So, having ridden an unexpectedly shortened loop yesterday, today I was determined to get a good thirty-five miles (or possible a bad thirty-five miles or even a mediocre thirty-five miles, for that matter.) I had a route picked out that I knew would make the distance, and I was determined to stick with it.
Now, for some strange reason, I had the idea that it wasn’t windy out there. I don’t know where I would get such a crazy idea. After all, when I got home yesterday, I told my Lovely Lovely, “It’s windy out there.”
“It’s always windy, here,” she replied. (Did you notice the lack of sympathy there? Before we got married, she lived in a wind deprived state.)
After a few miles I passed some people having a garage sale. Well, if we name it for where it was, it was actually a flat bed truck sale. The only thing that I noticed in the pile of merchandise was a pair of giant teddy bears. The people who were having the sale looked quite comfortable in a couple of canvas chairs. Their head swiveled slowly as they watched me pedal past, and the fact that they remained totally silent the entire time made it all seem a bit surreal.
I was making a real effort on this ride – having set myself a minimum pace I would allow myself to ride at on the flat, wind or no wind, and I was pushing hard to maintain it. This particular route has a long hill that usually takes the starch out of my legs, but I forced myself to push up it hard and maintain my pace. That was where I discovered that the mad road writer was back.
You remember him, right? He had written “Will U Be Mine Again?” on the road at one point. Here he had written a couple of messages to his someone:
Good morning beautiful
I am here
You know, somehow this one made me wonder if the guy was some kind of stalker.
It was followed up by a message of apology and a promise of future bliss.
I wondered who this guy was and who he was writing to and how she had responded to these messages. Somehow, I don’t ever expect to find out. It’s likely to remain just one of life’s little mysteries.
I passed between two fields of corn. There are plenty of wheatfields and cornfields around here, and I suddenly found myself wondering what is it about cornfields? Everything from “Field of Dreams” to “Children of the Corn.” Why are we always waiting for things to come out of the corn? Nothing ever seems to come out of the soybeans or the strawberries, after all. Nobody cuts mazes into the rutabaga fields for people to walk through. It’s always corn.
(Yes, I know that corn is taller than all of those other plants, but I’m trying to get some quality musing done here. Don’t spoil it be getting all prosaic on me.)
I had a moment of bliss on the bike as the road crossed a county line and went from being incredibly rough and bumpy to being smooth and pleasant. That’s always a very nice moment, especially if you’ve been on the bumpy road for several miles.
There were people out there on all kinds of vehicles. I either passed or was passed by, at different points during the ride, 18 wheelers, SUVs, pick up trucks, cars, motorcycles, a tractor and a lawn mower. I remember wondering if there were any other cyclists out on the road. In finally got the answer to that one.
Shortly before I get back home I hit a road that is a little tough when you’re tired. It has several hills in a row, including one that seems to go on forever. I decided to push down that road hard. I got to the end and had to wait for several minutes at an intersection. At that point another cyclist pedaled up behind me and stopped. He said some very sweet words: “I could see you, but I couldn’t catch you.”
Hooray for me.
He was definitely ahead of me in one way, though. He had already gotten a metric century in. Nice. I was jealous of that.
I was only a mile from home, though, and I was expected, so I headed in. This time I got the miles I was looking for, but I am ready for more.
See you on the road.