Monday was a hodgepodge of adulting, fruitless attempts at a design project that I volunteered to help out with, and other crap-o-lah like lifting heavy things for no reason in the basement. All of that was done while dodging rain drops, enjoying spring temperatures, and waiting for some promised evening thunderstorms to arrive and send those spring-like temps back to into the 40s and 50s, thus making for a more “normal” Michigan spring. Like the saying goes “If your nipples ain’t hard, you ain’t in Michigan.”
That night as I laid in bed listening to the rain fall and the sounds of distant thunder, I did my best not to assume a ride would happen in the morning. There were too many variables that needed to fall into place (weather, and my ongoing fight with slack to name two), so I laid back and enjoyed the sound of the rain and enjoyed a deep sleep filled with images of Gabe Kaplan, and me pooping in a bucket 1 .
Up at 6 AM, coffee drank, B-Man up, multiple breakfasts made, family out the door, I checked the weather and saw no rain in the area. So I gathered my gear, and after some digestion, was soon was off on the Boone for a crap road ride. And by crap, I mean the roads, not the ride.
The rain was gone but there was plenty of fog as I headed northward, further away from town. I felt reasonably safe, knowing that I had a blinky on my seat post, and that my hulking body was wearing a bright red jacket, but in today’s distracted driver society, one never feels too safe. Which then got me thinking, and that is never a good thing…
My 6’1″, 200+ pound self is riding on a two lane road, using a blinky, and wearing a bright red jacket, that should be enough to ensure that no vehicles would run me down, but I am never one to be too confident of the human race. After all, I live in an area where an Amish buggy pulled by a ton worth of horses was run down last month by a truck. I also rued the fact that while I took the time to snap on a blinky to my bike so as to bee seen, nearly all the vehicles that passed me in either direction didn’t even bother to put on their headlights. Humans, they can be so… just so…so.. um… What’s the word I’m looking for? Shit.
Eventually I settled in and let go of those thoughts, which made for a much better ride. Heading west I looked up from under the bill of my cap to see a bald eagle perched atop a leafless branch. I pulled over, and reached for my camera, but the movement startled the bird and off it flew. Sucked to have missed out on a shot, but always great to see such an amazing creature. Luckily I nabbed a shot of the last one I saw back in October.
As my riding westward neared and end the wind started to pick up from next to nothing, to a steady 10 or so MPH (guessing here), and I was glad to be turning south. As I rode I couldn’t believe the amount of earthworms that were littering the pavement. They were everywhere.
I eventually made the left onto Baseline Road and enjoyed a wider shoulder, and a nice tailwind to push me the bulk of the miles home. I am so not a Strava guy, but I upload my stuff there to keep track of my miles and hours, and because of that I remembered that there was a segment approaching. From my past looks, I ranked somewhere in the high 50s out of 67 riders to have done the segment. That seemed pretty pathetic, even for a slacker like me, so as I approached the segment I figured I would take advantage of the tailwind, geared up, and ride as hard as I could for the next two miles. Yeah, big-boned me on a cross bike with 36c tires and a camera bag strapped to my bars trying to make time for Strava. I was both excited and completely ashamed of myself at the same time. Two thing compounded later that day when I had the urge to see how I had done. It seems that I bested my old PR by over a minute, and went up to 22nd place with an average time of 24.2 miles per hour. F*ck yeah fat cyclists on cross bikes riding tail winds!
With that testosterone out of my system, I looked down to see the guts of a dead earthworm clinging to my chainstay. I thought it would make for gross/interesting photo. When I got home a pulled out the camera to take the shot and was horrified to see that the downtube of the Boone was completely covered in 30+ miles worth of worm guts.
It would be nice for the warmer temps to come back so I could ditch the jacket, but until then I will just keep making the best of it: getting some miles in, taking some pics, keeping an eye out for eagles, and hopefully worm guts off my bike. I read on the internet that worm gut juice can eat right through carbon fiber. It’s a fact, it was on the internet.
- I got a sleep so deep that I dreamed of asking Welcome Back Cotter era Gabe Kaplan if I could use the bathroom in his limousine rental business located under a busy accounting firm in a city. To which Mr. Cotter guided myself, and an unknown mulleted friend of mine, to a small, windowless board room with sound proofing carpet on the walls, and a bucket on the table. I proceeded to unsuccessfully try to poop in a bucket, while my friend with the mullet screamed as loud as he could to test out the sound proofing of the room (or to drowned out my attempts at pooping in a bucket). Then I woke up seconds before the alarm went off. Not unsurprisingly, I had to poop. I chose not to use a bucket.