Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bike Ride With Mitch

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I ride a bike to work and home again most days. It's a 15-mile jaunt and I'm hoping it will eventually curtail the catcalls and comments from my supposed friends who are constantly loudly vocalizing observations that it looks like I'm in my 2nd trimester.

It can be a bugger of a ride, especially when I'm up against a good head wind. I've tried tacking back and forth against the wind like the sailboaters do but that exercise gets a little hairy. Every time I serpentine back and forth across the road in my sailboat mode I experience close calls with cars and trucks that refuse to do the serpentine with me.

Screeching of tires and naughty words from the glaring drivers are the auditory results from my tacking exercises. However, I have found many of these same drivers that have just scraped my handlebar or slid into the gutter as they went past seem to actually like what I'm doing with my excellent biking skills. As they drive away, they stick one and sometimes two hands out their window and signal that they think I'm #1 with their fingers. It makes my serpentining so much more worthwhile.

So today I battled a headwind all the way down to the shop. I was completely exhausted by the time I arrived and was unable to do much except lay on the couch that is in the office. My wife and I planned on riding our bikes back from the shop after I finished work. She showed up an hour or so later in the pickup with her bike that I had previously loaded into the back. She waited around for me to finish working and after another hour and a half, I got up off the couch and called it a day. I was ready to bike home with her.

We took off. I asked her if she wanted to ride in front and provide me with a little air slipstream advantage like the stock car racers do. She said "No, you're supposed to be out front as my protector." I kidded her a little and said "Protector? I guess I've had it wrong all these years. I thought I was supposed to be your antagonizer. Why didn't somebody tell me sooner?"

I laughed. She didn't laugh. She serpentined her bike over to the other side of the road and shifted into her silent mode.

We rode another 4 or 5 miles in silence. Then I noticed a construction worker ahead shoveling gravel next to the edge of the brand new pavement that has just been laid. He looked like he was working hard but his job still looked easier than the pedaling I had been doing all morning.

As we approached, I yelled out "Hey, you want to trade?" He looked up and I could see he was carefully considering whether he'd rather be biking or shoveling.

Before he could answer, I noticed the nice shiny backhoe that was parked alongside where he was shoveling. It was a beaut so as we rode past, I yelled "I don't want to trade jobs. I wondered if you wanted to trade your backhoe for my wife."

He laughed. I laughed. She didn't laugh. She was still over on the other side of the road, grinding gears in the silent mode.

We made it home. She fixed lunch but my sandwich tasted a little less like the baloney I'm used to and a little more like the mouse poison that's under the sink. My kool-aid had the same coloring and taste as the antifreeze that I keep in the back of my pickup.

I'm feeling a little sick so I'm heading for bed. I'll write more when I feel better.

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