not to different from last night's post work ride
today I was scheduled to work the late shift
my coworker needed to leave early
so to balance the scales we agreed that I could come in a few minutes late
a few minutes late for the late shift would grant me enough time for a solid prework ride
a ride that would take place after a morning with Dean and Grant which included dropping Dean off at school
lisa had walked the dogs
I had taken Dean to school... I passed Grant off to lisa as he had come with me for drop off
we blew each other kisses and I blew out the back door
well... after I got suited up for another wintery day
layers upon layer of expensive gear all made from old two liter bottle of Coca Cola
with a helmet on my head, a backpack on my back, and bicycle under my bum I headed down my alley away from the street
the alley behind my house dead ends into a very eroded plot of park land that has a very well worn path... it is too short to ride, but it gets me to street in front of my house faster than the street route
not to mention it aids in setting the tone of DIRT better than pointing out the same direction I point out every morning
there was all the time in the world for any and everything that I wished to accomplish in roughly 2 hours time....
for these two hours my intention was to spin up roads and down dirt
well.. the dirt tends to be more roller coaster than a downhill grade, but the path I had intended to take would allow me to ride up paved roads rather than hiking along side my bike on terrain that is either too steep or too moist for my current pre-season conditioning
it did not take too many cars passing me too fast and too close for me to feel guiltless about ignoring that little brown sign with the little white bike all covered up by and ugly red anti symbol
each car adding fuel to the fire
rationalizations pumping through my already corrupt mind
just as the sign says "no bikes" the signs on the road read 25MPH
just as the sign says "no bikes" the double yellow line clearly states no passing
just as we know the law is no bikes, we know the law is no cellular phones while driving unless it is a hands free apparatus
just as we know the law is no bikes, we all know that a dog must be on a 6 foot lead
I know the law
we all know the law
things have become anarchy
if the law will not protect and serve me...
if the law leaves me to grit my teeth and fight for my 3 feet of road when I pay taxes like everyone else
if I am forced to take this.... then I might as well take that
when stepping away from the very weak attempts for justification I fall back on a simple thought that makes a little more sense
it is said that I could lose my bike for riding on the trails marked "no bikes"
well... that would suck
but not as bad as losing my life to a speeding SUV that failed to realize that I have just as much right to the road as they do
so opt to take my chances with the random chance of meeting up with officer friendly rather than taking my chances with some soccer mom speeding to make her nail appointment at the mall
so as the last car brushes past my left side just oh so close I move closer to the right and hop the half curb onto the grass, over onto the trail, and into the woods
this section of trail runs along side the road
as I ride fast and hard on the less than technical trail I am at ease that the obstacles before me are not driven by some executive checking his day planner on his Blackberry
this stretch of trail brings me to a short single track loop
I enter the single track and quickly reminded that this is winter time and I am not in race shape
my legs and lungs are failing me as much as my technical
small obstcales and even smaller drop offs are causing hesitation and reluctance
rolling in rather than dropping off nearly sends me over the falls.... with my 26 inch wheel and a shock that is far too squishy for my 235pound body
the short climbs that were sprints become slow grinds and even slower walks
this is just the humbling that I need to make me realize that race conditioning does not come with the change of season
such things come with work; work being something that I tend to try to avoid
a few loops here bring me to a point where I can see my effect on the now thawed mud sections of trail
I pause and wait as a runner comes by with his leashless dog
I give a smile and a good morning and get a lecture and a tongue lashing
both from the runner as the dog knows he is in the wrong and keeps his mouth shut
to the "no bikes on the trail" I respond, "dogs must be on a leash"
"no bikes on the trail"
"dogs need to be on the leash"
knowing we will go no where with this arguement
yet it may have gone that way a few more times
this guy yells something about who knows what when I then reach into my bag of smart ass responses and quote scripture..."let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
for this the older maybe mid 50s gentlemen considers coming back...
but stalls and says "so... you are a good christian... bet you voted for Bush"
to this I say "No and NO! can't you tell that I am mocking you?"
we go our separate ways....
over a beer I think I could be this guy's friend
I like his spirit and his self centeredness
he reminds me of myself
he goes his way
I go mine
I get back onto the road to climb up and hit another loop
that loop is done twice encountering another leashless dog whose walker has no response for my pleasant good morning
eventually I am at work
refreshed and revived
feeling like a million bucks, tax free!
coffee or no other drug can give a person this feeling
this feeling is earned
all that other stuff is just a cheap immitation
the ride was great
just what I needed to show me that I need to not only get my ass in shape
also I need to learn to keep my mouth shut and "turn the other cheek"