Tuesday, September 10, 2013


September makes me restless, a bit anxious. The days are noticeably shorter. The weather becomes noticeably cooler. It has days that can touch upon perfection, low humidity, warm days and cool nights, but those same days precede the cold dark days of winter. Summers are hot, humid and sticky but its days are long and languorous and I like that.

September makes we want to move. Maybe fall is the migration season and some ancient instinct deep in the DNA wants me to follow the sun, follow the geese, move to warmer climes, see what comes next.

What is innate to humane nature? Big question - I know. But one thing that history seems to show is that humans cannot stay long in one place. They move, they migrate. Out of Africa, over mountain ranges, across frozen tundras, across oceans and past the visible horizon to see what lies beyond. The drive to explore, the restlessness, is in our base genetic material. Everyone may not share it, or act on it, but it is a thread that runs through the species. It runs through me. 

Or maybe life has made me restless. The first funeral I went to was for a child.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Independence Hall 200K - crossing paths

This weekend would be the final training weekend before my big ride for the year - the Last Chance 1200K. To prepare for the multi-day ride, I've been training on a three days on, one day off schedule. Friday was an hour run on the treadmill with 45 minutes of mile repeats after my 12 mile bike commute. Saturday was strength training - primarily 3x12 heavy reps  on the v-squat machine and leg curls to failure. Sunday would be the long bike ride. I figure that this schedule would simulate riding on the tired legs of the second or third day of a Grand Randonnee.

Earlier in the week, I sent an email to the usual suspects to see if anyone wanted to ride over the labor day weekend. Janice, with whom I rode on this year's fleche, was up for it. The others opted for a shorter ride or no ride, so Janice and me it would be.

She agreed to ride the Independence Hall 200k. It's a relatively new Permanent that starts at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. I chose it because I can ride to the start and, if I also rode home, that would add about 25 miles to the 128 mile official ride giving me a solid 150+ mile day. To keep the effort honest, I chose to ride the fixie. No coasting. It was a choice I would later second guess.