Like at 5:19 a.m., to be precise. Thump-thump-thump-thump-thump! That is what I awoke to this morning, rapid steps pounding across the ceiling directly over my head. It sounded like mortar rounds pounding a concrete bunker. Literally, my walls shook briefly and it wasn't even an earthquake.
So, after cursing the heavens and trying unsuccessfully to fall back asleep, I arose 45 minutes later to start my 1.5 hour bike ride sooner than expected. I was treated to a spectacular sunrise from my balcony.
Seriously, just stare at that for a second and tell me there isn't a G-d.
The ride wasn't too bad either, when I wasn't dodging traffic on Burbank Boulevard once again near Balboa Park. Man, rush hour drivers are the worst! Cyclists seem to be worth 10 points on the Road Kill game scale. I was honked at, cursed, buzzed at close distance... essentially the most hated man on the road!
I get it, but I don't. People are rushing to work and apparently I'm in their way, even if I'm in the bike lane. Like it's some massive inconvenience to move just a few feet over to accommodate my legal right to share the road. Like their boss is going to fire them for being 30 seconds later than normal because some jackass cyclist prevented them from going 65 in a 40 mile-per-hour zone. Geesh!
Still, the ride itself was pleasant (and challenging), for the most part. The task at hand was to ride for an hour and 15 minutes, with 40 of those minutes being non-stop in zone 3 heart-rate (142-154 bpm) in a bigger gear than preferred riding between 80-90 rpm. Whether it was from stress or exercise, I accomplished the mission. I rode 13.3 miles in 40 minutes, with brief stops or slowing included. I essentially averaged 20 mph in a trafficked area, which makes me think I can ride faster than 20, possibly 21-22 mph, consistently at a tempo pace.
I think I'm getting faster!
The ride home was simply harrowing. I need a new route if I'm going to be near Balboa Park past 8:15 a.m. The 405 Freeway overpass at Burbank is insanely busy, and Sepulveda at Ventura Boulevard is just as bad. Not good for cyclists (duh!). I literally started riding on the sidewalk because the streets were jammed with angry motorists.
I love my training, but today felt a bit like I was practically begging to be hit by a car. There's got to be a better place in the Valley to ride hard and fast in the morning without being a target.
Maybe when Trudy and Bam-Bam start knockin', I'll have to get up early to start rockin'.
316 days and counting.