3 September 2002
It's not fair.
I have this really impressive (to me) odometer down at the bottom of
this page. I've already been feeling sad because I had the bike a whole month before I
purchased the odometer and so there is a month of mileage that doesn't show. Also there
were the weeks where the odometer didn't work properly and those miles didn't show either.
But today was the worst. Walt didn't get home from his mother's
until too late last night (I was already asleep), so I didn't change my bike tire. Cindy
offered me her daughter's bike so we could still go for our ride this morning, and I agreed. I figured it would be interesting to ride a
My bike weighs 40 lbs. Amy's bike weighs 26 lbs. It was the
difference of night and day and I found I could keep up with Cindy much better, I could go
farther, faster, and in a higher gear. It was an aerobic workout for both of us,
not just for me, with Cindy slowing down to allow me to keep pace with her.
It was a holiday, so she had suggested going at 6 a.m., rather than
our usual 5 and I figured that since I would be on Amy's bike, which did not have a place
for water, I should take my camelback filled with ice water, which I did--one of the smartest things I did.
We started at Cindy's house, adjusting the bike to fit me, and set
off. I mentioned that on Saturday, I'd gone our usual route, but instead of heading back
into town, I'd gone out into the country.
"Wanna do that?" she asked.
"OK," I said. And we did.
The farthest I've gone out into the country is 6 miles, which is as
far as you can go on the bike path. That's where you see jackrabbits hopping across
the field, flush doves from their nest, and commune with the horses in the
pasture. The cars whizzing by on the road don't bother you because there is
greenery separating you from them. But after six miles, the bike path runs out and
you are on country roads, with no bike path, sharing the lanes with cars and trucks. When I did it the first time, that was scary enough that
I turned back and just returned to town--still a respectable 12 mile round trip.
were approaching that end-of-the-trail point this morning, I made some comment to Cindy about how that
was as far as I had gone and that had then gone back to get the car and drive the route
the rest of the way out to Winters just to see what it was like--and how much farther it
was (that point is about the halfway point, I discovered).
"Wanna go to Winters?" she asked.
"OK," I said (my conversation on these rides is pretty
And so we did. It seems a long way when you're going, but it's all
flat and, save for a couple of maniacal truck drivers who tried to run us down, pretty
uneventful. What you meet most on the back road is other bikers, also either headed to or
returning from Winters.
It's a lovely ride, through all the farm country, along the creek,
and, as you get into Winters itself, over a nice wooden bridge and down to the Winters
Cafe, which is the turn around spot for a lot of the Davis bikers.
I mentioned that it was too bad we hadn't thought ahead to bring
money so we could have breakfast at the Winters Café, but Cindy was prepared and whipped
out some currency and determined she had enough money for breakfast for both of us. We
didn't have bike locks, though, so were happy to see that the café had outdoor tables,
where we could lean the bikes up against a tree and keep them in sight at all times.
She had French toast, I had oatmeal with raisins (power food) and
then about half an hour after our arrival in Winters, we turned around and came back to
Davis--a trip that seemed only half as long, since we were covering familiar ground by
now. What amazed me was that I was still using the higher gear and keeping pace with
Cindy. At one point we were traveling 15 mph--amazing what losing 20 lbs of dead weight
can make! (I don't know why this surprised me, when this body is the living proof of what a difference shedding "dead weight" can make!)
Coming back through town, we had to maneuver through a teeny opening
to get into city streets and I had my second bike fall. I now have an ow-ie on my knee,
but I figure it's part of learning to be a jockette.
Amy's bike doesn't have that big ol' padded old lady's seat with the
handy cut out ("clit slit," as Haggie so delicately puts it), so I will admit to
longing for padding "down there" before we got home. Also, the handlebars are
set so that I'm bent over more than on my bike and my back didn't like that, but
basically, I was feeling remarkably good for having biked that distance--especially given
that the temperature was inching up into the high 80s before we got home.
By the time we got here, Cindy, who has her own odometer, announced
we'd gone about 36-1/2 miles and I felt surprisingly good, and amazingly proud of myself
for having done what I've been saying I wanted to do "one of these days." (She
says our next goal is to bike to Beryessa Dam, but that is quite a bit farther--maybe 10
miles--and I think we need a few more round trips to Winters before I'm going to be
comfortable doing that.)
The only very, very disappointing thing about today's trip is that it
doesn't show up on my odometer!!!!! So from now on the readings on the odometer
are all going to be "+36," 'cause I sure as heck don't want to waste a perfectly
good outing on the bike without getting public credit for it!!