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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Parenthesis

In Parenthesis

My comments are out. The system I was using finally disappeared. My blog is so screwed up that I can't even get the normal blogger comments to work. On the bright side, my page loads really quickly without the comments, and I didn't get too many comments even when they were an option. As I have said before, all meatloaf recipes, pictures of plastic surgery gone horribly wrong, and hate mail can be sent to me at leftbanker at gmail dot com.

Sometimes defeat feels really good. Let me explain. Last winter in Valencia was hardly worthy of the name. I can't remember turning on the heat in the apartment more than two or three times. I rode my bike all winter in mountain bike shorts. I swore that I wouldn't resort to dorky tights for my winter rides this year. But this year it's different. It has been cold. At this moment the thermometer is right at freezing. I have had my heat on almost every day, although we only use it for an hour or two. I have returned from bike rides with my legs as red as beets, not too mention the days I have missed because I simply couldn't make myself go out and do it. For the past week I have been on a mission to get into top physical form, or as top as this old carcass is capable of achieving.

Yesterday I wore a pair of nylon sweat pants on my ride. It was actually comfortable. I didn't have to do a mad, all-out sprint at the half-way point in my ride because I was freezing half-to-death. I did find the bike bridge was out for repairs when I got outside of Pinedo. I back-tracked into Valencia and salvaged my ride by making my way around the historical section of the city. It was practically deserted on this sunny, late afternoon in January. Even when it's cold in Valencia we still are blessed with a wonderfully clear sky. It has snowed in much of Spain so I have no reason to complain at all. Valencia actually has about the warmest winter temperatures in all of mainland Spain (The Canary Islands screw up the average temperatures in Spain whenever you include them).

I may have put on long pants but I still refuse to ride in the rain or even when it is wet. It's dangerous, for one. Of all of the nasty spills I have taken while bike riding, most were because of wet pavement. Wet streets also destroy your bike, or this destroys my bikes faster than I can do it on my own. I have actually ridden so much in the past two years that I wore out my chain. I don't think I've ever done that before, and I've done lots of riding. I have worn out about four sets of tires in two year, not to mentions dozens of tubes and too many flats to count. I have had a lot of flats (pinchazo is a Spanish word I wish I had never needed to learn).