Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 First Ride

So here it is, and here we are.

It's January 1st, 2009. The cyclometer shows nothing but zeros; all of the numbers from a massive 2008 cycling season are now erased, and there is left to do is spend the next 365 stuffing as many new numbers in there as possible. Of course, they're not just numbers, but over the course of 2009, they will represent experiences and memories - pacelines, climbs, sprints, descents, breaks, chases, open-road cruising, and even relaxing recovery rides. They will be experienced alone, with team mates, Sunday morning group rides, and most of all, those riders we hook up with along the way out on the open road who's names we don't know, may not know, might not remember, but for a few miles will become friends in the our cycling world.

As for The Complete Jewish Cyclist, the new year is only Gregorian. I greeted fellow velojew Tom Jones ( this morning with a hearty "Shana Tovah", Hebrew for "happy New Year", though it was all in humor as shana tovah is reserved for Rosh HaShana rather than January 1st. He was one of a group of riders out in Washington, DC to turn laps on the 3.2 mile circuit of the Haines Point peninsula. Now of course, people called me everything from "brave" to "crazy" for venturing out this morning - it was 28 degrees with frigid northerly winds - and also strange since at 11:00 AM on January 1st, people are supposed to be in bed with a hangover.

Well, I may seem to be brave and/or crazy, which is understandable when you're just one cyclist rolling out of your apartment building. But when you join about 30 or 40 riders doing the same thing, then you find that normality comes in numbers, even if normality is defined by being brave and crazy. Actually, we are neither: we aren't brave because it really is quite pleasant riding on mornings like this (there were even people out golfing on Haines Point), and we are not crazy because we are highly prepared, geared, and practiced in riding on days like today.

As for today's ride, it was not what I was planning for. I usually make my first ride of the year an easy spin, simply working out the kinks of a month off the bike and starting off my base mileage. Instead, 17 miles of today's ride was like a Sunday morning A-paced ride. Pretty much all of the local teams were out on the Point, including Vday, Bike Lane, Squadra Coppi, NCVC, Kenda, Proteus, and myself as the sole Bike Rack DC rider. There was another team out there who's name I couldn't recall, but thier two guys had matching kits and bikes. Fair to say there were some guys (and gals) out there who live for things like upgrade points. The pace was fast and furious, the big rings came out the moment 2009 dropped, but the riding was still intense. Not how I planned today's ride to be, but I'll take it anyway since it was a lot of fun and a nice way to begin this new year.

All in all a good day on the bike, but there's still 364 days to go, so B"H it will be a season that sees success, prosperity, health, and happiness on and off the bike, a 365 day period to improve on the great 365 days that proceeded it.

Here's the stats from todays ride on the Giant TCR-C2:

• 2 1/2 hours of riding
• 42.06 miles
• ave. speed: 16.5 mph
• max speed: 28 mph

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