Stories To Tell

I didn’t plan to ride on Wednesday, but Thursday’s weather looked to be (and is) about as inviting as a rain-soaked, paper bag full of dog excrement, and I wanted some miles in, so I did a short ride. To my surprise, the world unfortunately plodded on, the house didn’t collapse, and no kittens died due to my 1.5 hours on the bike doing a Better Than The Trainer Ride™.

However rural Michigan did continue to provide entertainment for me, as well as make me sigh, shake my head and wonder about the state of our society, all while burning a few calories and getting some miles in. Beats watching The View in my underwear while eating raw cookie dough.

All but 5 miles of this B.T.T.R.™ would be on pavement, 3 of which would be on the dirty, flat as a pancake section of Beal City Road. This road it pretty unremarkable save for the a few barns, a few cows, the occasional sightings of a dwarf dairy farmer (although I haven’t seen him in ages, I hope he’s well), and a long hair Jesus looking man, riding a jank BMX bike while collecting cans and bottles for deposit. Oh, and there’s trash. For some reason, many Michiganders feel that the low-lying swamps are their personal garbage dumps. Unsightly and sad, but providing imaginative narratives for me during a quick, boring ride.

First, I rode upon a mattress that was inconspicuously dumped at the edge of the swamp. It looked to be the sort of mattress that would be found in the corner of a rural crack house, or the type that is under the sheets of an interstate exit motel where Craigslist casted amateur porn is filmed. I could smell the STDs from 20 yards away! Thank God for a 200mm lens.

With that bit of rural blight out of the way I rode on, and about a half mile down the road found an unopened condom pack. Hmm… I just might be right about that swamp side sex mattress. Photo taken because, me.

Then I barely turned the crank three times before I saw a pregnancy test strip on the road. OHHHHH SNAP!! Should have used that condom!! Tough way to find out you are/aren’t preggers with the love child of an “actor” that wore dirty tube socks during VHS camera filmed unprotected intercourse in a pay by the hour motel off of I-75. I had the sad image of a young woman off to the side of Beal City Road, on a cold spring night, peeing on a stick, while bathed in the yellow glow emanating from the headlights of  her ‘91 Chevy Cavalier.

All that was a little too much to process, and I took up too much time taking photos of garbage, so when I hit the pavement I had to giddy up to make this planned short ride as short as it needed to be.

Unsolicited, soapbox rant ahead, sorry.

The last bit that rural Michigan gave me was, in my opinion, not quite as entertaining to think about; while I was heading down Littlefield Road (ironically surrounded by very large fields) a spanky looking pickup truck passed me with two giant flags blowing straight out in the wind. The flag on the right was an American flag. OK, dude digs America, I dig it too, I just don’t want to drive around with a 6′ x 10′ flag attached to my car. The second flag, as you could probably guess, was a Confederate flag. Seriously?

First of all, we’re NOT in the south. Hell, we’re not even in southern Michigan! I mean were like 500 miles from the Mason Dixon Line, why the hell are you flying a Confederate flag?? Could it be you think that flying a Confederate flag makes you look a real “rebel?” Are you making a bullshit “you can’t tell me to be PC, I’m a repressed white man!” statement? Or is it that you find that the flag is an effective, yet simple, colorful way of showing folks that you’re a racist, without actually saying “Just so you know, I’m a racist.”?

As he, I assume he, passed I instinctively found myself giving the universal, hand(s) out, “what the f*ck?” gesture complete with disappointed in society head shake. Sort of miss the good ol’ pre-Trump America when folks were at least a little less proud of their hatred to others. Oh well, he has his right to fly that flag, and I have my right to not like him flying it. I just hope he’s not involved with the unused condom and pregnancy test seen above.

Unsolicited, soapbox rant ended.

Once I hit Baseline Road it was all business. I needed to stop taking photos, stop mentally ranting, and get moving. Motivated by my need to get home and get some work done, I found myself in quite a good rhythm, and pushing speeds that are hard to do on a cross bike. I even bested a recently set PR on a Baseline Road Strava segment, moving up from 22nd to 17th out of 67 displayed rider times (not that I care about Strava, and all that stuff, I mean I never even check that stuff, not my thing, I could care less, Strava’s for losers, and skinny, bike riding dick swingers).

Still fat, but getting faster.


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