Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I had a two for one sale today.

My Lovely Lovely drove me to work with my bike in the belly of the beast. I parked it in one of the classrooms because, well, I had to park it somewhere, and I don’t think the bike racks outside look particularly solid, somehow.

Seeing it, one of the students asked me how far away I lived. “Oh, just six miles is all.” The student was impressed by the idea of riding a bike six miles, while I was thinking that it was barely a ride at all. Same language, different worlds.

When it was finally time to head home, it was 92 degrees out. The sky was nearly cloudless, and the wind could have been unpleasant. Fortunately, however, it was blowing in the right direction.

I got stopped at road construction. There was the guy holding the sign that ordered us all to stop, there was the one car in front of me, there were the various cars lining up behind me. The guy finally turned the sign to the side that says, “Slow.” As I pedaled past him, I said, “Slow is the only speed I’ve got in this heat.”

“I heard that,” he said. I assume that was agreement and not merely acknowledgement that I was audible, but I could be wrong.

I took it easy all the way home, but the water in my bottle, filled up from the fountain but with no ice, tasted warm and flat. I cruised into the garage and then decided to go for a real ride. Since I had skipped lunch, I went for some instafood.

In-sta-food /ɪn-stə-füd/ - any substance sold in can which is designed to be plopped into a bowl, microwaved and eaten (not the can, the substance in the can). While it is marketed for human consumption, this should not be taken to indicated that it is either (A) palatable or (B) actually edible. Common ingredients include pasta, rice, a meat-like substance and (presumably) styrofoam, rubber bands, and wood caulk.

I followed this up with a couple of precautionary antacids, got kitted out and hit the road, covered in sunscreen. I figured I had less than an hour before my Lovely Lovely would get home from work, and I didn’t want to fry my brain in the heat, so I went for an easy fifteen miles.
The wind had other ideas about how easy my ride would be, but voicing my complaints, which I did, didn’t seem to have much effect on it.

I passed a giant farm machine spraying a mysterious fluid onto dirt. When I later passed that same spot again, the farm machine was gone, but it had left a cloying odor in it’s wake that make me wonder how much good breathing it in was doing my lungs. Hooray for the great outdoors.

The rest of the ride was quite pleasant, really, except for the heat. I'm not sure how much of my water I drank and how much of it I poured down the back of my neck. I do remember emptying my first bottle and grabbing the second, which was insulated. That water was still ice cold when it hit my back, and it was pleasant agony as it rolled down my back. I also cheated and took a break for a moment in the shade of a building.

I managed to make it home and get showered just in time to greet my Lovely Lovely as she got home from work. This was what I call a good day. Two rides. Not bad at all.

See you on the road.

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