Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Who Has Time to Sleep?

I got half of the panel soldered last night before I had to put it away and leave for dance class. I took some video of it before I began soldering and decided that I'll video the next panel from start to finish to give people an idea about what goes into the making of a window. I'll pick up from where the design phase leaves off.

I took a sick day on Monday and spent part of the day working on the back-lighting for the window. It's up and ready to go.

I'm working the all-night shift tonight and hope to have the rest of the panel soldered tomorrow afternoon after I catch up on some seriously needed sleep. I came into work this morning on four hours of sleep and figured I'd go home and crash after work but that didn't happen. I took off two hours early and went riding instead. What can I say? I'm an addict.

The plan was to do at least 30 but probably no more than 50 miles. So much for the plan. I got to Northfield and decided to head east and work the hills in the direction of Dennison. There aren't a lot of them but there are a few long ones I like. Have I mentioned that I thrive on hills? And pain? It's a part of the addiction I suppose.

Heading south out of Northfield I knew I was committing myself to at least 70 miles but I'd have plenty of time to get home and get a couple hours of sleep before the mid-shift; or so I thought. My legs were feeling great and with the low humidity levels I was pressing along at a good pace into a 10-15 mph headwind.

This sounds so personal but just west of Dennison I took notice of what I thought was a gas bubble but I couldn't be sure. What if it's not; what if it's something more and the next small town is a half-hour away? I took no chances. I swung into the Marathon station and was very glad I did.

Back on the road, I tried to hook on with a farm tractor which passed me as I climbed the 4% grade out of Dennison but he was too fast for me. I can comfortably sit in on one of them at 30+ mph barely breaking a sweat but the hill limited my ability to catch on with him. It didn't stop me from trying. No worries; I'd be turning off shortly onto highway 56 and putting the wind to work for me.

Highway 56 has deteriorated from what I remember it being just a few years ago. It's no longer the smooth ride it once was due to all the cracks running through it but there weren't any rim damaging potholes. The cracks were a small inconvenience.

I started doing the math and figured I'd finish with 75 miles if I took the shortest route home. That's a good distance for having to be back at work in less than six hours while still hoping to catch a couple of hours sleep but what about 80 miles? That would sound so much better I kept telling myself. Not that 75 is wimpy; it's just not 80. My average speed kept climbing from a low of 16.2 when I turned out of the wind. My goal became 18 mph for an average speed before finishing the ride. It was certainly doable but would take some work.

Now that I'm in my fifties I'm fine with an overall average speed of 18 mph. There was a time not long ago when I wouldn't have been happy with that speed. 19 or 20 mph was usually the norm back then it seemed. I don't often see those numbers at the end of a ride anymore but I'm okay with that. My mindset now is to not be so hard on myself and be able to continue to ride for years to come. If it means I must slow down a bit I'll manage. That's not to say that I don't still push it because I do and always hope to be able to; just not to the extent I once did.

One thing I should add; all of my rides are solo efforts. I'm not being sheltered from the wind by a group of riders. It's a lot more work out there on your own.

I got within a mile of home and decided to extend the ride just a bit to achieve the 80 miles I'd convinced myself I needed to ride. I finished with a little over 81 miles and an average speed of 18.2 mph. I was happy with those numbers.

I showered and tried to sleep but it wasn't happening. Another mid-shift with no sleep going into it but I felt content knowing that I had a fun afternoon on my bike. I can sleep when I retire.

1 comment:

John A Hill said...

I agree...who has time to sleep?
Besides, stuff happens when you're sleeping. I don't want to miss anything.