Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 26: Come to the dark side. We have cookies.

Day 26 miles to/from work: 24.4
Total miles for S4S: 685.7

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.
                                                                                                                                    -Barbara Jordan

When it comes to writing about the weather, Leo Tolstoy's observation of familial happiness comes to mind. "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." The same could be said for perfect October mornings versus weather that is utter hell to bike in. Crappy conditions are not what I prefer, but they do offer opportunity for more diverse and nuanced description. Let it be said that this morning's conditions exhibited the qualities of some supermodels: beautiful and indistinguishable from the others.

My legs had that "Friday feeling"—tired, taut, tight—the sense of every muscle being constructed of thousands of  rubber bands stretched to their limit. Cookies were what kept me pedaling and got me to work.

Several people have suggested that I must be losing a ton of weight doing all this biking. These are people who are obviously not looking directly at me. "Should be" losing a ton of weight, but "am not". This is a result of simple mathematics: I burn about 1500 calories more per day than normal. I eat about 2000 calories more per day than normal. One of the sources of these calories is my co-worker, Christine Finney (pictured below, and with my apologies for the blinding neon, which is  intrinsic to my safety plan—if someone kills me it will because they meant to rather than because they didn't see me). 

Chris provides our convenient, in-office bakery and sells the most delectable goodies as an ongoing fundraiser for her granddaughter's school. Every Monday we can't wait to see what her three newest offerings will be; and as I'm spinning down the bike path, my pace is often propelled by which type of Chris cookie will be my reward. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out why I call her my "sugar mama". She is also a sweet person with a slightly wicked side that makes her a lot of fun.

This morning when I topped off the air in Silver Beauty's tires, the tube stem broke off. I held my breath waiting to see if SB held hers. No gasps of deflating tires, but it still made me uneasy. Even more troubling was when, later in the ride and not for the first time, I shifted gears and the chain froze—stuck between two sprockets. I averted catapulting into the pavement; but I won't tempt the cycling deities further. My homeward trip was shortened by a few miles, as I took Silver Beauty directly to Machinery Row Bicycles to seek whatever mechanic-ing she needs. She won't be ready until Monday evening, so it looks like I'll be pulling my old Cannondale out of mothballs for Monday's ride.

Scott picked me up, and we went to dinner at Monona Gardens. Watching the Brewers' game with a small group at the bar, we groaned, chewed our knuckles, and ultimately cheered as they took us into extra innings and finally pulled off the win of the final playoff game against Arizona. Then we went home to the contented sameness of being a happy family.


  1. Thanks Liz .. Chris here... you have a wonderful blog .. and I am glad to help fuel the energy you need to accomplish your biking trips .. just so your readers know what lures you to my bakery .. a few items i have made are Key Lime cakes, Double Oreo Peanut Butter Brownies and Homemade Butterfingers .. It's all fun for me .. and I am glad I can help in my own little way .. *smile* . oh, one more thing . the Double Oreo Peanut Butter brownies were approximately 450 calories each .. but ooohh sooo good !!