A Lesson In Stupidity


I had an excellent ride on Friday and felt good almost the entire 49.3 miles. The only downfall of the ride was popping a spoke and NOT breaking the elusive 50 mile mark. A mark that one time was no big deal to me, but as I become older and fatter has become the benchmark for a “long ride.”

In hindsight, Saturday was pretty good too. But before I get to Saturday’s ride I need to go further into Friday’s post ride, which laid the groundwork for how amazingly bad Saturday would eventually be.

My post ride Friday sort of looked like this…

  • Get a quick shower.
  • Grab the rear wheel off the Boone and throw it in the xB.
  • Head out the door to Alma and Terry’s Cycle.
  • Realize I didn’t eat lunch, run back in the house and eat a large spoonful of peanut butter.
  • Drive 15 minutes to Alma.
  • Bribe Napper to fix my wheel with my witty charm beer.
  • Hang out at the shop for few minutes talking to some local characters.
  • Field calls from B-Man’s friend’s mom asking if he wanted to/can come over after school.
  • Drive 15 minutes home to Mount Pleasant.
  • Stop for some much-needed groceries (and beer).
  • Put groceries away, clean up the house and the kitchen, do the dishes, etc., etc.,
  • Do some blogging and drink some beers.
  • Keep drinking beers while hanging out with Wifey watching TV.
  • Realize that it’s 8 PM and all I’ve eaten since 7:00 AM is spoonful of peanut butter and beer(s).
  • Make dinner– a tasty, but not so recovery friendly, dish of homemade beef nachos.
  • Eat like I’ve never seen food before.
  • Go to bed.

I’m not going to lie, that’s a pretty damn good Friday and it really made up for the prior parts of the week sucking the 3rd nipple of a hairy man boob. What it WASN’T was adequate recovery and fueling for a planned 50+ mile ride on Saturday.


The plan for Saturday was to do the same ride as Friday, hopefully without popping any spokes or having to take any paved road bailouts that would see me falling short of a 50 mile ride yet again. So, after watching some lackluster football, drinking large amounts of French press coffee and some PB&J toast I headed out for my ride.


Despite the blue sky and sun, the temps were still only in the high 40s at ride time and there was of course some wind. Not much though, the Weather Channel said like 10-ish MPH from the North/East here in Mount Pleasant. I can do that, no problem. Of course 10 MPH in town, is NOT 10 MPH out in open farmlands, something that I would soon realize again.

Off I went, feeling great as I headed south of town on pavement and west onto dirt. I even felt good as I headed north onto a series of steep-ish hills and rollers and I was enjoying the ride just as much as Friday.


Then with about 25 miles to go I started my way east. “Wow, this wind is pretty fucking strong, I can’t hear a thing and I’m REALLY putting out some fat boy power!” I thought to myself. Thankfully that didn’t last too long before I found myself heading south again on some hilly paved roads (some of my favorite paved roads in Michiganderburgh). Still, in the back of my mind were those easterly winds.


After that five-ish mile stint of hilly pavement I stopped at my next left and prepared to head east into the wind again. I consolidated my water and sports drink, gave my weakening legs a pep talk, regretted not bringing any food with me and prepared for the ten or more miles of dirt roads into the wind that laid before me. I was NOT looking forward to it, but there was really no choice.

Around this time my cameras were put away for good. My only concern now was getting the easterly part of this ride over with and getting myself back onto pavement, in to town and food. The bonk was coming…. the bonk was coming FAST!

Not more than two miles later the bonk had arrived and I was in a bad, bad, BAD place. All I could think about was that measly bit of peanut butter I shoved in my mouth after yesterday’s ride, the beers and the crap (tasty) dinner I made late Friday night. I am SUCH an IDIOT!!!

I found myself playing all sorts of mental games with myself as I headed into the relentless wind that was in NO way 10 miles per hour. I counted to a hundred time and time again, I thought of all boobies and butts that I adore, I stared at my front wheel and basically did everything in my power to avert my eyes from my Garmin which indicated that I was going a mere 11 miles per hour.

I was starving, I was pissed, I wanted to get home and I was hating everything, especially myself! This was ALL my fault, I didn’t eat right, I didn’t hydrate right, I didn’t take any food with me, I fucked up, and as if you didn’t know, I am a complete fucking moron.

More than a few times I took out my phone and thought about calling Wifey for a pickup. “NO!! I won’t do it!!” I thought. “I’ve done multiple 100 mile mountain bike races, solo 24 hour races and epic rides in Michigan, the mountains of Pennsylvania and Colorado. I will NOT call to get picked up from a stupid 50 mile dirt road ride in the middle of Michigan!!!”

So I continued on into the deafening winds, one intersection to the next until I FINALLY made it to the pavement that would lead me north and to home.

I rode those last miles barely turning the pedals over with my mind focused on water, food and sleep as cars whizzed by me like I was standing still. Hell, for all I know I was standing still. I haven’t bonked like this since my old endurance racing days, where it seemed to happen every race (because I suck).

Finally, I rode into my driveway with 51.7 miles in the book. 50+ miles finally completed and it took me for fucking-ever. I shut off my Garmin, limped into the house, dry heaved a few times and laid my head on the table mumbling things about how stupid I am.

I finally got my 50 miles, but my stupidity really got in the way of enjoying that fact. Through the magic of full sugar Pepsi, some microwaved frozen meatballs I had on hand, 100+ ounces of water, some love from Jake (the dog) and half sad nap while watching DVRed football, I recovered.

My recovery was furthered later in the evening when some friends asked us over for steaks on the grill and beers. I would by lying if I didn’t admit to also making up some pasta at 11 PM last night, because even though I ate a steak as big as my ass, I was STILL starving.

As with almost everything I write, this was not a tale of bravado and “look at me I rode 50 miles of lumpy Michigan dirt roads.” Seriously, fifty miles is fucking NOTHING!! This was just another tale of a man who gets a great deal of joy from riding his bike. It was also a tale an idiot who continues to not ride his bike very well. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t do what I do, be like someone else.

It took a very large steak, several beers, a gin and tonic (or three), some pasta and some late night crime fighting with Wifey to make me realize that the ride was awesome. I was not awesome, but the ride was.

Like I said, don’t do what I do–except for the ride your bike part–that part I would recommend anyone.


P.S. What makes me feel even lamer is seeing what the 2015 Trans Iowa racers went through this weekend. I hang my head in shame with myself and raise a pint in their direction.


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