Well, the leaves are tinged with color and the mornings are starting to get misty and chilly. As the cycling season winds down, I find myself synthesizing lessons learned this year. Some are lessons I learned last year, too – obviously, not well enough. Perhaps I’ll post a series of them now, in no particular order. Well, except this one, which I think has become the One Overarching and Immutable Rule of Cycling for me:
Better to walk around the house like something out of a male strip show gone horribly wrong, my white gauzy bib straps hanging down my legs and an unzipped jersey slung on to ward off the morning chill, risking the sarcasm of my loving spouse, than to hit mile eight of a forty-five mile ride and realize I have to stop already, secure the bike, waddle into a café under the glare of the the patrons’ bemused gazes, and do the chimpanzee dance in the bathroom tryng to remove all the layers so I can relieve myself. Waste of time and momentum. If I walk about the house before roll-out with everything undone, I remember that, after I put on the gloves, adjust the shades and the helmet, and yes, even and especially the shoes (if I wait til the shoes, I’m sure to be ready to go) I must stop in the bathroom as my very last step.
No slacking on this: I’ve discovered that if I push pee time up even so much as five minutes, wanting just to suit up so I don’t feel so floppy and ridiculous, I pay for it later. The wheel of Nature’s law grinds slow, but exceeding sure. If I pay heed, I can usually spend the remainder of the ride in that sweet balance between intake and output, never stopping unwillingly.