Homer's Travels: The Ups And Downs Of Cycling

Friday, May 08, 2015

The Ups And Downs Of Cycling

Today I pushed my personal best cycling distance up over forty miles - 40.93 miles at a slower than normal 12.9 mph.  That was today's cycling 'up'.

Along my forty mile route the bike trail passes under several streets.  These underpasses can be a place where rain water, and the accompanying mud, settle.  This is why I don't ride much in the winter because this water turns to ice making the underpasses treacherous.  It turns out that good ol' Nebraska mud has a surprising similarity to ice ... or more correctly, a similarity to axle grease.  The mud that had accumulated under the underpasses after the past few days of rain were incredibly slick.

I managed to go through three mud slick underpasses with only minor scares but the last one, a forty to fifty foot mud slick under Dodge street, was too much.  Usually I just coast through the mud.  It's hard to coast through forty feet of mud.  As friction slowed the bike, I tried to maintain my momentum by pedaling slowly but the various forces related to the physics of spinning wheels slid my rear wheel to the left and before you can say 'splat' the bike, with me on it, tipped over on its right side and slid through the mud.  That would be today's cycling 'down'.

Road rash and dried mud.
I got up and, slipping and sliding around, I walked the bike over to the grass.  The bike was intact but caked in mud as was most of my right side.  The fabric of my long sleeve shirt had tried valiantly to protect my arm but came up a bit short.  Beside the small patch of road rash near my elbow (not far from my alpine slide scars) and a long six inch scratch starting at the bottom of my bike shorts and going to the top of my calf, I came out of it relatively unscathed.

I decided to complete the ride.  I ended up walking my bike through the underpasses including those I'd managed on the way out.  Didn't want to risk another fall.  I almost fell a time or two while walking the bike.  That stuff is slick!

The fall slowed down my ride but I'm proud that I did make my goal of forty miles.  I hosed off my bike once I got home - there was a lot of mud on that bike.  I removed the layer of mud off myself in the shower.

I had been planning to do a shorter ride tomorrow afternoon.  I will have to reevaluate tomorrow once the expected soreness manifests itself ... and there will be soreness.

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