the Day on Pinkbike.  The forums aren't that great - the ones at MTBR are a dozen times better - but the POD is almost always great.  Check out the one for today - a great shot from Switzerland that would make a great desktop.  The Pinkbike POD is one of those things that makes life better - like Altoids, Motorhead and Molson XXX (and mountain biking). 

Right now it looks as if there's a good chance that I'll have to go in to work this weekend to get things ready for the big deadline.  I'm just hoping (praying, begging) that I'll have some free time and an opportunity to either ride or paddle.  Even though it's been a poor imitation of winter, I have a nasty case of cabin fever and am positively itching to get out and prowl around.


  1. Awesome pictures. I do miss this time of year in the midwest (from the Detroit area).

    At least you did get to ride, which is very important!

    Ride on!

  2. Amen to that! Today I got a chance to get out and check out some real dirt trails and it was fantastic - an uplifting experience after so long away. If I play my cards right I might be able to get in a night ride out there on Sunday...

    Steve Z

  3. As always, your stuff makes me feel a little guilty. I get a little excited and go over to my living room bike shop. The front door is always open and the Outside is right there. All I gotta do is take my bike off the wall and step across the threshold. Several times now I have done just exactly that after reading your Blog. I'm getting ready to do it again. Thanks, Steve!

    1. TJ,

      Motivation is a sneaky thing - take it where you can get it. I've finally amped myself up enough that I'm tackling my exercise & weight issues in a semi-serious manner. Not wanting to foul that up is keeping me motivated for the time being. And it will all pay off when summer gets here and I'm tearing up the trails.

      Steve Z