Thursday, June 2, 2011

Monkeys Racing Bears On Bicycles

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I was missing my sidekick, but he was working and I was working and it was getting late and he was still working and I finally got out of work and so I just went and rode my bike without him.

There was this baseball game to get my kid to, there were missing socks and belts and cleaned baseball pants with a smattering of tan dirt still on one butt cheek, an opposite knee.  There was a fresh pile of dog shit in the kennel, phone calls to take during the kids' baseball game and yet, there was only a 10 mph wind, a stark contrast to the 45 mph wind from the weekend and today of all days, I needed to ride.

I headed north, we usually go south.
A quicker loop, shitty timing.  There were cars; lots of them and yet most are used to bikes on this road, and most went by allocating me the entire lane.  Most.

I put my head down and went.  Pedaled hard.

There is an epiphany that came to me about mile 12: never, ever trust that you are just finally, surely, getting in to shape when you can ride effortlessly on a false flat and hang on to 26 mph.  You always, most assuredly as the sun shall rise when this happens, will have a HEAD wind upon turning around.

And then you will slow down.  And if you've allowed yourself to stray too far away from home, you'll miss the warm ups for said baseball game, and the kid will get antsy, and the pre-teen angst will come out and you'll wonder approximately 32 seconds upon arriving home, why that ride was so important to squeeze in to begin with.

I put my head down and went. Pedaled hard.

The cars really started breezing by at mile 20 and the kid that buzzed me in the beat up Cavalier had no reason to do so, other than him being an ass.  I was proud of myself for hanging on and staying upright and not flipping him the bird and even keeping my yelling to myself for once and then he threw a lit cigarette out the window, and it hit me smack in the face.

I imagined myself with my sidekick, what he'd have done, and then laughed thinking he'd never have ridden this road to begin with, and him telling me this is precisely why.

And then a semi came by, gifting me less than a foot of road, despite no oncoming traffic and it went by so fast it sucked me right off the saddle and I held on to that too, but I also saw my life flash before my eyes and a flash of anger washed through me, fierce and intense, like the kind you get protecting your kid.

I turned east back into the cross wind.
I put my head down.
Pedaled home.