Monday, January 23, 2012

Insert Morale Boost Here

Structure is essential in my post-TBI life. Without structure, sit on the couch surfing the Internet and eating bon bons. With structure, perform impressive athletic feats and wrest uncommon bargains from the wasteland of strip malls in Silicon Valley.

Yet, structure is mostly lacking since I stopped going to work every day. Tasks and mini-projects expand infinitely. There is no allotted time, so they feel free to expand beyond the known universe.

Futile trips to the library to check out something someone else has already grabbed. Pay a fine - again. :(

Return that X bought on the Internet. The post office, I've found, is the very nexus of the expanding, unstructured universe. Any task involving the post office multiplies into 3 tasks, 2 with infinite queues. Feedback unwelcome. Avoid at all costs.

At the very edge of the universe lies - housework. I load and unload the dishwasher. I empty compost. I banish old leftovers from the fridge. I shop for dinner. Mercifully, I get out of the house every 2 weeks so our house cleaner can actually clean it. More on that in another post.

So the game is, turn every little routine of daily life possible into...structure. Out of routine will come goodness and more goodness.

Every 5 weeks I need a haircut anyway. It's hard to justify the $100+ version around the corner. I mean, the cut is always fabulous, but we are ramping back on fabulous in search of Good Enough. There are hair places all over. Such as in Woodside, 20 excellent biking miles away.

First, clothing. Highs are supposed to be in the mid-50's and for us this qualifies as winter. This calls for one of everything, including:

Danny raises his eyebrow but opens the garage door for me before leaving for work. With difficulty, my leg swings over the top tube and we're headed for Woodside. My hair is a mess. Bring on Carly!

The back is not 100%, but I have rationales. I am bored. Also moderate rides help more than Advil. At this point "moderate" means "no hills". Usually the haircut ride gets an added hill like Altamont, but today we will subtract hills. Today, for maybe the first time ever, it's the flat route.

Foothill to Alpine Road. LOTS OF STOPLIGHTS. Page Mill, green light! At the intersection there is a cyclist with his foot down, pointed west. A familiar-looking cyclist.

"Bill!", I call out wildly, thrilled to actually know someone. While the light is red, he totters over and gives me a hug. The last time I saw Bill he was crossing 4 lanes of Highway 95 in Idaho with a floor pump in his hand. Bill is a great rider, a regular at SuperTour and Kim's Big Sur ride. Further, he is a real connoisseur of bicycles. Bill has a garage full of bikes. Bill is the kind of guy who looks at the bike first to figure out who the rider is. Today I am on a new machine, so it takes a little explaining. Turns out that like me he is on the fence about Death Valley. His light is green and he takes off in search of the Noon Ride (and the racer boys).

As for me, I toodle north on Junipero Serra, spinning but not pushing, toward Alpine Road. Progress sure feels slow. My back is twinging but as long as I don't push it is still talking to me.

Alpine is a long slow slog and my back is not that happy. Even low gears can't fool it. What have I done? After the long downhill on Portola, all is immediately forgiven. A big relief. At least there is plenty of time and I won't be late. Toodle on.

Is that a historical marker? I've turned here hundreds of times and never seen it.

It says this used to be the "lumberman's" town of Searsville. Where did the trees and lumber come from? That story is for another ride.

Followed by the classic favorite, Mountain Home Road. Love the canopy of trees.

At 12:52 it's Woodside proper. Carly cuts my hair (and grills me on why I'm riding injured). Afterwards, I totter across the parking lot to Woodside Cafe and Bakery where Mady is waiting, sunning herself on the bench. It's actually warm!

What a great civilized lunch stop. Everything I've tried here is tasty, and the espresso is the real thing. Syrupy and strong, with great crema. The servers kindly fetch us stuff. Mady's company is most welcome.

I shouldn't have worried about the hump on Sand Hill on the way home - no problem. After making a conscious effort not to race on Foothill, by 4 I'm home safe and sound. Breakfast dishes are still in the sink, and a ~25 mile ride is in the bag. Beats the heck out of not being able to move at all.

A day like this? Just what the doctor ordered.

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