Thursday, July 23, 2009

Where Am I?

Wow. Fried by the sun and beaten to death by the wind all in the same day. Is this a great sport or what?! It was hot today. Everything was hot. Even the wind was hot.

At first I was going to say that it was like wind from Death Valley, but I suppose that a Death Valley wind would be dry, so, on second thought, this was more like a swamp wind. The wind blowing in your face (and it blew in my fact a lot today) was like having someone put a hot wet blanket on you. It was unpleasant is what I’m trying to convey.

Of course, where I ride isn’t actually swampy at all. You don’t hear the distant sound of a whippoorwill or the roar of an alligator. Around here, surrounded by corn and tobacco, by old shacks on the verge of collapse, apparently held together only by the kudzu, you’re more likely to hear the sound of a distant banjo being pluck by a young boy.

Ding-a-ding ding ding ding ding ding ding

Ride fast. Ride very fast.

I set myself a minimum pace to ride at, and I did finish the ride above that pace, but it was tough.

I passed a man who was all in brown – brown pants, brown shirt, brown hat, even his skin was brown. He was wearing green tinted sunglasses and had a big plastic tank on his back with a hose coming from it. As I passed him, he was vigorously pumping a handle attached to the tank. We each looked at the other curiously. It was a little weird.

I passed a subdivision which was clearly the place to find your thrill. If you’re old enough or your taste in music is varied enough, you now know the name of the place. If not, you’re probably confused by what you just read.

I got chased by a medium sized black dog. I was doing about twenty when the dog spotted me. Without even a second of hesitation, and paying no heed to the voice calling him, the dog took off after me. He was at a distant corner of the yard, so I wasn’t worried. The advantage was all mine.

Or so I thought.

From his first kick that dog started gaining on me., and I really had to lift the pace to leave him behind. I barely made it. The dog came out into the street after me, put his head down, and ran. I went up through the gears and pedaled as hard as I could, and I just managed to gap him. Once I got a gap, I was able to extend it and then the dog gave up, which is good, but I wasn’t going to be able to keep that pace up for any time at all.

And I got lost. Did I mention that?

I wanted to get at least thirty miles in, so I decided to explore a bit. I ended up exploring a lot and got well and truly lost. I had a vague idea which direction home was, so I started picking roads that looked like they might go in the direction I wanted, and I was eventually right, but only after an solid hour of wandering around with no clear ideas about where I was.

Why is it that riding roads you don’t know is harder than riding roads you do know?

I was tired by the time I finally got back home, but I felt great for having gotten some miles in.

Maybe I’ll manage to get some more tomorrow.

See you on the road.

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