26 February, 2006 Temperature: 28 degrees F (-2°C)
Spring Fever ought to be listed in the medical journals as a debilitating affliction. It certainly was for me last week.
As I review what I wrote, I remember how tired I felt, sitting here at the keyboard night after night. I see that I was talking about spring and the end of this project, and returning to my big bike, Frogwing, for another season of backroad adventures. I was starting to mentally prepare myself for the transition, too soon. As happens at this time every year, I was not sleeping well. Going to bed only meant that I would be alone, in the dark, with my feverish thoughts of Springtime rides to all points of the compass.
Take Thursday night, for instance. I went to bed at nine, but it was no good. I tossed and I turned, glaring at those red LEDs on my alarm clock, until I gave in and got up. Trudging back to my computer, I stopped at the fridge along the way to grab a beer. Logging in, I called up Google Earth and Mapquest, and planned some rides for real. I exhausted myself mentally this way until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Then, finally, I could sleep. Four straight hours was the best I could do.
Finally it was Friday. Somehow, I survived the workday, taking off a half-hour early to attend Emily’s school carnival in the gym. We got home at six p.m., and I pounded out a blog entry. Then, living better through chemistry, I took a little green pill and slipped off into the land of nod for twelve blissful hours.
I awoke Saturday morning feeling disoriented, like one of those lions who gets shot with a tranquilizer dart on the Discovery channel. Caveman thinking, the words “Get Coffee!” blazed like neon inside of my eyelids. Luckily, Amy had already brewed some, and all I had to do was fill my cup. Then I settled down in front of the tube to channel surf while my brain booted up.
After my second cup, I was up-to-date on the weather forecast and all the latest propaganda that passes for news in this country. I did some writing on the Scoot! article as the temperatures warmed outside. Then I suited up and headed out to the garage.
The Baron and I rode out into heavy traffic along Robert Street. We were headed for the do-it-yourself carwash, where you pull into the stall and use the pressure wash to blast all the winter sludge off your vehicle. With the Baron all clean and shiny, we took off to wander around the neighborhood a little bit. I was well-rested and felt so much better.
We rode about ten miles, down along the river on roads that we don’t take on our daily commute. I shot this photo on the aptly named Water Street, southwest of downtown Saint Paul. We stopped at a place on Highway 13 called Bogey’s, where I caught up with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. It was a beautiful, relaxing day. I was feeling human again. Doctor Saturday to the rescue!
The first World Superbike race of the season is going on Speed Channel as I type this. I am not such a rabid fan as I once was. Back when I roadraced a Ducati, and that same brand was dominating WSB, I was riveted to the screen every time they televised a race. Now it is just agreeable background noise as I sit here and type. But this has always been a reliable harbinger of Springtime, and the end of our long, cold ordeal.
According to the forecasts, the high temperature on Wednesday, March first, is supposed to be 44 degrees F (almost 7°C). Well, if you live in a northern climate, you know what that means. If March comes in like a lamb, it must go out like a lion. We have had some of our most memorable blizzards in March. But maybe March will go out like I did on Friday night: a lion certainly, but tranquilized. We can only hope.