It's Biketoberfest here in New Smyrna Beach (near Daytona Beach) and that means annoying traffic backups, constant noise from illegally loud motorcycle pipes and a flux of the only culture I can think of where the more gnarly, fat, ugly, tattooed, out-of-shape, smelly you are makes you cooler. Hell, Charlie Daniels is even playing tomorrow night in Edgewater of all places! I can't believe I just wrote that considering years ago I rode a motorcycle and loved these special events. These days I'd rather skip town and miss it. What I just said lingers on the negative aspects of the biker congregations we have twice a year, but I suppose it's only fair to mention the economic benefit the bikers bring on their vacations (although I haven't sold a biker any real estate during Bike Week nor Biketoberfest in at least 3-years). The biker culture does absolutely nothing for me these days other than pure annoyance. I'd rather be out in the quiet ocean riding waves or pounding pavement if my Achilles tendon were healed, but it's not and that brings me to my own personal Biketoberfest.
This morning I went for a 35-mile ride. A bicycle ride, that is, right through the heart of Biketoberfest! The plan was devised last night. I did not have to work until 1 p.m. today. I want to visit a speciality running store to get advise on my Achilles tendon and find out about getting a heel insert for my shoes. I'm also completely longing for that feeling I haven't felt in soooooooooo long... you know the "long run" feeling. I NEED to have a massive calorie burn people! It's been a while! Actually, it's been a while for another thing too, but we won't even go there! The nearest speciality running store is Spikes in Holly Hill (north of LPGA Blvd near Ormond Beach) about 17 miles or so straight up U.S. 1 from my house in New Smyrna Beach. So why not save some gas and ride the bicycle up there and back??? It seemed like a good idea at the time. Here's the recap:
Mile 1 - Leave the house. It's awesome outside today! A cold front is approaching and the air is cool; only a modest 85 degrees!
Mile 4 - The sidewalk and bike path completely ends. The speed limit increases to 55 mph and I have a 1-2 feet wide section of pavement to work with for the next 3 miles as cars and bikers whiz by leaving wake turbulence to hit me in the back. NO BUENO! Running feels much safer.
Mile 8 - A redneck in a pickup truck makes a U-turn in front of me and then turns right cutting me off and almost running me over. I am wearing a bright yellow shirt. Maybe he was color blind.
Mile 12 - Nasty looking fat biker rides by yelling "get a real bike." F*ck you dude! I'm way cooler with my "Giant" hybrid bicycle! It's even got a L.E.D. flashing tail light.
Mile 14 - Pimp looking guy with a lot of bling, gold teeth and a tricked out bicycle is in my way. I pass him like he's standing still. I could walk faster than he is riding.*
Mile 15 - I start to realize how much pollution sucks. Literally! It sucks the energy right out of you. I feel as though I'm breathing nothing but exhaust. The noise pollution also sucks. I miss my normal jaunts through the beachside neighborhoods of New Smyrna Beach with nothing but clean ocean air to inhale.
Mile 17ish - Arrive at Spikes Athletic Footwear. They're so nice there they allow me to bring the bicycle inside so it doesn't get stolen. I purchase two different heel inserts. My problem is that I pronate something awful with my left foot and my left arch is partially collapsed, but more on that when I update you after testing out the inserts. The coolest thing of the day is the shoe lace knot the sales lady taught me. She called it a "marathon knot" and it's so simple, but works so well. I'll probably take a video of myself showing the knot and blog it in a future post. I'm stoked about picking up this little piece of knowledge.
Mile 23ish - A scary looking woman is walking in the middle of the bike path as I approach. She yells, "Get out of the way," in the most high screeching voice ever! There is a sidewalk for pedestrians 4-feet to her left.
Mile 24 - Another biker yells something unintelligible as he passes. Then a car almost kills me as it passes me and then turns in front of me. Can people not judge speed? If you pass me and turn right two seconds later it's no different than cutting off a car. I'm averaging 17 mph!
Mile 26 - On a spur of the moment decision I stop at Bob's Bikes in Port Orange. This is where I purchased my super cool bicycle several years ago when I was playing around with triathlon ideas. I figure that since I'm cheating on Running for the time being, I might as well get Bicycle an upgrade. That way, maybe she'll be a little more attractive than Running, cause so far Bicycle just isn't doing it for me. So I tell Bob I want to get her a new rack! Or ah... handlebar thing. He looks at me strange and I tell him, "look dude, I'm not a biker. I'm a runner, but I need something to allow me to lean over more while I'm riding." Bob smiles and hooks me up with this attachment for Bicycle. It allows me to hunch down further and look more like a real biker. It also allows me to go faster, yeehaw! See the black bar extention in the picture below.
Miles 27-35 - the wind changes directions. It was a west wind, hence a manageable crosswind to my north/south direction, but it shifts 40 degrees or so to a southwest wind. This makes a slight headwind, which really sucks.
As I arrive back at my house I feel the burn. Finally, I feel as though I've got that calorie burn that a long run gives me. I've been feeling a slight "runner's high" all day and it's great! My official time according to my $10 timex wrist watch is 2:02:58. Mapmyrun.com says I averaged 17 mph. Booooyaa!
For the official tally I spotted:
2 guys I guess would be pimps
1 maybe prostitute
Dozens of homeless looking people
Too Many bikers
*Miles 12-17 are located in a section of Daytona Beach notorious for crime, poverty and strangeness.