Arts and Entertainment

Spinning my wheels just isn’t fun anymore

On Saturday afternoon the sun shined brightly through the blinds of my basement recreation room. Using the sun as my guide, I knew the conditions were perfect for a bike ride. I put on my biking shorts, filled up my waterbottle and headed back downstairs. In a stroke of inspiration, I popped “Wayne’s Word” into the DVD player, got on my bike and away I went. Downstairs. In my basement. Watching an early-90’s classic. On my bike. My bike trainer, just to clarify.

You see, I’m a weather wimp. I have a difficult time motivating myself to ride on days when there’s traces of frost on the road.

I grew up in the sunny, warm, dry climate that is the San Joaquin Valley in California. I was weather-spoiled as a child, growing up in an area that only received nine inches of rainfall a year. I shivered and ran for the hot chocolate in 60 degrees. I’m not kidding.

On the other hand, my most prized possession is a mid-grade, built-for-comfort road bike. A Raleigh Cadent, to be exact. My Raleigh cannot be ignored.

See my dilemma?

In the spirit of insanity, I signed up for the Sunriver, Ore., Pacific Crest half-ironman triathlon in June. Emphasis on the half. So biking is both a necessity and a recreational activity at this point. I only do triathlons for the T-shirts, the medallions and the goodie bags. I’m not motivated by times, which explains my times. I’m really slow, but I always finish. I’m that C-average student, sitting in the middle of the classroom, asking if something is going to be on the test before writing it down.

I’ve done four sprint distance triathlons and an olympic distance duathlon. The duathlon was a disappointment, as there were no goodie bags — what were the organizers thinking on that one? And, as a sidenote, I had a stress fracture in my left foot. Yes, I finished anyway. My time was a-w-f-u-l, but my medallion was the same as the first-place finisher. So was my T-shirt. So there.

About six weeks after the du-disaster, winter starting kicking in. I’ve been locked in my basement since the beginning of November, watching my DVDs and cooing at my American bulldog, Jenny. She sits at my side, her head cocked like the RCA dog, watching my wheel spin round and round while I stay perfectly still.

I’m literally itching to get back out on the road. When I heard about the Chilly Hilly, my interest was piqued. The event, now in its 34th year, christens the Northwest bicycling season.

It’s this Saturday. The course takes riders around Bainbridge Island.

I checked out the Chilly Hilly Web site on Sunday afternoon with the full intention of registering. Were it not for the frightening graph showing all the peaks and valleys on the course, I’d be registered already. Well, that and if I had a 65-degree guarantee.

Then again, there’s only so many miles a person can ride without moving an inch before they crack. Baby, I’m there.

Is it spring yet?

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