Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cycling with a Twist

I'm supposed to be getting prepared for the next Warrior Dash. I'm totally out of shape and I haven't felt like running at all. So I've been cycling. Tonight I got home a little later than I had wanted, so I rushed to get my bike out and hop on. There were some dark clouds in the sky, but they were far away and appeared to be moving in the opposite direction from me. I took off on my usual route.

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.

As I was reaching the top of the last hill I looked off to the north and saw a flaming orange sky. It was freaky looking. To the west it was black and there was a lot of lightning. And to the south there was a starving dog trying to tear into a discarded bag of trash looking for food.

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?
I tried to somehow convince the dog that he needed to come with me so I could get him to my house and feed him. But he didn't seem to be grasping the idea. He just crouched there and looked at me, halfway squatting and halfway standing, just like he had been the entire time. I was starting to wonder if he might've died while still standing and I hadn't noticed. Finally I gave up and decided it might be best if I rode home and got some meat and then drove back in my truck to give it to him. So I started to pedal away, downhill.

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.


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
Once I ran out of momentum I had to get off the bike and jog again, splashing through puddles that were forming. My shoes were now completely filled with water and I was soaked all the way through. But the rain was still coming down and I had further to go before I reached home.

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.


  1. I know it's wrong of me, but I am laughing SO hard atm!! Especially about the wet, mentally challenged cat stuck in the window! HAHAHA!

    Aw, what happened about the wee doggy? Did you go back for him? Poor little thing. :(

    Dude, I think someone/thing is trying to tell you something- that perhaps this triathlon thing 'aint really for you!

  2. Damn, these fucking Captcha's are FUCKINGSTUPID!

  3. What happened to the doggy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love your cat.

    Maybe you should entitle these series of posts Bike Wars! You V the Bike! LOL

  4. Ute, we laugh at the cat a lot. She's a swimmer. When she wants in she plasters herself spread-eagle to the glass and just 'swims' until we see her and open the door. Its the most insane looking thing I've ever seen. The storm that hit was a bad one. And I was soaked to the bone. Once I stripped naked I wasn't going anywhere. Plus, I didn't think the dog would still be out on the side of the road in that storm. He most likely went inside an abandoned house near where he was pillaging the trash bag. I've looked for him twice since then, but haven't seen him. I don't know if it's the triathlon thing thats not for me, or just my antique road bike that needs a few upgrades. As for the Captchas, I'm not a fan either, but I'm even less of a fan of automated blog spam that I see on several wide open blogs in their comments.

    AlleyCat, I haven't seen the dog since that day. I've looked, but so far no luck. If you like, I'll box this cat up and ship her to you. We named her after the Tasmanian Devil so if she lived with you she'd be closer to her adopted homeland anyway. Bike Wars, eh? I like that idea. I may steal that and use it. :-)

  5. You know you don't have to have the captcha's though, don't you? I don't...and a lot of other blogs don't either and don't get spam.

    When I changed my blog to allow anyone to reply, they all went into the spam filter...
    But you can also do what I do now, and only allow registered people to comment. Or, you can put on comment moderation.
    There is another blog that we both know about, and that one doesn't have any captchas! *hint* ;o)

  6. Ute, I didn't realize that you felt so strongly about the captchas, or that a certain other blog didn't have them and wasn't getting hit with the kind of spam comments that I keep seeing on the blogs with wide open comments. I'll go into my settings and see what I can do.

  7. Someone learned me a phrase that's supposedly appropriate when all shit happens all at once.


    I like it.

    Also, it's funny when it doesn't happen to me. That's why I smiled when reading your post.

    And poor dog. I'm no cat person.

  8. Annika, "FML" - its a statement that sums up my world these past few years so very neatly. So now my bike is broken. I'll have to find someone who sells the part I need so I can fix it. In the meantime, I'm forced to jog again. I just don't feel like jogging lately.