The sun came out today, which is a big deal in Seattle in April. Of course, I reacted in much the way you would expect: I got out the fixie and went for a ride.
One of the things I like about where I live is the wealth of beautiful road rides I can do right from my front door. I love to just start riding without any particular idea of what the ride will be, and then making up the ride on a turn-by-turn basis.
Yesterday, I wound up going out to Carnation via Tolt hill, then taking Union Hill road until it joined up with East Lake Sammamish Parkway, up Thompson Hill, and then through a number of residential areas. I guess I was in a meandering mood.
Today’s route was much simpler — Highway 202 to Snoqualmie Falls and back: a one-turn ride.
As I rode back from the waterfall (forgot to take a picture of the falls, even though I’ve got a new phone with a pretty decent little camera built in), I settled into the drops and made up a little game for myself: I would ride the entire way home without touching the brake. That’s easy except for the first mile, which is a twisty, steep descent. I kept my speed in check, though — it’s not really hard to keep a fixie from going fast downhill, it’s just tricky to slow down once you’ve got a full head of steam.
After that, I just had several miles of spinning on the rolling road, the sun at my back.
Which gave me a chance to observe my shadow. Here is what I noticed.
Pros of My Shadow
- My shadow seems to have enormous quads. Almost comical, but not quite. As I rode, I positioned my legs in numerous ways to see if those quads are enormous only from certain angles, but no: my shadow’s quads are enormous from any angle
- My shadow’s helmet seems to fit his head quite nicely. No matter what helmet I’m wearing, it always feels kind of bulky, but my shadow’s helmet looked nice and svelte.
Cons of My Shadow
- My shadow seems to have atrocious love handles. Really, he needs to go on a diet.
- My shadow turns a very slow cadence. I’m willing to cut him some slack, though, because his bike is a fixie and he’s turning a big gear.
- My shadow is rather short and thick in general. I’d say he’s built more like a wrestler than a cyclist. I’m glad that’s not true of me.
It occured to me after my ride: staring at and evaluating my shadow for fifteen minutes is almost exactly as vain as staring in the mirror for the same period of time.
I’m sure no other cyclists ever stare at their shadows, right?
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