What A Difference An iPod Makes

Tuesday night is the big local group ride. It is fairly intense, featuring most of the local hammerheads. I add a bit to the group’s loop, so for me it ends up being about 35-40 miles, at 18-20 mph. Having blown my legs on a frustrating 65 miler this past weekend, I just wasn’t up for the Tuesday ride, so I went out on my own shorter ride. Even so, I still felt sluggish through the whole thing. I had to force my legs through every pedal stroke. I got home, with an aching back, having had two consecutive crappy rides, and started to wonder if I was just getting old.

Not so today. I hate getting up at 5:20 in the morning, but I do it so I can go ride before work. Today, at the early hour and in light of my recent frustrations, I needed some extra motivation, so I grabbed the nano.

Normally I do not use it when I run, or ride. I like to fully experience the world and the physical effort. But today I needed a distraction, and it worked. Having the music playing transforms the ride, especially when the song fits the particular section of the loop. I hit one particularly nasty hill (for those familiar with B’ham, Cahaba Road through English village to Key Circle and then up to Argyle) just as Stop (Jane’s Addition) came on. It was great. There was a dude ahead of me, and with that harsh, almost angry, tune causing me to rejoice in the fire that was my legs, I blew past him just before the crest. The whole ride was like that. Those pedals were turned by the strength within; I did not have to force anything.

I won’t make a habit out of riding to the iPod, because that would make it mundane. For today, though, it renewed my love of the bike.

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