I took my street down to a connecting street, headed south and pedaled as fast as I could to where that street dead-ends into a much longer road. This is where all the hills are.
I turned west and started pedaling up the first steep hill. As I crept up to the top I saw black sky off in the distance and lightning. I studied it hard. It still appeared to be moving away from me. It shouldn't be a problem. So I shifted into my fastest gear and started pedaling as fast as I could. I flew down the hill with the wind whistling through all the holes in my dorky bike helmet. I was really moving.
I flew as fast as I could down the straight, flat part of the road and reached the bottom of the cascading hills in record time. I struggled up the first hill, caught my breath on the level part between, then strained up the second hill, caught my breath again on the next flat part, and then really strained to get up the third hill.
What the hell?
I turned my bike around at the top of the hill and stopped in front of the dog. He was so pathetic looking. His hips were poking out he was so skinny. He hadn't even gotten the bag torn open yet from what I could tell. He stood there halfway cowering and just looked at me. I stood there still on my bike and tried to figure out what to say to him. "Hey boy, you need to come home with me so I can get you some food. I can't carry a dog with me on my bike, especially since I don't know if you're wild or not." The dog just stared at me. I had seen him before, along this same road sniffing at another discarded garbage bag. I don't know why there are so many discarded garbage bags along here, but they don't seem to contain enough food in them for this dog to survive. He looked AWFUL.
|What do you want and why aren't you feeding me?|
As I struggled to get my feet into the toe clips a truck came flying around the curve behind me. I could see its headlights glaring past me. I had my taillight on and they apparently saw me at the last minute and avoided killing me. Glad for that. Once I got my feet situated I shifted into my fastest gear again and flew down the hills. I could hear something clicking as I pedaled. I looked down and noticed that my pedal was hitting my chain guide.
CLICK - CLICK - CLICK
I decided that the hitting of the chain guide probably wasn't the best idea, so I shifted gears, or tried to. Too late. The chain guide popped loose from the frame and twisted my chain. Something actually fell off my bike and into the street. My pedals locked up.
Oh, and it started to rain.
I coasted to a stop and laid the bike on the side of the road while I jogged back to pick up whatever it was that fell off my bike. It turned out to be the tire pump that I had mounted on my frame. I picked it up and jogged back to my bike. I looked it over and tried to figure out how to fix the chain guide. It was hopeless. Something was missing. Whatever held the guide to the frame was gone.
Lightning flashed overhead and the wind started to kick up really strong.
I stood my bike up, checked to see if both tires would roll, and then started jogging towards home with the handlebars in one hand and my stupid pump in the other. It started raining harder.
When I came to the last hill, the steepest one before I reach home, I had to stop jogging and walk to get up the hill with my bike. The wind was really strong now and the rain was coming down harder. At the top of the hill I climbed onto the bike and coasted as far as I could. The rain was pouring down in sheets and lightning was flashing constantly. For a short distance I had a killer wind at my back. That helped. But it didn't last long.
|Tut tut, looks like rain|
The street leading to my house is uphill and I was having trouble controlling the bike while jogging. It was swerving and I nearly dropped it. I finally had to give up and just walk. I was already as wet as I could possibly get anyway. It didn't matter how hard the rain came down now. I could have jumped into a pool of water and not gotten any wetter.
When I reached my house I pushed the bike across the front yard and headed for the back door. My brain damaged cat was on the front porch acting frantic to get into the house. I called to her to follow me to the back door, but she's retarded and ignored me. She was plastered to the window next to the front door, as if there was anyone inside the house to see her and let her in. (There wasn't.)
I laid my bike down on the back porch and went in through the laundry room. I was leaking water from my shorts and shirt like a bucket with a hole in the bottom. I stripped and threw my clothes into the washer. I figured they could drain there and not hurt anything. I don't generally stroll around my house in the nude, but this was a special occasion. I didn't have any dry clothes handy and I was going to have to streak. I showered for a very long time. Once I was dried and had some dry clothes on I went slowly to the door and turned on the porch light. Sure enough, a mentally challenged cat was plastered to the glass. I opened the door and let her in. Rather than thank me she made a beeline for her food dish. Yeah, cats are like that sometimes.
So my bike is broken. I'm not sure what it's going to take to fix it. I have a race coming up and I haven't felt much like running to train for it. But I guess I'm going to have to.
You know, I had said I was thinking about trying to do a triathlon. It's just occurred to me that I biked, ran and swam tonight while trying to get home. I hadn't planned on doing a triathlon, but I sort of just did. It wasn't that much fun.