Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Ghosts of Cycling Past

  It's 10am, I'm done riding and I am soaking wet. My shoes are full of water. I had no intention of riding today. No intention to the extent that I dumped all of my cycling clothes into the washer and turned the knob. After all, it is supposed to rain today - all day. And, I had forgotten The Rules.

  For whatever reason I woke up earlier than usual today and flicked on the morning news. According to weatherlady it was going to start raining at any moment so I put on a pot of coffee and made breakfast. About an hour later I'm on my second cup of coffee and have yet to see any signs of precipitation. The weather radar showed a perfect little gap in the green directly over my neighborhood. 

"Shit. I could've gone for a quick ride if I had known the rain was going to hold out," I grumbled to myself.
"It's still not raining, and so what if it does? So what if you get wet?" Rule #9 chimed in, "it's 73 degrees, technically it's still summer. You used to ride in the rain all the time."
"Yeah, but my clothes are in the washer and I had bacon and fried eggs for breakfast. Do you know how well bacon and eggs are going to sit after 20+ miles?" I asked.
"Oh my God! HTFU!" Rule #5 interjected, "go get your old shorts out of the closet, yes, the ones with the hole in them and grab that jersey you never wear because you think it makes you look fat and go for an effing ride!"

  Then I remembered running into a former Texas French Bread rider yesterday. I haven't seen the guy in years, but he is still wicked-fast on a mountain bike.
"Wow! You must have put on fifteen pounds or so since I've last seen you," he said, poking me in side. 
"It's more like thirty," I confessed.
"Well, you must be riding fairly often because you're able to keep up with me," he said. 
"Yeah, but not as much as I used to," I replied and began listing all of the excuses: injury, working out of town, record heat wave, etc. And, for every excuse he had a solution: more stretching, weight room at hotel, ride at night.
We rode on for a bit discussing bikes, politics, exercising and chicks with cute butts before he had to peel off and head for home. I put in another fifteen miles before stopping for the day.

  So, I grabbed the thread-bare shorts, pulled on the jersey that gathers too much at the bottom, and ran out the door with my bike. I didn't even bother to turn off the TV or set the alarm. I just went. Of course it started raining almost immediately, but I didn't care. I rode fifteen miles in the pouring rain and loved every minute of it. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Photo Credit: Wendy Harman

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