So last week I went back to Burns, aka my current most favorite place on earth OKAY FINE IT’S ANOTHER MECCA OKAY??? Geez.
Anyway. I realized that I had made some serious tactical errors on my previous trip. Namely, I did not come home with a hot cowboy in tow. What the hell, right? My mistake was in not doing the whole “damsel in distress” thing – which, by the way, I discovered on RAGBRAI that guys like a LOT. Like, a lot. To wit: there I was on day whatever in Iowa, puttering up a hill that happened to be alongside yet another craft beer stop. I slowed, then kept going up the hill, when (of course) my chain got stuck and my bike came to a complete standstill. In front of many people. Whereupon my bike (and I) proceeded to thunk right over to the ground, because that’s what happens when your bike stops and you’re clipped in and can’t put a foot down. Thud.
This would have been embarrassing and disastrous, BUT. Suddenly I was surrounded by hot cycling guys. Like, truly hot, all asking if I was okay, helping me up, etc. Then discussing with me the Most Important Question: WAS THE BIKE OKAY? It was. One guy wanted to help me get the chain back on, but fool that I am, I told him I could do it myself. Damn. I really need to work on the whole helpless thing. THEN, the high point to this whole thing: let’s recall that I fell over on a hill. And we all know it’s hard to get going back uphill while trying to clip in, especially when there isn’t enough space to do a Shriner’s Circle. So what happened? Hot Guy #5 decided to give me a push up the hill, put his hand on my lower back, kept it there way longer than technically necessary, and helped me up the damn hill.
I learned something important that day.
Well no, apparently I didn’t, because I neglected to put this important lesson into action during my first trip to Burns, dammit. Nope, I just soldiered along in the 100+ degree heat, waving on the pickups that slowed down to see what this damn fool idiot (me) was doing riding in the middle of the desert with actual towns many many miles away. Most Excellent Friend Jules suggested that I could have dropped from heat exhaustion, and then would have been rescued by hot emergency guys – except I threw a monkey wrench into that plan when I pointed out that there was no cell phone reception where I was biking. And very few vehicles going by.
Jules: Damn them and their remoteness! No cars, no phone service, how are you supposed to fake a crash???
Another thing I learned during my last trip to Burns: there are some really angry cows out here. There I was, biking along, when I came across Rage Cow, glaring at me from behind his fence. I get closer and closer and he’s still glaring. I stop, he continues to glare. Me, him, me, him. If looks could kill, as they say.
I then notice that he’s somehow telepathically gotten his homies to join him in staring at me balefully. All I can think is, thank god there’s a fence between me and the Rage Cow Posse, because otherwise that would be one hell of a sprint for me. See, you dumbass Bundy potatriots, this is why we need fences: because cattle are raging psychopaths who would just as soon shiv us as look at us.
This continues to be a theme, me and the Rage Cows, though on occasion I come across a younger cow who is scared shitless of me, and as I bike closer, will kick up his heels and bellow and run off.
Last time I also made it to the Malheur refuge, after biking into the middle of nowhere in ridiculously high temperatures with no water in sight. #becauseofcourse. And naturally, after biking my little heart out in this dusty oasis, I discover that the refuge is at the TOP OF A STEEP HILL. What the hell? I ask myself, how did the FBI manage this kind of exertion on a daily basis, where they......…oh, forget it. Let’s just acknowledge right now that the FBI motto is probably not anything like mine, aka Doing the Stupid Things, so You Don’t Have To.
Point being, I decided to head back to Burns because bike riding, and coincidentally my role at Big Corporation just ended so I’m untethered at the moment. As an aside, I find it rather ironic that a company that puts a stake in the ground regarding its commitment to the “liquid workforce” will then enforce a rule that everyone needs to live 60 miles from the closest office – even though no one ever goes into an actual office. Way to preach. And so it is that they hire a perm person to replace me, as a contractor, even though I ran their most successful social media campaigns ever, bar none. Hmm. I actually would have recommended they keep me on as a proofreader or editor, so that they don’t make the mistake again of putting together a video for a new launch – and spelling the name of Super Important Senior Guy wrong. Uhh, yeah, if I hadn’t caught that, let’s just say it would not have been pretty.
But I digress. Burns, aka Mecca, it is. Onward.