Energy, Biking, Rocking, Sleep, Fun

Nothing exhilarates quite like a 20+ mile bike ride on a beautiful sunny day on country roads with tunes pumping on the bike boom box. I got up today with fully good intentions to do house cleaning in anticipation of my move to Madison around June 30th. However, Mother Nature foiled me. You cannot pass up a beautiful day to get out and enjoy it on a bike. If you do, you will become depressed and resentful of your life, generally speaking. It does not have to be biking, if that is not what you are into, but whatever you are into, don't pass up an opportunity to do it whenever you can. You only live once and when you are on your death bed, it will be too late to regret what you failed to do and redeem yourself.

Today could not have been more perfect for a bike ride. 70 degrees. Slight breeze. Sunny, clear skies. My bike boom box and iPod were both fully charged and ready to go. Although I had to change a tube on my cruiser bike, which was not fun, I cannot count that as an imperfection, because I had the option to take my mountain bike instead, if I was too lazy to change the tire. But the mountain bike would not have allowed me to mount the bike boom box, so maybe it is sort of an indirect imperfection. But it was not a weather related one. I ramble.

I slept in this morning, much needed after a long and stressful week. What stressors you ask? Well, I had two gigs last week. Those were not the stressors, because I love to rock and it is a stress relief for me. But I had a lot of responsibilities to fit in around those music events, Tetris style. The inspections of my new house and my current house were last week. I had to be on site for the inspection of my new house, which pretty much usurped all of Thursday morning. Luckily, the new house got a clean bill of health from my inspector, who found essentially no issues. The inspection of my house revealed a couple of minor electrical issues I need to take care of, one of which I knew about already.

One of the gigs was BABY ROCKET at BratFest in Madison WI (the only time a "sausage fest" is a good thing), on Friday over the lunch hour, from 11:30 AM to 1 PM. This meant I had to leave work between 10 AM and 2 PM, to be at BratFest, cutting into my workday. My boss is cool and gave me permission to be off during that time weeks ago, but being a contractor making an hourly wage, I had to put in some long days Monday through Wednesday to get my full 40 for the week. I actually prefer working long days like that and kicking butt early in the week, so I can taper off a bit later in the week when I am less efficient due to fatigue and thinking about the weekend, when I usually catch up on sleep and work my second super fun job - ROCK-N-ROLL!

Anyway, yes. I slept in this morning, and that put me slightly behind on house stuff. But then when I got up and saw how gorgeous it was outside, I made a fateful decision to get out on my bike for some much needed exercise and basically went into time debt on house work. Oh well... I had no time for working out last week, except once on the indoor bike trainer, due to other pressing stuff. I am doing RAGBRAI in late July, if all goes well, and I need to significantly ramp up the biking to be ready for that (mainly for my taint, not so much the cardiovascular, on which I am pretty solid). I am also feeling a little overweight and biking with tunes is an easy way to burn a couple thousand calories. The time flies by. This weekend looks like a full compliment of awesome weather days for biking. So I think house work is going to take a back seat, which means some payback in the weeks to come. In addition, I have a ton of music stuff to get ready for this weekend too, and I need to practice. Where does the time go?

Next weekend, I am going out to Ames IA for a reunion gig with my college rock-n-roll band SINEMA. We do that every once in a while. We have a repertoire of songs we want to do, and I have done almost no preparation up until now. These kinds of bi-annual reunion gigs don't warrant a whole helluva lot of investment of time and energy, but I can usually cram enough musical information into my head when the chips are down, as they are now, to get through the gig. So that means tomorrow and Monday (Memorial Day holiday), I will also be setting aside a large chunk of time to master rock songs for the gig.

Tomorrow, I am doing an organized bike ride in Verona with my friends Sherry and Jerome. It starts at a butt early 8 AM and will be something between 37 and 60 miles most likely. There are different mileage options. Sherry and I are both going on RAGBRAI and we need to get a few longer rides in before then. The 60 mile option tomorrow might be premature and overly optimistic, since it is still kind of early in our training, but I think we can do it, since it is a social ride, not a race, and we can set our own pace. We have the whole day to do it, just like on RAGBRAI. The main issue is that 60 miles will eat up about five hours of the day (assuming an average, leisurely 12 mph pace), not even including rest stops and the pancake breakfast at Riley Tavern in Riley WI, around which this particular social bike ride is focused. If I am home by 3 PM, I will be surprised.

Sunday night is also the open jam stage at Funk's Pub at 8 PM, which I regularly attend. So in a best case scenario, I may have 2 or 3 hours of time for rocking practice on Sunday ahead of the SINEMA reunion gig next weekend. That's almost certainly going to necessitate carving out some more practice time on holiday Monday, for which I am grateful.

Hard work this rocking business, but a labor of love and I can still get some good sleep in this weekend. Tonight, one of my favorite local bands, SUNSPOT, is playing at BratFest. They are performing at 6 PM, so it won't be a horribly late night, essential if I am to make the 8 AM start time for tomorrow's bike ride. I need to get up about 6:30 AM tomorrow, at the latest, to load bike gear and drive to Verona. SUNSPOT shows are also a workout in and of themselves. A lot of flailing happens there. Come flail with me tonight!


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