Chunky. No, not my muffin topped mid-drift, and no, not the sodium-heavy soups found in your grocery store. Chunky as in the consistency of the dirt that I would find my tires rambling over—and seemingly before me in every direction—on Wednesday’s ride.
Wednesday was one of those days that I really didn’t want to ride. I was just coming off a good ride in some unseasonably warm temps on Tuesday but this morning’s ride time temps were cut in half and I had no desire whatsoever to stuff myself into multiple layers of wool and lycra. But I did.
First thoughts after just a few turns of the pedal were “Damn it’s cold.” Followed shortly after by: “I feel like shit,” “this is stupid as hell,” and “I should just turn back.” But I didn’t.
I rode on into the bright sun and crisp northeast breeze, waiting for my legs to come around. I can’t say they ever really did, so I then started praying for a tailwind or the unmitigated gall to someday embrace the stupidity of an e-bike to ease my efforts and make up for my lack of fitness. Neither happened. However, there was a compromise with the bike gods in the form of an easier on the legs crosswind so long as I erased any thought of an e-bike—even in jest—from my mind, for the rest of my days. Deal! Still, the bike gods do not take kindly to such heresy and there would need to be penance: freshly laid dirt and gravel for the next 10 miles.
Yes, the county was out laying down fresh dirt and as per usual every road I went down was met with chunky dirt or a giant truck and grader blades. *sigh*
The chunky dirt on the road was also met with freshly plowed farm fields. I was seemingly surrounded by chunks of earth and rock and aside from the brilliant blue sky the landscape was earthly brown.
After several miles of power sucking dirt, I was finally back to smooth pavement. Sadly, the gods were still angered by my earlier laps in faith and the next 6 miles would be into a cold headwind.
I shook my well-insulated fist at the sky, tearfully uttered words of repentance and once again assured the gods that my e-bike thoughts were all hyperbole and jest. I stood at a stop sign just before the entrance to the pavement ahead with ice cold tears running down my round, wind-chapped ruddy cheeks, with true sorrow in my heart. However, as with most pleas to gods in one’s head, my admission of sorrow and regret for my early indiscretion was met with silence, save for the easterly wind whistling through the vents in my helmet.
So with all the trepidation of a soon to be sacrificed goat, I set off on my journey home. The cool breeze I pedaled into did well to dry the tears of guilt and remorse that stained my face, however, I soon felt at oddly at peace. It was as if with each turn of the pedals and increase in power the blessing of forgiveness was bestowed upon me by the bike gods.
My final mile was a long awaited tailwind and that gave me time to think about what needed to be done next; I would need to spend some time later that day trolling e-bike supporters and writing snarky comments about e-bikes across multiple social media platforms… and sacrifice a goat.