Thunderdome.

Halloween a played designated driver for my wife and her friends, sitting in the corner eating calorie-laden snacks and watching them act less reserved than they usually do. I just sat there, shoveling Halloween-themed garbage into my mouth and enjoying the show. It was after midnight when we got home, and I was planning on riding at The Dome at 7:00AM. I pre-positioned as much as I could to limit my preparation time in the morning. Best-case scenario, assuming the child slept soundly through the night, I'd get five hours of sleep.
 
The alarm went off earlier than I wanted it to, but I dragged myself out of bed and into the shower. I gathered up all of the random items I had laid out the night before, cleared the light dusting of snow off of the top of the car, threw the bike on the rack, and drove to The Dome for a couple hours of riding around in circles.
 
I rolled up to the parking lot just as my car's clock hit 6:57AM, so I sat back and played Boom Beach on my phone to pass the time. When I looked up a few minutes later, the entry was still dark and nobody else was in the parking lot. It was right about then that I remembered someone mentioning something about Daylight Saving Time. Crap. I could have gotten another hour of sleep.
 
Not wanting to sit in my idling car for an hour and only 10 minutes from the house, I turned around and drove home to sit on the couch and reflect on just how stupid I am. I came to the conclusion that the answer was "incredibly".
 
An hour later I was back at The Dome, and in short order I was riding around with a couple fellow roadies who share my enthusiasm for riding in circles. One of them was a former trackie, so that's not surprising. We eventually got around to doing some intervals, hammering it for five laps and then resting for five laps. The only problem was that apparently none of us can count to five. We did a lot of fours.
 
On one of the last intervals, I started hearing a rattling noise coming from the front of the bike. When you're leaned out over aerobars and going over 25MPH, it's not a great sound to hear. I scanned the bike for imminent signs of catastrophic failure as the rattling got louder. All at once the noise stopped, a piece flew off the bike, and I kicked it with such precision and force that the practicing soccer players had to stop and admire my skill. Suitably concerned that the bike would collapse underneath me, I stopped pedaling, came to a stop, and began to search for the part that I had launched into orbit. Everyone joined in this new activity, because it delayed the next interval. First a small bolt was found. Then a round plastic washer. Finally the aluminum cover to my rear shifter was located, and I had all the parts necessary to reassemble the bike. Once again, my superior abilities to screw up a bike build shone brightly for all to see. And yes, Locktite is now on the shopping list.
 
The SRM's maiden voyage was a success, confirming that by the end of the session my power output was equivalent to that of a 9 year old girl. Nothing like the brutal honesty of a recognized standard to put things in perspective. While you can buy power meters, you can't buy power.
 
I'm hoping we can get a nice group at The Dome going- not so large that we interfere with one another but large enough that we show demand to management week in and week out.
 
I enjoy it, even when parts fly off my bike. 

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