It was 7:45 a.m.
A heavy muggy haze had settled in on the flat Indiana landscape on this particular September morning. I slid my backpack (which contained my laptop computer, a towel and washcloth, shampoo and conditioner, a hairbrush and makeup) on to my shoulders and walked my bike to the end of the driveway. I turned on my ear music, volume low so as not to impede my hearing. A foot in the peddle shoe strap, a push off and a leg over the frame — and I was off on my morning ride to my place of work.
I live in Elwood.
I work in Anderson.
In approximately six weeks my husband Seth and I will be riding in the annual Hilly Hundred — a two-day bicycle tour that winds through the hills of southern Indiana. At about 50 grueling miles each day, my gut instinct tells me it would be a good idea to prepare for the ride. In my mind that means riding the bike, a lot. Seth is approaching it from a dietary standpoint. He is implementing the Klondike Bar dinner program, a performance-enhancing diet — avoiding all meat, vegetables and fruit so as to avoid weight gain. I am not sure how that is working out for him.
The first two miles of a bike ride, the body rebels, like a kid faking sick to avoid school. Stuff hurts. You feel tired. You consider going home and getting the car before you get too far into the ride.
But I stuck it out, and settled in. There is something empowering about moving on your own steam. At about 3 1/2 miles I stopped to pull up my spandex bike shorts which had rolled neatly off my waist and into a wad several inches lower, exposing my Buddha-like gut. I also needed a drink of the icy protein smoothie tucked into the water bottle rack. I should've left the concoction another minute in my handy Ninja concrete-blender, since I nearly choked on a large unmolested leaf of spinach.