Three months ago I got up at 7 a.m. to be at work at 8 a.m. I got a lot more sleep back then.
Now I rise at 6:15 a.m. Sometimes even then, I don’t make it work on time. Which is saying something, when it’s only a 12- mile drive.
Years ago, when I lived in Lake Tahoe, I first heard the phrase, “There are two seasons in the mountains — winter and road work.” I got a good laugh, and during my first summer there, I got to experience the road work season.
Work crews filling in potholes, repaving, holding traffic. Somehow I got used to it. There seemed to be a method to the madness as they worked 2-mile stretches at a time. I listened to books on tape, and the radio, and learned to accept the circumstances.
Somehow I just can’t quite find that zen state of mine this summer. I really hoped to, but every day seems to test my patience.
Today was one of those days.
Despite my best efforts to get out the door early, other forces intervened, including the dog knocking over his water bowl.
I got a later start than I had hoped, and then things really got derailed at the bottom of The Summer Road.
The flagger stopped me. He gestured at me and I rolled down my window.
“After the uphill traffic come by, you’ll go first behind the pilot car.”
“Ok, thank you.”
I felt determined to maintain sanity and politeness.
A few minutes later, the pilot car pulled into the turnout and ten or so cars passed by. But no one moved. Wasn’t it our turn?
The flagger kept talking into his radio. Finally he yelled over, “we’re waiting for a cyclist to get through the construction zone.”
And there went my sanity.
First of all, we were told bicyclists would be prohibited riding uphill due to the multiple construction zones and their speed of travel. There were after all, signs posted with the red slash through the cyclist silhouette.
However, even if they weren’t prohibited, why would someone be stubborn enough to ride up Boulder Canyon during major road construction during commuter rush hour? It’s not like there aren’t several other options for road cycling in the area. In fact, there are at least two other canyon road due north where there is more shoulder, less traffic, and little to no road construction.
Finally, after another ten minutes, the lone cyclist passed by. Honestly, he seemed completely clueless to the line of cars waiting.
After another 50 minutes, I finally made it to Boulder. Good thing I waited to get my daily dose of caffeine until after my marathon commute.
Only 480 days to go.
Will I survive?