Well, I’m (finally) home, and feeling kind of flat.
Despite the best of intentions to match last year’s mileage, I’m a little bummed out that I’m falling well short of the 9K mark. The frustrating thing is that it’s come to be less about the mileage and more about the time in the saddle. Freakishly wonderful weather in January gave me high hopes that I’d be able to ride all winter long, but months of late (and deep) snows dashed those hopes. Work and life got busier after that, followed by summer break, when I can normally plan to consistently spend a lot of quality time in the saddle every single day.
But for most of June and part of July I’ve been far from home, and far from my bikes – actually, pretty far from bikes of just about any kind. During these past weeks I’ve been on the Navajo Reservation, among some of the nicest, most interesting, and most honestly wonderful people I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. My home in the center of the United States tops out around 950 feet above sea level so you can be certain that it took some time for me to acclimate to hiking at five, six, seven, and eight thousand feet. Everyone I met had a story to share; everyone seemed curious and openly interested to hear about where I was from. I was guided up and down canyon walls – did I say “hiking?” To be certain, it felt a whole lot more like climbing.
But no cycling.
And I digress. I’m feeling flat this first morning back – and in more ways than one. First off, I haven’t pedaled a single stroke in weeks. I’ve been anxiously anticipating getting back on a bike during the entire time I was in the Southwest, and this morning I finally got to do just that. Maybe it’s got something to do with leaving the dry heat and coming back to the steamy and humid Missouri weather. And perhaps there’s some sort of re-acclimatization I need to go through, down here at the lower, flatter elevations.
Or maybe – just maybe! – it’s got something to do with the loud bang I heard coming from my front tire about a minute down the road this morning; all the same, I’m just feeling a little flat.
This might be a good opportunity to share a link from the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation on how to fix a flat.