Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Biking on Monday (warmup)

This valley is filled with the happiest dogs I've ever seen. Even the cats call to me from their driveways as I roll past and, if I pause and place my feet on the roadway, they eagerly trot out to rub their cheeks across my calves.

That black cow with its wide, Olympic-ringed nose.

This town has more biking and walking and running paths than anywhere I've ever been, and I'm grateful for it, I really am, I hope every town in the country follows in their footsteps. The trouble is that the paths are designed for mountain bikes, which (it is hardly an exaggeration to say) are the predominant form of transportation around here. Thus, thanks to mountain bikes' large and shock-absorbent tires, it is not a cause for concern for most bikers that there are myriad cracks in the pathways averaging one to two inches in width and approximately as many inches in depth. This wouldn't be troublesome in its own right, but the issue arises because I myself ride a road bike. I have learned quickly that those thin, spindly tires are not meant to roll over cracks approximating one to two inches wide and as many inches deep. It is hell on a woman's clitoris.

In contemplating the discomfort awaiting me every time I cycle these paths, I have noticed that most of the cracks, though they span the width of the entire pathway, are narrower and shallower in some sections than others. So I have taken to challenging myself. Whenever I reach the top of a hill, I peddle fast and furious until I'm bombing down the other side. Once I've picked up speed, the game is to see if I can respond quickly enough to visual cues to accurately line up the bike with the cracks of least resistance. I have become much more skilled at this challenge as I've developed an awareness for just how sensitive road bikes can be. On flat stretches I peddle hard to build up momentum, then shift my focus to squeezing first one side of my abs and then the other. With practice I am learning that I do my most effective steering when I unclench my hands from the handlebars and guide my progress from my core instead.

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