Friday, February 19, 2016

The Workbench

The airport service road is a downright dreadful place to ride a bicycle. Sure, it's safe and all, with its light traffic, and its unobstructed views. That and its better than average concrete surface makes it a perfectly suitable place to ride a bicycle. Nobody disputes this.

Still, its a dismal place to ride a bike. In all, the six miles of service road that nearly encircles Eppley Airfield has got to be among the most boring stretches of tarmac in the greater Omaha area. For one, it is pancake flat. For another, it has very few trees, or any other remarkable features that makes for an interesting place to ride a bike. Apart from the 75 flights that takeoff per day, or the occasional spotting of an eagle, there is very little else that breaks up the monotony of riding there.

Otherwise, it's dreadful. But I go there often, and encounter many other cyclists who do so as well. What it lacks in scenery, it more than makes up for in utility. It is a wonderful place to do interval workouts and testing protocols because of those boring traits: it is flat, virtually straight, has light automobile traffic, and has excellent surface quality.

And then there is the wind.

Because interval workouts are best done alone, the wind is one's constant riding partner. Admittedly, the wind is not a relished companion to ride with. Apart from the annoyance of it in one's ears, intervals and power tests would be more precise without the wind. But since a single trip around the airport brings headwinds, crosswinds and tail winds, a sort of power canceling effect kicks in. That, and it presents the rider with the opportunity to consider aero positions and proper gearing selections as wind angles change while completing the loop.

I've ridden this loop hundreds of times over the years. I typically don't enjoy it while I'm there. That's not it's purpose. But I respect what it has to offer.

If I see you out there, chances are that I may simply nod my head in acknowledgement that you've discovered the purpose of riding there as well. Socializing can wait for another time; work is what gets accomplished there.

Happy Friday. Thanks for reading.

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