December 3, 2002
Double-Digit Territory

miles to go: 89.31 [YTD: 1,912.69]

Over the weekend we entered double-digit territory.

Sometime during our Saturday morning ride -- at some point between the Pleasanton BART Station and the Lenore S. Schermer Memorial Drinking Fountain, on that torturously long stretch of the Iron Horse Trail that slopes upward into stiff unforgiving Contra Costa headwinds for what feels like three-quarters of an eternity (or eighth grade: whichever lasted longer) -- David and I finally slipped beneath the hundred-miles-to-go mark.

89.31, to be precise.

"Are we there yet?" I asked, as we began the long downhill roll towards Danville. 

David glanced at his odometer and nodded. Sometime within the past hour we'd cracked the magical double-digital barrier. (And we cracked that barrier, I might add, while *one* of us was oozing snot, Sudafed and self-pity, while the *other* one of us was yelling at her husband to "Suck it up and RIDE, forcryingoutloud!") Once we realized we'd passed this incredibly important Mileage Milestone, of course, we had to spend a minute congratulating ourselves on our vast reserves of athletic grooviness. So we stopped and got off our bikes and exchanged a phlegm-intensive smooch, right there in the middle of the trail: God, we're cool!

And then we went home and went back to bed and blew off riding for the rest of the four-day Thanksgiving weekend.

Heading into December with less than a hundred miles left to ride puts us in a good place, from both a psychological and a mathematical standpoint. It gives us a little wiggle room, for one thing. Barring some hideous unforeseen catastrophe -- broken leg, broken gearshaft, earthquake, toothache, war, the return of Gutless Shidthead Bicycle Thief and his stoopid bolt-cutters -- there is almost no way that we can screw this thing up now. All it's going to take for us to finish is a couple of tough, focused Saturday forty-milers. (Or one tough, focused Saturday forty-miler and a couple of leisurely Sunday morning toodles ... or four-and-a-half leisurely Sunday morning toodles ... or a single intense Saturday marathon, followed by an immediate trip to the local emergency room.) We almost can't miss. For another thing, it takes some of the public pressure off us both. December is going to be stressful enough, thanks, without well-meaning family members/ co-workers/online pals/staff writers from *Tubby Middle-Aged Cycling Enthusiasts Magazine* continually asking Soooo, still think you're going to make it?

Best of all, it gives us a Get-Out-of-Riding Free card ... in case we have another weekend like last weekend, when one of us is cranky and sick and just wants to lay in bed eating leftover Thanksgiving cheesecake and playing his guitar, while the other one of us is cranky and preoccupied with holiday worries and just wants to sit in front of the computer feeding credit card numbers into the gaping cyber maw of Amazon.com for four days in a row. We can blow off an occasional day of riding between now and the end of the year, if we want to, without jeopardizing the entire 2,002 in 2002. This, to me, is the beauty of being in double-digit territory: the fact that we can afford to be a little bit lazy right now.

Of course ... this is also the danger.

Stay tuned.


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