Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Hot Dry Day

The Fable of Frank and the Greatest Water You’ve Ever Tasted

It was a hot day, but not to worry, according to Frank, because there was a springwell coming up which produced “the best water you ever tasted.” (I have to admit that I don’t actually know what a springwell is, but that’s okay. Live and learn.) The water was so good, Frank said, that everyone should go ahead and dump out whatever water remained in their bottles so they could fill them up at the springwell. Everyone took his advice. Everyone that is, except Frank himself, although this fact went unnoticed for the moment.

The group rounded the curve, and Frank pointed out the springwell. It was a pipe sticking out the ground, out of which came a stream of thick green water. Yummy. Well, what do you do when you’ve dumped out your water bottle and it’s a very hot day and you’ve been riding for awhile and are still miles from home? You drink what’s available, and the sound of slurping filled the air, rapidly followed by the sound of people spitting and gagging and then looking for some way to get the taste out of their mouths.

“There was so much iron in that water,” Dave says, “that it tasted like what you taste when you’ve got a bloody nose.”

“I just filled my bottles up from there yesterday,” Frank said, “and it tasted great!” The grin with which he said this, followed by the realization that Frank hadn’t dumped his own bottles out, probably contributed to the general air of disbelief with which this statement was greeted. This was followed by Frank politely but firmly declining to share his water with anyone else. Well, really, not all that politely.

Not too surprisingly, Frank eventually found himself leading the group. Being the only guy with water does a lot to help you outride everyone else. The even tenor of Frank’s ride, however, was interrupted by a sudden piercing scream. He turned around to find out what had happened.

What had happened was that the panting peloton, like the deer that longs for running streams, was on the lookout for water. They spotted a woman watering her garden and descended upon her en masse. They would have been friendly, even polite, but, when she was a group of lycra clad spandex wearing guys on bicycles pulling over at the edge of her yard, she shrieked, dropped her hose, with water still streaming from it, and ran for her front door as fast as her legs could carry her.

Upon being asked, “Did you drink from the hose?” Dave replied with an emphatic “Yeah,” and added. “We filled out bottles up, too.”

Now, what there may have been in the sight of a group of cyclists to send the poor woman shrieking and running for safety, I don’t know. I never did find that one out.
Still, live and learn.

Especially learn not to trust Frank when he makes a suggestion.

(Just to show that Frank is a good guy, one day I ran out of water on a ride. I was passing Frank’s hosue and saw him working in the garage. He gave me a drink and filled my bottles up with cold clear water that didn’t come from his favorite springwell.)
See you on the road.

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