Ever catch yourself...

…in the far left lane, with the music too loud and your head wrapped around a thought, creeping past ninety five? The engine is smooth enough the vehicle doesn’t vibrate, so you stroll past the neighboring cars, oblivous to your own reckless endangerment.

That’s been me for a month now.

I feebly attempted to begin an excercise regime, biking these solemn stretches of converted train tracks. I pushed down the back seats of my GTI and piled in the dirty mass of spokes and aluminum A-frames. Thank god for quick-release wheels and the hatchback, I don’t have the budget for a bike rack.

The white earpods snake up under my shirt, guarded from the airstream. I’m no Armstrong, but I aspire. And I’m surrounded by like-minded souls, weekend warriors and suburban endorphine addicts. It’s a small victory to keep pace with the guy decked out in the nylon bodysuit (complete with buttpads) and designer roadbike – me, with plastic peddals (no toeclips), 10-dollar Wal-mart New Balance knockoffs, no helmet, just poofy hair and a sweat-streaked ballcap.

Sadly, the (1 week) routine was broken by 10 hour work days, hallogen-lit, coke-gulping, junk-food munching, install bingefest. Thank you Mr. Gates and your strongly-coupled enterprise calibre software – I name you culprit #1 for my vitamin D deficiency. World of Warcraft doesn’t help either.

And to think, one year ago today I was chugging hard into the swirling cloudtops of the Austrian alps, watching a stringy mountain biker (probably older than my Dad) plunge through narrow apline paths.

Like Richard once said, “this is the time of waking dreams.” He couldn’t be more right, as those same memories spurn harder and than any caricature that is this daily grind.

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