I would like to say that my riding is improving every day and that every morning I set out on my bike is vastly and decidedly better than yesterday…and I would be totally lying. The last two days have sucked, bad, not regular bad but epically bad, they have sucked so bad that they make the movie Gigli look award winning. Why did they suck so bad you ask? I have no idea. It could have been the rain…which was not the reason because I don’t actually mind riding in the rain. It could have been the continuing mechanical problems I keep have with Mc Stealthy …ok this perhaps had a small part in it. No my faithful followers it was me, for the last two days I have failed in such an awesome way it’s nearly unbelievable.
I go to a Rails to Trails spot about 25 minutes from my house at least once a week, it provides a comfortable escape from the normal early morning rides, traffic, killer raccoons, crackheads, and potholes. Nice and smooth nearly perfectly straight and did I mention the lack of potholes? I show up at the start of the trail and I have chosen the Giant roadbike aka Mc Stealthy for yesterdays ride, having just got it back from the shop after a front derailleur failure. I slap a wee bit of oil on the chain, check this, adjust that, and throw the water bottle in the cage. I zip up the jersey, tighten the shoes, slip on the gloves, and click the thumb wheel on the trusty I-pod to Rancid….off I go. Now when I ride this trail I am racing myself or the clock as it were. This trail is 8 miles there and 8 back and I do it twice for a grand total…of…lets see carry the 1….oh yes 32 miles. Now mile 0-8 has a slight incline, its not horrid or even that hard so I have a pace I maintain for the 8 there. Despite what our parents told us it’s impossible to go “Uphill both ways” so as you guessed its downhill on the way back, the way back is where I really crank it out. So I am on my pace perhaps just slightly faster than the pace I set last week but not much perhaps about 2 miles an hour faster in some parts.
Mile 1…feeling good, mile 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 yup doing fine folks nothing to talk about here. A quick side note: It must have been beautiful people day on the trail because everyone that I saw yesterday was freakishly good looking…and then there was me I think I crashed some kind of party, sorry folks never got the memo. Ok, back to the story. I get into mile 7 and I start to feel bonked, like there is nothing left in the tank. Odd I thought to myself I can do 7 miles at this pace without even really breathing hard every other day. I ignore it and pedal on about mile 7.6 I am in serious trouble I am breathing like a perverted phone prankster, sweating like a whore in the confessional booth and generally in all kinds of pain and misery. Now my internal dialog of calling myself really bad names is starting to get vocal I actually say out loud “Are you kidding me? Seriously, your better than this” Honestly I said much worse things but I will not write them here. I start taking the inventory to see what in the world I did wrong to warrant such a terrible ride. Food intake was normal, sleep was normal, water intake was normal, I JUST DON’T GET IT?!? I try in vain to crank the volume in the headphones with little effect. My legs start to feel absolutely spaghetti like and I am swerving from one side of the trail to the other. I have not had a ride like this since I first got back into riding, only then I was much heavier and I was a chain smoker…and a diabetic. Now I am absolutely furious with myself.
I finally make the end of the trail which is in a little downtown-ish area. I ride circles in the road for a minute and try to collect my thoughts. I unzip the jersey as far as I could, take a drink and decide I am going to fly back to the start even if it kills me. I tear off back down the trail and I start grabbing higher and higher gears until there are no more gears to choose from, I am making good time and clearing miles like I should be and I feel a recognizable vibration coming from the bike. I reach up and jerk the ear phones out only to hear the familiar grind and clanking of the front derailleur hanging up again and rubbing against the chain. I decide to unclip my right foot and angrily kick the damn thing until it either breaks or shuts the hell up. It decides to shut the hell up for a while, probably due in part to my sacrilegious cursing at it and kicking. Earphones go back in and I continue, still feeling like there is nothing in the tank. About a mile away from my car I am absolutely despondent, the trembling has now spread to my arms, I am still swerving a little, and I want nothing more than to lay down on the trail in the fetal position and wait for one of the gorgeous people to proffer me a ride back to my car. I struggle back to my car and nearly crumple next to it after a paltry 16 miles. I am beside myself with disgust and actually threaten to kick my own ass over the ordeal. I am racking my brain trying to figure out what the problem is and cannot for the life of me come up with a reason I am a sweating, cursing, pile of exhaustion. I load all my junk in the car, threaten to dump Mc Stealthy into the river or attack it with a Petrogen cutting torch for being such a pain in my ass. I drive back home mad at the world.
This morning’s ride was more of the same from yesterday’s fiasco. More bonking, trembling, a lot more cursing and even more disgust. Terrible two days for me, and I think I am going to take a day off and see if a little rest might do the trick so I will not be riding tomorrow. As added insult I had to ride El’ Chupacraba on the road this morning because Mc Staelthy failed me AGAIN and the light I complained about the other day continues to be a pile of crap. I think a strongly worded letter to the manufacturer is in order along with a return to the store to find another light.