Last Wednesday I biked to work. My excitement of living closer to work and incredible ambition to combine my workout for the day with the beautiful commute led me to this insane jaunt.
The ride there was great. The weather was mild, the sun was rising making beautiful colors in the sky and I met my co-worker Thomas halfway to show me the cool route. I hardly broke a sweat and if it wasn't for Thomas basically sprinting and dragging me along with him I wouldn't have felt like it was much of a workout.
The ride home was a bit different.
Two blocks into my solo ride after Thomas and I split up I almost plowed myself into a city bus. The bus had its blinker on but I thought it was turning not dead stopping. Under an overpass and in between two traffic lights the guy slammed on the brakes. Stunned and going a good speed I slammed on my brakes as hard as I could balancing stopping fast and not flying over my handle bars. I literally stopped and my feet flew out of my clip on shoes an inch from hitting the bus. If I had swerved left it would have been into traffic and right would have been into a tiny sidewalk and concrete wall. My adrenaline was racing as I gained my composure and looked behind me to see who saw the scene. A man in his beat-up Honda was gawking at me and when I mouthed,"So Close!!!" while showing the distance with my hands all he could do was nod.
After winding up on Fruitvale I hopped a few blocks over to the correct street and started the climb. It began mild but continued to increase in degrees until my legs were burning and all I wanted was to fall over and quit. This particular street was great, lined with trees and shading me from the intense sun but these trees were also full of super gross nats. They were flying all over the place and sticking to my sweaty face and arms making it so I had to keep my mouth closed and squint my eyes. I can just picture now how ridiculous I must have looked.
I began the serious climb once I hopped on the frontage road to Highway 13, pictured below. It was so challenging I talked to myself in a constant stream saying things like, "oh my gosh, I can't believe this, Oh my goodness, this is crazy, Come on Vaness, you can do this...it's not that bad right? Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh...". I passed a few people walking down hill as I climbed up and all I could muster to say was ,"This sucks." They chuckled while saying something encouraging and went on their way, making me feel stupid for being so negative. I guess beating my body up and pushing my physical self to the extreme measure brings out the not-so-polite side in me.
The best part of the ride was Lincoln Ave. when the road hit a peak. I was going to start riding downhill. I had no idea and all of a sudden I was cruising in dreamland down the windy road making my way to Montclair. It's weird how quickly I became overjoyed after being in such agony...
I made it home in an hour, which isn't too bad considering my commute used to be close to that. My legs were wobbly and I was sore for a good three days but I do think this could be the beginning of something beautiful. :)
I just need to learn routes that don't have buses on them and trees with nats.