Friday, September 3, 2010

Cycling Checklist Sans Café

Before I begin I'll confess that I'm often struggling with a particular question. The gravity of this question rivals that of other big questions like "Why is there air?" and "If there is a god, why is she so pissed at us?" The particular question I struggle with is, "Was this brain fart due to my age, stupidity, a lack of coffee, or all the concussions I've suffered due to cycling & skiing head-bangs?"

Last night I updated my cycling checklist. [Click here for your own copy.] I've updated this list over the last few years to make sure there is no opportunity for me to forget anything when I'm going on a cycling trip, to a bike race, or just out for a casual bicycle ride. I generally don't need the list if I'm riding from home because I discover what I'm missing by the time I straddle the bike. But when I'm throwing everything in the car to start my ride from somewhere else the list becomes very important…especially if I haven't had any coffee yet.

This morning I drove over to Fiesta Island to do some time trial training. I go to the island by car, which theoretically means I'll double-check the simplified "daily basics" cycling checklist (on page 3 of the PDF file linked above). But of course I did NOT consult my newly-revised checklist before leaving the house. Fortunately I did remember my bicycle (forgotten once upon a time, but didn't get far from the house before realizing it), shoes, helmet, sunglasses and gloves. Ironically, what I did forget was the one thing I added to the list last night: My bike's GPS computer, which was still at home recharging. Not that I needed navigation help on a closed-loop course, but I do like checking my speed and heart rate from time to time. I noticed the missing GPS unit when I got on the bike, but didn't think to take the heart rate monitor off my chest until I was on lap 2 or 3, so it broadcast my racing heart's activity into endless ether.

On this particular morning I blamed the lack of coffee [for what proved to be a steady stream of brain farts] when I took my cycling shoes off after my ride. That's because I found a cherry pie-flavored LÄRABAR® squished in my left shoe. I didn't even notice it when I put my shoe on, but after about 20 miles it felt like my left sock was slipping down into my shoe. I looked down as I rode and the sock looked normal, so I was puzzled until I took the shoe off and found the energy bar…safely sealed within its flattened wrapper. If I had a couple cups of coffee before putting my shoes on I'm sure I would have felt the bar under my foot when I put the shoe on. Wouldn't I? Maybe?


(Of course I ate the bar. What are you, nuts?)

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