Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Just a Power Washed Morning at the Park

They say Orange Skies in the Morning, Sailors take Warning.  Orange Skies At Night, Sailor's Delight.

There's some truth to that.  Even if my own pop meteorology came to mind in my driveway that morning.  Or Popped In my mind if you must.

It was a pretty sunrise.  I may as well enjoy them because if I am up before the dawn, I can schedule a workout. 

That is, I can schedule a workout once I check radar.

Weather here is a weird beast.  Rain can come from any direction, and at any time.  Typically the winds blow from East to West.  Off the Ocean, onto the Land.  There is a noticeable increase in the breezes around 10 or 11 in the morning. 

I have to watch because if I am out there doing my own thing, it effects me strongly. 

Oh I have managed to insulate myself from most of the slop by upgrading my skates to ceramic bearings and learning how to rework the brakes on the bike after a rain.  Ceramic bearings won't rust at the drop of a drop and a quick sanding of the brake pads on my bike will save me at least $50 at a bike shop, no matter how competent she is.

Got out though, after the dog walk.  I loaded the Jeep up, strapped the bike to the back and headed to the park.  Pompano Air Park is a 4.5 mile square.  Basically a square mile of airplanes coming and going, and occasionally you see the Goodyear Blimp.  But once you are there you get a clear view of the land to the opposite side.  One mile off give or take a few meters.  A Km and 6 tenths plus or minus a few feet.

Go enjoy myself at about 15.25 MPH average for the first hour.


I got out and felt drops on my arm.  Mind you, I'm ok with being out in the rain and I'm dressed in Biker's Spandex Compression shorts and jersey.   On the bike I'm hard to miss.  But none of that stuff will get damaged in the rain or by the rain.  I do ride fast enough to feel the drops hit me like someone throwing sand at me so I try to avoid that.  Plus water on a disc brake on a bike does what it does to your car - interferes with stopping.

I took the high road though.  Get the workout in as well as I could.  I decided that it was easier to draft another biker for a change.  I'm fast enough that I am at the top of the food chain with intermediate bikers.  The next step would be get the crazy expensive bike made out of Carbon Fiber and frankly that defeats the purpose.  I do it for Cardio and for Cross Training so that when I want to inline skate, I have not lost muscle tone.

It works.  I won't humble brag but having a resting heart rate as low as I do is a nice bonus.

So this big dude, I had wondered about his performance on the trails before.  It turns out that he's a better cyclist than I thought.  He's basically at my level.  Don't judge a book by a cover fast.  I should know, I followed him for the better part of an hour, at my own normal speeds.

Thing about sports is that while you are really competing against your own self, your own capacity, your own capabilities, you notice The Next Guy.  Especially if you see that person about 3 times a week.

I guess I needed that bit of a mental adjustment.  I am happy with my progress in two sports, I should be, I do it enough.  But when you see that Next Guy and get a chance to judge your own performance, it gives you a reset.

Like I said, I'm a big guy.  A Fit 6'4" and 188 pounds.  When I was skating back in the good old days, a friend on the team kept pushing me to get faster.  I asked "I'm flattered but I'm not there yet"  He responded that the team needs an anchor to draft behind.  I wasn't completely sure that was for me but now I understand it. 

I took the day off and drafted the big guy in front of me.  While it is true that if you aren't the lead dog, the view never changes, it's also that lead dog who gets wet. 

Once I had my mid workout water stop at 16 miles, I found out how much I appreciated not being the lead that day.  Back getting pressure washed by weather for that last lap and a half to get my normal every day 22 plus miles.

So stay dry however you can.  We're under flood watches and even the city would prefer if we didn't overload the sewers and the pumping stations.  The rain from yesterday was over 6 inches or about 15 cm.  It's raining now and Mr Dog got a late second walk because I didn't want to get pressure washed again.

Maybe tomorrow.  I'll look across the park at the trails on the far side and see clear skies instead of grey blobs raining down and forcing me to turn around. 

Then again, there is always Friday, huh?

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