Garmin Wept….

…with laughter. Then it informed my that my ride had been unproductive. Finally it asked me if I really, truly wanted to post such a lame ride on Garmin Connect and Strava where the entire cycling world could observe what a weak and lazy rider I am.

My readers located in California know that 2020 has offered up yet another delight: wildfires and the worst air quality in the world. On Sunday morning when I was in Sebastopol I woke at 4:30 am as a tremendous thunder and lightning display rolled through coastal California. The lightning started numerous fires, and when hot winds blew in on Tuesday afternoon the fires grew into massive conflagrations. The smoke moved east into our central valley, coloring the sky orange and turning the sun into a red ball peaking through the smoke.

Let’s recap: Since February when all was looking rosy, with great job numbers and a stock market at record highs, we’ve had Covid, business shutdowns, suspension of almost all public assemblies (demonstrations and riots excepted), stay at home mandates, mask mandates, the aforementioned demonstrations and riots and looting, a California heat wave, and now enough smoke in the air to equal a pack a day habit. What next, famine, pestilence, a plague of locusts?

I rode on Tuesday, early to beat the heat, and had Steve for company. I actually did some pretty productive intervals, but Steve, who never does that kind of thing in any systematic way, had no trouble keeping up. Dude is strong! And older than me too.

Then the smoke moved in, and Wednesday and Thursday I sensibly stayed indoors. My mood was getting worse by the hour, and by Thursday night both Stoker and I had enough of each other and of 2020.

So this morning, I knew I had to do something, and after walking Luke I decided to take a short and EASY ride. 2020 should be the year of the dog walk in the Chinese calendar. (Not ‘dog wok’, that would be something different). I even had a plan: heart rate below 90 beats per minute, and all breathing through my nose. I kept my mouth shut the entire 1 hour 30 minutes I pedaled except to take a few sips from my bidon. Seriously, I didn’t open my mouth for a single breath. By not exercising hard, or exercising at all really, I was hoping to keep the evil little PM 10 particles out of my deep lung tissue. I’m sure I succeeded. I breath deeper when I sigh watching the evening news lunacy.

Try Not to Laugh

When I finished Garmin delivered its verdict: After it stopped laughing it rather generously gave me credit for a recovery ride, even though this came after two days completely off the bike. I was already ‘recovered’. These heart rate, power and speed numbers are frighteningly low. And until the smoke goes away, they are going to stay that way.

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