The Earth is a Mass of Gass

Today’s cycling flavor: Orange burst
Verdict: Not too bad
Ride: An easy 20 miles in exactly 60 minutes

Due to an evening appointment cancellation my evening was freed up for some cycling. Got a late start due to rain — it was pouring until 6:30. I figured that an hour would be enough time to partially dry the pavement, but it was so damned humid that it remained as wet as if it were still raining. A last second phone call held me up another half hour but I was determined to ride, even if it meant I was starting at sundown and riding with my lights.

Some notes on the weather during the ride:

  • You know how girls “don’t sweat, they glisten”? It was so humid that is what I was doing. I every time I looked down at my arms today they were shining.
  • My cycling outfit stuck to me like a second, slightly wet and heavy skin.
  • While riding the condensation would slowly build up on my nose until droplets formed and fell to the ground.
  • It is so humid that even though there is no breeze it feels like it — the particulate count in the air just pushes against you the entire time you’re riding. The good news is that it’s a “slippery wind” and doesn’t seem to slow one down as much as a “real” wind
  • You know those “God rays” of sunlight that beam out from behind certain clouds from time to time? That was happening with the street lamps and trees after dark
  • Today was so humid that it helped me finally understand the earth’s atmosphere. You know how you first learn about the atmosphere and space as having hard boundaries and everything is really cut-and-dry? It’s a nice concept but later on you learn that there is no boundary, really, and that the earth’s gasses just kind of thin out the further into space you go. It’s the same with the sun and it’s rays and much more. By being able to visualize and *feel* the bottom layer of gas we’re living in it’s easy to picture it thinning as you go higher up and out into the “black matter” that’s space
  • It may be a time-of-the-year thing more than a weather thing, but the fireflies are out. I always love riding with them

So there weren’t many riders out today. Actually there were so few I could count them on one hand. There was a casual riding couple and a few “sport” riders. Apparently nobody else in the ‘hood has such an advanced weather forecasting system in their home as we do here at Haus Interactive. (Dopplar radar widget for Mac OS X) Either that or everyone was afraid of ruining their bikes with a little water (I made sure to wipe mine down and lube the chain immediately after getting back in).

Today we’re trying to mix it up a little: take it easy (18-19mph) on the flats and stand/sprint the 2nd half of the big hill to work out the arms a little. It’s nice to be able to do this alone every once in a while as when there are others around I always get this competitive itch and I can’t just let people go by me.

After 4 laps I pass two of the sport riders and I think one of them started to tail me for a lap or so. I’d hear a little splash or deraileur click here and there but you not see him in the shadows as we rode under street lamps.

It got me to thinking about life experience a bit and the virtues of experience vs. youth and raw energy and even humans vs. computers. Actually, when we look back on it, the evolution of computers may end up looking quite a bit like the development of a human being: at first the main focus is performance, speed, and strength. Later on it becomes smarter reactions, parallel thought, finesse. I was thinking about this as I rode; I’ve been riding for years and learning little singular lessons here and there all along the way: how fast is too fast in the rain, what shadows look like under street lamps and how to tell how close someone is to you by them, easing over road anomolies, how to fall and crash properly, how to feel your threshold and stay under it, how to tell how strong someone is by their spin, if someone breaking away from the pack is going too fast and will be caught, and much more. Once you learn these lessons you don’t need to think about them consciously anymore. You ride and you casually glance around and pull in enormous amounts of information and know what is happening without even thinking about it. You are in complete control of your body, your bike, and to a certain extent, the riders around you.

This entry was posted in Columns, Obstructed View on by .
Aaron Deutsch

About Aaron Deutsch

Aaron has always felt a passion for, if not a gravitational pull from, racing. Since being lured from the basketball court onto the track in 1993 he set 7 track & field records and medaled six times at the state level of competition.

He moved to the mountain bike in the late 1990s and won the Penn Cycle Buck Hill race series in 2000 in the sport class. He also placed 4th in the Subaru Cup XC race that year.

After moving to New York Aaron took up road racing and rode unattached for the first year and medaled in 2 races including a 1st place finish in the Kissena Race Series in 2007. In 2008 the Brooklyn Arches Cycling Club was formed and the results were immediate and consistent including winning the Cadence Cup Race Series in Brooklyn. He currently races with the Major Taylor Iron Riders Development Team

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