Saturday, February 5, 2011

All the Way, Baby!

The stars aligned, I got early release, I'd listened to enough Richmond Fontaine, and it was just plain about time.

I left work Friday afternoon and rode my bicycle all the way home.

Yes, instead of careening down the I-5 shoulder to the train station, I braved crossing Revelle, Muir, and Marshall (Third) colleges, then exited the University and braved old highway 101.

Ah, the open road...such as it is. However, a closer inspection revealed this:

Yes, that's right, I was entering Encinitas' photo enforced tsunami danger zone. While I could have stayed there for hours contemplating government bureaucracy gone haywire, I was racing the sun and I was getting hungry and thirsty, so I braved the danger of a tsunami-based citation and pressed on north.

I haven't done this whole ride since, of the reasons I keep this blog is to remind me of when stuff, sometime in late 2009. Since then I've discovered that:

1. The guys on my former cycling team, Swami's, are a lot faster.

2. Encinitas is now more dangerous than Del Mar.

3. I really no longer give a fuck about how fast I ride.

Nope, not anymore. Too many dreams about cycling when I couldn't have altered my perception of it. As much as I like the atmosphere, companionship, and scenery of the afternoon Coaster train, there's nothing like being able to stop on a whim and take in all that's around you. Especially when it's familiar pleasantries that you've been without for a while.

However, the sun sets on everyone, and it set on me in South Carlsbad. From here, the ride got serious. Carlsbad Village may be a joy during bikini season, but it is otherwise a nightmare of jaywalkers...then there's the State Street/Hwy 101 merge to negotiate. Oceanside is skirted through pretty quick, until the harrowing Crouch St. descent to Oceanside Blvd. If you pick the right line on the potholed descent, you can hit 50mph, but there's always a line of cars wanting to both turn left and right in front of you at the bottom of the hill. At night, it's just that question rattling through my skull, "does *anyone* see me??"

Once on Oceanside Blvd, I felt okay, and as one goes east, the calm increases. When I got to Melrose Station before the 6:22, my competitive side was assuaged a little. From there it was all downhill to the Stater Brothers, where they had food and just enough beer to get me through the evening.

Yeah, I admit, I jumped up and down a few times when I got to my garage and I'd realized that, yes, I did it. I could then eat and drink like I deserved it, and sleep a sound sleep. Today, there were hours spent in the garage with the bikes, and more will be spent tomorrow, because, since I rode home Friday, I have to ride back Monday.

See this space for details...

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