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Curse be damned, I got to ride!

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Old April 23rd 04, 04:09 AM
Rick Onanian
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Default Curse be damned, I got to ride!

The world conspired to prevent me from riding.

Yet, I persevered. I decided to go for a nice off-road ride; I rode
the road bike all last year, and should really ride both types of
terrain more often.

It looked like, on the only day this week I could ride, I was going
to have to work late. Somehow, I avoided it. I did, however, have to
do some rough manual labor; it was 80 degrees F, humid, and sunny
when I unloaded a pallet of roof shingles onto a roof (and another
on the ground) with one other guy.

So, I get to the 6:00pm group ride, nice and early. I'm not feeling
too bad from my labor. I realize that I've forgotten gloves. There
is a new bike shop near the trailhead, so I go and get gloves. I'm
still nice and early for the ride. Of course, everybody else is in
good shape and I've barely ridden in 7 months.

We ride off on the trail that runs parallel to the road which would
take us to the trail we intend to ride (eh?). I can't keep up. I
can't remember how to handle off-road. Ugh!

A mile down the trail, we cross said road, and approach the main
trail system. There's a quarter mile bit of field before the trail,
and a nice hump of dirt great for catching some air; I fly over it,
and having forgotten how it's done, land a bit hard on my saddle,
bending my Thudbuster seatpost where the suspension bit meets the
post bit. I'm not entirely sure that's what happened until a mile
later when we stop for a minute. 1.5 or 2 miles into the ride, I
must quit or risk major ass damage.

I head out to the bike shop to see if they have any cheap seatposts
to fit my bike. They have a $50 plain seatpost that would work, and
I don't think it's tall enough. Faulk it, I'll drive home (it's not
THAT far!), get the spare seatpost I have, grab my headlight too,
and maybe some applesauce to nourish me a bit.

The applesauce has gone bad. Ick.

I go sauceless back to the trail, spend 10 minutes trying to make
space to mount the headlight, and ride off into the sunset, alone. I
ride into the darkness, and decide that it's a bit spooky and my
headlight is inadequate for this purpose (quite expected). I make my
way past a cross that marks somebody's death, singing "Spooky" by
the Classics IV.

"Love is kind of crazy with a spooky little girl like you
doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo
I call *pause to breath* you up and *mumble* see a movie
first you say no, you've got some plans for the night
and then *huff* *puff* you stop, and say...all right
Love is kind of crazy with a spooky little girl like you
doo doo *huff* *puff* doo doo, doo doo doo
*mumble* *mumble* *mumble* *some words* *more mumbling*
and so on.

I get back to the road, figuring to go home, and there's what's left
of the group, well-lit! So I ride with them. What am I, nuts?

They're way too fast for me, even though they intend to be slow,
it's difficult for them. Way behind, nobody's light in sight, I
stare at a white spot on a tree as I go by, and realize it's a
spooky halloween mask. It really IS spooky, tired and alone in the
woods with little light at night. Finally, after mentioning that
this is my first ever night-time ride, they have me ride up front
and they wait patiently. They push me on, I'm dead tired.

Peter gives me his last bite of Clif bar, which is nearly edible,
unlike the whatever bar I had in my backpack, completely inedible.

They push me on. I feel dead. I ride. My phone rings. I ignore it.
My phone rings again. My mother, knowing I'm out for a ride in the
woods, must be terribly worried. I'm going downhill and have
momentum; I'm NOT throwing that away.

Then we're back on the road. As the road goes gently uphill, I can't
do it anymore. I walk with the bike, and juggle the phone to call my
mom to not worry. After the call, I'm rested enough to ride the rest
of the hill.

At the top of the hill, I thank everybody for taking such good care
of me. I'm always such a downer on group rides, because I so rarely
end up on one when I'm actually in good shape and riding well. These
guys are always happy to help, patient and pleasant.
Rick Onanian

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