26 July 2011

Bike-commute day 59—to gym and home

Tuesday, 26 July 2011.

Creekside Trail from Park Row (top) to
Burkhardt (bottom), Airway at midpoint.
I was zooming down the bikeway after a short legs workout at Cardinal Fitness, paying more attention to the bottom kick-back of the pedal strokes and getting more efficiency through that focus. I had already taken my second lap check north of Linden Avenue, crossed Burkhardt and Airway, rounded the meadow near the Multi-Service plant, and entered the canopy heading toward Park Row, still focused on cadence.

Suddenly two individual cyclists turned into the stretch of canopy and approached me. The first cylist was bare chested, lean, handsome. My pace faltered, but he had passed before I could whistle at him. The second cyclist on a red-white Cannondale passed and called out, "Tom Kohn!"

I recognized the voice of Matt Kemna, a colleague from Kodak. I slowed enough to make a U-turn at the double corner, and headed to catch him.

Creekside Trail from Double-Corner (top) to
Airway Canopy (bottom), Multi-Service Meadow at middle right.

When I returned to the meadow, I saw both cyclists yet to enter the canopy that leads to Airway. I whistled my most shrill signal, three bursts. Neither turned at the sound.

I increased my pace as Matt passed into the canopy. I rounded the meadow, and then I, too, entered the canopy. The bare-chested guy was making the rise near the renegade BMX course beside the Wright View neighborhood. I took a close look at him—just had to, don't ya think? Not only was his chest bare, but it was also smoothly shaved, and he had an exquisitely gentle face too, framed by white earbuds and their cord. No wonder he didn't turn at my whistle. But I also saw Matt at the end of the canopy, paused just before he could cause cross Airway. I whistled again, once clear of the bare-chested beauty.

Matt looked back after he navigated the crossing. He recognized me and slowly pedalling to keep a forward momentum but also to hold up his pace. When I reached him, my cadence was still fast, and I said, "Don't ride too slowly!" as I applied backward force to the cranks' revolutions.

We traversed the half mile south to Burkhardt, just chatting about our recent rides and naming co-workers we should encourage to ride with us sometime. We stopped short of the intersection, said goodby with a handshake, and I turned around to resume my ride home. Lucky me: I got another glance at the bare-chested cyclist as I rode toward Airway.

I was happy with my pace today, though I didn't approach a training heart rate for any length of time. The variable winds were with me, except for a short, hard blast from the west at the concrete "ship" below the YMCA.  

The glass south of Linden still hasn't been cleared, and tree debris still littered the bikeway under all the canopy.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 88 to 95°F at 17:30
Precipitation: none
Winds: 5 to 10 mph variable, most from the north and west
Clothing: Skinsuit, ankle socks, open-finger gloves.
Bike: Lotus Legend fixed gear
Time: 01:06:28 for 18.23 miles
Heart rate: 127 bpm HRave, 151 bpm HRmax
Bikeway users: 26 cyclists, 21 pedestrians
Playback of the ride.

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