Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday Levee Ride With The Far-flung

The possibility of violent weather was forecast for much of the southeast, including Louisiana, on Tuesday. When I went to bed Monday night I didn't think there was much chance of riding in the morning, but a check of the weather online upon wakening showed all the heavy rain to the north and east. KMSY was reporting some light rain overnight, but only fog and mist at 5 a.m., with a slight wind out of the NW. It looked like the levee would be damp, maybe even wet, and while such conditions might in ordinary circumstances drive me back to the comfort of my bed, a couple of emails hit my inbox at about that moment which were difficult to comprehend, containing somewhat cryptic references to the work of an overrated folksinger from more than 45 years ago, but seemed to indicate that at least Big Rich and a far-flung cyclist, visiting from Salt Lake City, would be riding.

At the Turnaround Without the Far-flung
 So after meeting Rich and the Far-flung in the Pearl, we treated the visiting cyclist to the unique and often harrowing experience of riding out to Jefferson Playground along the crumbling edge of River Road in that pre-dawn half-light which makes obstacles in the road difficult to perceive both for cyclists and for motorists hurrying off to work or home from a long night of partying. We survived the trek to the start, where we met Max, Woody, Big Scott, and Brian B (not MD). We started rolling in a barely perceptible mist and Brian announced he had just installed two new tires and wasn't going to risk a flat if the levee got wet. He turned early. Woody, presumably protecting his shoulder, sat off the back with Scott, and they turned early as well.

Near the Little Dip, the Far-flung began politicking for an early turn. Nobody was interested. Just west of the Big Dip I called back to Rich to tell the Far-flung to hang until the turnaround because I wanted  photographic evidence, for Vega and posterity, of his actually being at the benches, a location he hasn't seen for years, much longer than he has been far-flung. But the Far-flung had already turned and was soft-pedaling back toward town, waiting for us to catch him.

Steve of the River Parishes Gang joined us for the western section of the ride, and the Big Dude jumped into the rotation as we passed him in St. Rose and rode with us into River Ridge. The ride home was less enjoyable than the outward leg, with the wind freshening and swirling. KMSY observations, left, show some of the wild variations in the wind we encountered on the ride.

All in all it was a good ride, if slightly damp, but as we rode in along River Road after dismounting the levee, we heard little from the Far-flung beyond a lot of deep sighing and uncharacteristic silence. Despite assertions by some to the contrary1, I'm not sure standing up on skis and allowing gravity to do your work, even for 60 days during the season, is proper preparation for a Tuesday/Thursday levee ride. It was probably just as well Woody was hurt and HL and Retail Ray remain MIA.

One Happier than the Other?
1. From Fitday, The Health Benefits of Downhill Skiing

Cardiovascular Benefits

As well as the strength and flexibility aspects of downhill skiing, the very fact that the sport involves being outdoors makes it an activity that will benefit the health and fitness of everyone participating. The heart rate will be elevated through the actual physical exertion of walking and carrying the ski equipment, as well as the downhill skiing itself of course. But there is also a healthy psychological benefit that couples with it. Endorphins and adrenaline are released onto the bloodstream, elevating the mood and providing an overall sense of wellbeing and contentment. Downhill skiing is a great all-round way to keep both the body and the mind healthy and fit for anyone willing to give it a try.
[Note: This blog isn't intended to disparage or offend anyone. If anything contained herein is believed to be inaccurate or offensive, please leave a comment. Any such comment may change nothing, but will be stark evidence of your right to free expression of thought and opinion, much as this blog evidences mine. Thanks for visiting.]

No comments:

Post a Comment