Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More Notes on Bicycling

I spent part of the July Fourth weekend riding in the foothills of the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. We were visiting my parents in Granville, enjoying the simple pleasures of a small town parade and town green picnic. I look forward to traveling out therewith my bike in the summer time, especially when I am returning to fitness. The roads are sparsely traveled, and a simple turn can lead to challenging climbs.

I found one of those challenging climbs, and quickly realized that I am perhaps not doing so well in my fitness as I thought. Once the road went up, my legs filled with lactic acid while my heart rate refused to budge above 170 bpm. The road pitched up on General Knox Rd. in Westfield and I looked down for my 27 tooth cog. With much dismay, I realized I had a 25, and that was it. OK...I've raced before, I can handle this. I went slow, less than 10 mph, and had to stand a few times to generate enough oomph to get the pedals around. Let's just say I felt pathetic. The weird thing was that it felt like my hamstrings were doing all the work.

I made it over the top, and then remembered why the road looked so familiar; it led to my Uncle Porter's old house in Route 23 in Russell. He lived there with my great grandmother when I was a child. I remember visiting them and playing with the old and outdated toys grandma would haul out when I came. They were in an old wicker basket, and they never changed. Now, I miss that.

There were people sitting outside enjoying the beautiful weather, and I nearly stopped to say hello and mention that my great-grandmother and great uncle used to live there. He built Adirondack chairs out in the shed that were often for sale on the front lawn. I wonder if thy would have given me a tour.

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