Momentum Killer

My cell phone alarm went off at 5:00AM, and for some reason poking, beating, slapping, and otherwise abusing the glass did not activate the snooze button.

"Push the button", my irritated and drowsy wife said. That worked, and with that auspicious start to my day I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom to start getting ready. Normally 5:00AM doesn't sound that early, because I've gotten up much earlier to ride the trainer in the winter. However, this was 5:00AM EST and four hours ahead of Alaska time. My body, always slow to react to time zone changes, still thought it was 1:00AM.

Today was going to be a group ride that promised to be on the "sporty" side. By that, I mean I was going to get stomped. I had everything laid out for a quick exit. As I dressed, I admired the two weeks of beard growth I had cultivated while on vacation. In the war between salt and pepper, the tide had long ago tilted in sodium's favor. I looked like an old Luca Paolini, if Luca had spent a couple decades letting himself go. A quick breakfast, some last minute prep work, and I was in the car.

I budgeted 55 minutes to make the 40 minute drive down the mountain for the 7:00AM group ride, just so I would be extra early. I didn't want to be "that guy". I sped a little in places, and showed up 20 minutes early. I relaxed in my car and kept an eye out for cars with bike racks and skinny guys in lycra. 25 minutes later, I still hadn't seen one.

People I had never met had stood me up.

Realizing that I had a finite of spouse-approved me time, I headed back up the mountain and parked at an overlook. While the legs had plenty of snap in them, any real motivation for riding hard had fled. I moderate pace was all I could muster, and even that took some pushing. Getting dumped by the cool kids is demoralizing.

When I got home, I read that Luca Paolini had tested positive for cocaine at the Tour de France.

That night, I shaved.

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