Adventures in Bicycle Commuting in North San Diego County
Thursday, June 2, 2011
As much as I've tried to make this edition of returning to cycling after injury proceed in as conservative fashion as possible, eventually, I was going to start passing some mileposts. While most of the mileposts are long gone from the Coast Route--except for a couple on the Torrey Pines Grade--my personal ones are starting to add up. Last Friday, while descending the TP Grade, I was calculating the miles I'd ridden that week (instead of paying attention to what I was doing), and I discovered that when I got home, I'd have over 100 miles ridden for the week. After the descent, while smugly snuggling in that warm thought, a rider passed me, but it was not one of the ordinary riders who frequently passes me these days, but rather it was John Howard. While normally my ego would be aflame by being passed by someone 15 years older than me, mine was assuaged by the fact that he is the land speed record holder on a bicycle, so I should expect to, if my bicycle had doors, have them blown off. Anyway, he's lived in the area longer than me, and I recognized him from my previous experiences of him effortlessly riding past me. When am I gonna catch up?
However, the day before yesterday, I had laid all items in preparation, and I whispered to Starla when she stopped by to revel in her post-defense, anti-intellectualist celebration that I was going to ride my entire commute the next day. Sadly, since I told her that, I was obliged to follow through. Fortunately, along with having work clothes and lunch ready, I had prepped my Masi for action.
Despite the fact I hadn't ridden my Masi in almost two years, I headed off on it at 5:40am to points south. I went from completely awkward to somewhat awkward in the first five miles, then moved on from there. It was a fine early morning, and the rolling terrain lead me to La Costa Blvd where I tucked in to my aero bars...and I realized how unfit I was! A quick diversion took me to Piraeus St. (which has a non-traditional intersection with Leucadia Blvd.), then once through a traffic circle, I rode a nostalgic route through the remainder of the "Leu" to Vulcan. From there, then to the coast route, the ride was quick, and would have been uneventful except for my boss catching me in my aero bars by Seaside. Still, despite the Law Enforcement/Special Olympics torch relay, the remainder of the ride to UCSD was uneventful.
Riding home was an exercise in conservation, and a headwind drove the exercise home. Still, with no choice but to gut it out and aero bars for the open stretches, the slog north on the coast route was doable. Turning right and with the wind on Cannon Rd really changed the whole atmosphere. Success was only a few miles away, and after the College Blvd climb, it was only a matter of moments before I was at Bottle Bin:
Would you believe that every can in that bag is now empty???