Thursday, March 18, 2010

Muddy Water

Mary, take the child, the river's rising
Muddy water taking back my home
The road is gone, there's just one way to leave here
Turn my back on what I've left below
Shifting land, broken farms around me
Muddy water's changing all I know

- Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

Today was monumental in more ways than one. I rode without arm warmers and even without leg warmers (albeit briefly). That's HUGE for me. I have knobbly old man knees, they turn purple when it drops below 70°. They begin to creak audibly when it gets below 65°. And they become progressively more riddled with veins and then explode like that dude's head in Scanners when it gets below 62°. I also rode without a 16 pound pack. I'm still fat, but I felt like Alberto Contador on the climbs.

Another reason for the monu-mentalness was the fact that I rode with my friend Jane. Jane is a person, who is not me, which means I actually rode with someone else. While I don't mind riding by myself almost all the time, it's nice to ride with other people sometimes. Well, I imagine it would be nice to ride with other people all the time. If only everyone else would adopt my strange schedule that might happen. Or maybe I could adopt their normal schedule. Nah, that's crazy talk. I hate crazy talk. Nothing makes me crazier than crazy talk.

Jane showed me a few new tricks on the roads that are pretty much in my backyard. Trail riding was out today, the waters are still way too high. I saw some incredible floods out in Carlisle, Concord, and Acton. There were ponds, lakes, and rivers where there shouldn't be. Unless you're an evil duck, plotting to take over the world. In that case the the out of place water is right where it should be. If you ask them, the next step is to flood people's living rooms and workplaces. If all goes according to evil plan, evil ducks will be paddling around our couches by July.

If they ally themselves with the Evil Beavers, we're really screwed.

Today was the first time this year that I've ventured out to one of my favorite spots — Nagog Hill. Which means I have not done a three-plus-hour road ride. Lets' just say that I'm taking a relaxed attitude toward training this year. We'll see how that pans out. Mental freshness baby...mental freshness. If I were Joe Friel I might talk about "optimum arousal," but every time I hear that term it causes "optimum skeez-out."

Two things I learned today (hold onto your hats cuz this is real heavy stuff):

1.) Fig Newmans are delicious


2.) Setting your ipod to "Shuffle Songs"can cause mild brain injury

Let me explain. Fig Newmans are delicious, they may be the only reason to ride a bike for such a period of time that the eating of snacks is warranted. I'd never tried them before, I don't know how I missed that day at Bike College.

I've been loading my ipod with very well thought out playlists for the past few weeks for all the commuting. After Jane peeled off, I threw the earphones in and shuffled it up. This went well for a long while, it went well until a violent and disturbing segue occurred at just the wrong moment. I was cranking up to the bottom of a climb, spinning my legs at a cadence that was right in sync with The Butthole Surfers, when, suddenly, the song ended, and I was left with the dull, barely audible drone of an interview with author Tim O'Brien (hey, it's the type of thing I listen to while spinning up the Minuteman Bike path in the morning as I sip my coffee on the way to school). I think I had a small aneurysm as a result.

And I leave you with some photos of our banged up bike path.
There was a little boy splashing around in that "new stream" next to the path yesterday. If I were his age, I would have been doing the same thing. Being a demi-adult and having use of most of a working brain, I just thought to myself: "Eww! Kid go home, take some Penicillin and scrub yourself with hydrogen peroxide and a freakin' Brillo pad — NOW!"


Bullitt said...

...not sure Cave and co. wrote that song. ; )

Big Bikes said...

The original is by "The Seldom Scene," but the Cave version is the one I was hearing in my head.

zencycle said...

The butthole surfers are one of the most underrated bands of all time. the annoying song is my favorite. I hereby forgive you for your bronski beat affinity now.

Never had fig newmans, but fig newtons get a bit pasty after riding in your jersey pocket after two hours on a hot day. A chelada might help washing them down.