On losing teeth and being aglow


The weather was blazing hot, so most of my day was spent indoors working on stuff for the fencing salle. Newsletter editing, staff meeting, etc. I finally got time for a ride in the evening, but it was still almost 100 degrees. The low humidity made it quite bearable as long as I kept moving. Good training for Oregon Bicycle Ride next month, which I expect to be quite warm. Kim had a dish of wonderfully salty olives on the table when I got home. Oh, those were good!

I was very excited to get my new rear wheel (Shimano Capreo hub and cassette) for my trike today, featuring higher gearing. I immediately mounted a tire and tube and went out for a ride. It was satisfying to have additional high gears to work with, even though I didn't use them too much. Normally I cruise in one of my top three gears. Now my previous highest gear (13 teeth) is my fourth highest gear (behind 9T, 10T, and 11T). I pushed myself on my ride, setting a new personal best average speed for my loop out to Pratum. But I'm not sure how much of that was me pushing and how much of that was having more appropriate gearing. Time and an increased sample size will tell.

From time to time, I have moments of realization on my trike rides. I look around at the scenery–especially if there is a view. My body feels very alive–aglow, even–and I have no shortage of endorphins in my blooodstream, I'm sure. These moments sometimes occur at the top of a good climb; or during those wonderful descents that are so subtle that you don't realize you are losing a foot or so of elevation for every 100 feet you ride and you feel like you're flying along almost effortlessly and could ride forever like this–a feeling that is amplified if you are doubly blessed with a tailwind. But no matter when these moments capture me, the reaction is the same: I stop and I marvel, saying aloud, "It's good to be alive."

And so it is.

Currently reading: Fifty Degrees Below, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Miles ridden today: 22.41 (see BikeJournal.com entry)
Mile driven today: none (worked from home)

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About Mike

Michael Heggen is a horseman, maker, and thinker who lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, Kim, and "three to eight cats". He stays quite busy riding, driving, and caring for their three horses, Boulder, Shasta, and Bob. Among other things, Mike has been a fencing coach, police chaplain, computer consultant, aspirant to the diaconate, computer salesman, box boy, carpenter, computer technician, typesetter, church youth leader, copy machine operator, and network administrator. His other interests include juggling, reading voraciously, and (pretty occasionally these days) cycling.
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