Cycling Inspiration

Graveyard shifts and marathons

The time has come for me to start what I was originally hired to work: the dreaded night shifts. I honestly do not mind working night shifts–in the ICU you are kept so busy that you can stay awake. Well, that, and lots of caffeine. Night shifts are tough on your body, because you lack normal sleeping hours, and your days off are spent trying to catch up on sleep.

I’ve found that there are advantages, and disadvantages to night shifts. I think the negatives definitely outweigh the positives. For example, you sleep during the day–when it is light–so unless you want to skimp on sleep (which I do anyway), you will not see much sunlight. Most of the rest of the world is awake when you are sleeping. Doctors offices are closed, and it is sometimes more of a chore to speak with people when you need to when you are working at night. Personally, my nose starts to run like a faucet when I’m tired, which is not good when you are trying to give report to someone and constantly blowing your nose.

Advantages are that your fellow staff work much more closely together (they have to), and you become like family. There are fewer people cluttering the hallways, so you have more room to work. There is pay differential–if there wasn’t, it would be cruel. Weekends are considered Friday and Saturday, instead of Saturday and Sunday. When you leave work and go home, you can think as you pass other cars, “Haha, you have to go to work, and I get to go home and sleep.” Because you sleep less, you are more productive–now since there is a bit of light left before the sun sets at night, I can get in a run before work.

Although thus far, I’m not sure my body has adjusted to the night schedule yet. It’s tired. My muscles feel workouts. A five mile run feels like a fifteen mile run. A thirty mile bike ride feels like fifty.

I keep debating on whether or not to do the marathon in a week–after three shifts in a row, going home saturday morning to take a nap then drive up in the afternoon to run 26.2miles on Sunday morning, and have to drive back that afternoon as Monday I’ll need to return to work. I think any rational human being would think twice about that decision.

An Australian, New Shoes, and a Flat Tire

All set to go--her first time on a road bike, my first time clipped in.

I turned a milestone in my cycling life today by switching to proper cycling shoes. They are Mavic Galibriers. Silver. Pretty sweet. I’m pretty sure I’m more in love with my bike.

I dragged Danielle to the bike store today so I could finally get my shoes and pedals fitted properly. (In the span of a week, she’s been to three cycling shops, ” You and your bike shops!” God bless her for putting up with me.) I received some instructions on clicking in and out of the pedals at the store, made sure the angles of my knees and pedals were aligned correctly, had some tuning up of the gears, and left as giddy as a school girl.

After a tasty lunch and catch-up session with my cousin in New Paltz at The Main Street Bistro (great food if you are ever in NP and can turn any meat-eater into a vegetarian), we got home, and I was antsy to try out my improved ride. So, I invited Danielle to come.

“It will be fun!” I exclaimed.

It was her first time on a road bike, and my first time outside the store with proper cycling shoes. After a short session on changing gears, we were off. Her father would be proud.

Things were running smoothly. There were a couple near misses with me and cars–and lots of swearing like a sailor on my part–but I managed not to crash. I showed Danielle Rhinecliff and the setting sun on the Hudson.

Danielle's infamous toe shoes. They need to make these with second toe extensions.

Danielle in Rhinecliff, New York

I have large feet

Then, the inevitable happened: a flat tire.

Almost to the turn to head back, I noticed Danielle was not behind me. So I pulled over and waited along the side of the road, thinking she would come around the bend at any moment. But then more time passed. And more. And then the horrible thoughts of her lying in a ditch somewhere along River Road began to pop into my head. I panicked. Where was she? Never would Lou Gervais entrust me to take his daughter out for rides or hikes again. The adrenalin kicked in and I frantically raced to where I saw her walking along the side of the road.

“Are you okay? I thought something horrible happened!”

“I have a flat tire. A cyclist asked if I was okay and I said, ‘Yeah Molly will see I’m not behind her…I hope’ ”

And the adventures of changing a tire began.

Smile! Isn't this fun!

Thankfully, my father keeps an extra tube in his saddle pack– I stupidly forgot to put it back on my bike after my race. You never know when you will get a flat tire, and in my saddle pack, I (usually) keep a spare tire, CO2 cylinders, and some tools for if this situation ever happens.

Bike in pieces

My bike

Danielle took pictures of the bikes.

Pretty sunset

I took pictures of the sun.

Turn that frown upside down.

So sad. Yes, I'm wearing spandex

Okay. Lots of pictures.

Despite the turn in circumstances, we kept our spirits high by laughing and singing. Two cars stopped and asked if we needed help. Bless those two people.

“No, we’re fine, thanks!”

I’m pretty sure if you drove past us, you would have laughed.

She's such a good sport!

Tire is set, and grease monkeys are off

I am afraid the “Bike Ride with Molly” might have scared her away from the sport. I guess time will tell.

When was the last crazy post written?

September 2010

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