Posted by: wheelywonka | September 25, 2010

Lifting the Gloom via the Joy of the Open Road

Ok, I’ll confess something.  There has been a dark cloud hanging over the Wheely Wonka home the last few weeks, and it’s somewhat responsible for the slowdown in my cycling.  I tried to rationalize it as a need to rest in last week’s blog A Time to Heal, but now I understand the real cause.   It is a grim funk that is the direct result of my son’s high school football team losing its last two games in overtime in the most painful fashion possible:  going for two on the extra point to win the game, and falling inches short of the goal line.   Combine this with the constant rain we’ve been experiencing in San Antonio, and you have something deeper and danker than the darkest Dostoyevsky novel.  (NOTE:  I came up with this phrase at mile 32 of my ride today…)   

So, this morning I was supposed to leap out of bed at 6:30, and then join the Velo Valero team for one of our last training rides before the Ride to the River.  Unfortunately, the ride was supposed to start at Judson High School, the scene of our loss last week, and a place I did not want to revisit.   So, I stayed in bed a little while longer, and opted to do a solo ride from Bullis Country Park in the hills in and around Hwy 46 between Bergheim, Kendalia, and Bulverde.   I wanted to get at least 50 miles in, and I also wanted to ride without a break, so that I could work on the continuous stamina I’ll need for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon in two months.  I also wanted to do a totally spontaneous route vs. something carefully plotted out ahead of time.  Most importantly, I wanted to try and lift the gloom via the joy of the open road.  (NOTE:  I came up with this phrase at mile 14.) 

This, my friends, was just what the doctor ordered.  It was cool as I left the park around 8:30 on my 50 mile journey.  I turned onto side roads just to explore them, roads I’ve passed in blistering pace lines on numerous organized rides, and was always curious to see what was beyond the initial hill or curve.   I turned onto Evans Rd. from 46 to look for the Serengeti Resort, and encountered some unbelievable hills (and animals) along the way.  I pedaled up to the river at Guadalupe State Park, just long enough to dip my feet into the water.   And on and on.   I had my Garmin watch on, and replayed the route on my computer when I got home.  It looked like a drunken sailor staggering his way from bar to bar, but I tell you – it was a lot of fun, and it did indeed lift the gloom as it was intended to do.   At home, my son is smiling again, looking forward to high school hijinx on a Saturday night, plus the game next week.  And I’m looking forward to the Velo Valero team ride tomorrow morning along River Road, and the big event itself in two weeks.

See ya’ on the road!

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