Daily Archives: October 2, 2010

Last commute?

Garmin Data:  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/51673274

Can hardly believe that I’m still using Scooter to commute to work! It was a beautiful morning. Cool, crisp and relaxing. Took photos along the way and just enjoyed the ride. That is until I saw a RABBIT in front of me! I think I’m part sight-hound. This cyclist turned the corner and headed down MY road as I waited at a stop light. It’s a long light which gave the cyclist quite a jump. And, although I didn’t notice the age or gender of the rider, I could tell that they were no slouch. When my light finally turned green — off I went. I didn’t sprint, but I set a pace that was easily 2-3 mph higher than I would have ridden without this incentive. The stretch of road that “the chase” to place on is a nice, flat three-mile straight piece of nice pavement. The only downside is that there is NO shoulder so you have to really concentrate to stay at the very edge. I split my focus this morning on my position relative to the edge and my position relative to the rabbit. As I got closer, I could tell that my rabbit was a very fit young woman (probably in her mid-twenties). I wondered if she was a racer in training. I was going 20 mph and although I was gaining on her, it took me the entire three miles (right as you come into the town of Erie — a one stop sign town) before I caught and passed her.  Then, I came to my rest stop — a wonderful, clean port-a-let just on the other side of town at the sports fields. I debated on whether to stop and my bladder won out. I made it as quick as stop as I could hoping to see my rabbit again when I got back on the road. I did — but she was way off in the distance now. I’d say she had a good half-mile on me now. That’s OK, I had nothing better to do on my way to work than try again to catch her. So, off I went. It felt good to have a purpose. What surprised me most is that she continued on my commuting route! Another three miles up the road, I take a left….and so did she! I was once again closing in on her. This stretch was not quite as flat as the first so I lost sight of her a few times. After we both had turned and were heading east the climbing begins. I stormed up the hill with one goal in mind. Catch that rabbit! My normal pace up this particular hill is about 14 mph. I took it at 19 mph and felt like I was in the Tour de France (not my speed, but the urgency with which I rode). I felt great! I thought for sure that Ms Rabbit would go straight at the next light, whereas I turn right and proceed up yet another hill. To my amazement, she turned right too. I kept my increased pace and tried to reel her in. The climb through Anthem is less than two miles, but it gets up to 4%-5%. I was closing in on her pretty quickly now.  Then next decision point was a 4-way stop — and I got within about 15 yards of her as we both approached the stop sign. I told myself that if she continued thru (as I do) that I would go ahead an catch/pass her then, otherwise, I’d just stay behind her. She turned right at the stop sign, so the game was over. No more rabbit. I rode the rest of the way in on my own — thinking about the chase and how exhilarating it was.

I fear that my commuting season and rabbit chasing may be coming to an end though. The days are shorter now and it is hard to get a full day in at work before leaving to get home before sundown. I think about commuting in the dusk or dark but worry about the safety aspect of it. For now, I think I’ll try to look for other ways to get my rides in. Next week I start PowerMax classes at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. It’s a one-hour class and is a GREAT workout.  And, of course, there’s the Boulder Indoor Cycling’s velodrome too. My weekend rides will probably be my only long rides for a while — maybe I’ll still be able to commute occassionally on the weekends when I have to put in some extra hours.