My crazy work schedule has me doing “transition days”. Basically I swap my sleeping schedule from sleeping at night to sleeping during the day. I will be the first to tell you that it really messes with your sleeping schedule, and you find out that you can sleep anywhere, any time. Anyway, I was staying up the other night getting ready for my work shift day. I stay up as late as I can so I can sleep for as long as I can before work. Does that make sense?
It was a rather clear night outside. I had been up playing Forza 3 online on XBox 360. I really do not like sitting still for long periods of time. I like to stay moving. I decided 1am was a good time to eat my “lunch”. So I went down to the kitchen and got something to eat. I took that back to the room and watched the 2009 Tour de France on DVD. Well it got me thinking, I started to wonder how riding at night would be. I had done early night rides before, but nothing in the middle of the night.
I shut down the TV and DVD, then went into the closet. Since it was dark, I figured being visible was my main priority. I got into my normal attire: shorts, jersey and socks. I grabbed a couple of accessories that I normally do not use. I do like to prepare for the “what if” sides of things if I can. One of these was a reflective vest. I got it initially for triathlon training, but I never used it because I never needed it. It has sat in my closet for two years. Well, it was its big night! I also got a few goodies from my BP MS 150 ride earlier this year. Remember those slap bracelets that were popular in the early 90’s? Well they make those with a great reflective material. I slapped that on my left ankle since it was the car side. I also put two headlights on the bike and two rear lights. One of each was solid and one of each was flashing.
I also finally got to use my yellow lenses for my Oakley Livestrong edition Jawbones. I swapped them out and they proved to be very useful at keeping the wind and small bugs out of my eyes. I absolutely LOVE these glasses. By far my favorite pair of Oakley’s I have (since they are so versatile). I have a pair of headphones that keep the speakers right outside your ear. The great thing about this setup is I can still hear everything around me when I am listening to music. I strapped on my iPod Nano and started making my way to the door.
I proceeded outside and aired up my tires. As I put the pump back in the garage, I quickly realized that I was covered in sweat. Texas summers can be brutal at times. Apparently it was 82°F outside and the humidity was at a crazy level. The air was thick, no wind was blowing, and there was a light fog floating on the horizon. Well, at least the sun was not out, so that should help me out quite a bit. THE POWER OF OPTIMISM!! Since it was a little after 2am, I figured I would stay to my neighborhood. It turns out the loop from my house and through one of the only loops in my neighborhood is just shy of 2-miles. I wrapped up my ride after 16 of those things. The sprinklers were going off as well, which was not helping the humidity levels.
My knee had been bugging me for a few days now. I figured I would take it easy at the beginning. My competitive side soon took over and I was trying to go faster and faster. Apparently 21mph was all my knee could take and it shot the stabbing pain signal to my brain, which slowed me back to 14mph. I increased my spin rate and started looking at my pedaling stroke. I am pretty sure my seat is too short (which is a big contributor to knee pain), and I am also sure that I ride with my knees slightly outward. I need to fix these issues. I am sure that is all it is.
All in all it was a great ride. I saw one car in the middle of the ride, and two at the end. I figure those were going to work since it was a little after 4am at this point. My Garmin Edge 500 was nice to have with the back-light display. It said I burned over 1100 calories and covered 31 miles. The first few and the last two were my slowest. A pain in the knee does not help. It felt like it could give out at any moment.
Now, before you gripe at me for riding through pain, let me explain something. Often my knees start to hurt when I am not riding my bike. Plus I did slightly twist it the other day. Normally a good bike ride with changes in speed (load) and cadence helps it. This is the case since my knee feels 100 times better today than it did earlier this week. So apparently I need to get in at least one good training ride a week.
I wanted to snag a few pictures, but the camera fogged up the instant I took it outside. I had to pass up on the pictures this time. Maybe some other time when it is less humid.