Thursday, June 4, 2009

Everything is wonderful now....

I decide to break from my usual tradition and actually be helpful to someone on our Tri Club message board, who was asking whether the Udder Century was a hilly ride. Now, we all know how much I suck at hills, so if I say something’s basically flat, it’s flat. Period. Flatlined. And the routes for the Udder follow all the country roads that I always ride, so this at least I know about.

Imagine my surprise, then, when in response to my uber-helpful, reassuring post, I get the following reply: “I read your blog post about the recent ride from your mother's house. Sounds like such a sunny, positive, life affirming ride. “

My first thought is of course “Wait, what exactly is she reading? Has someone hijacked my blog??” Then it slowly dawned on me that there was some sarcasm at work here, some dissing of the Triathlon Goddess (ahem, me). WTH? I thought it was pretty clear to everyone that my bike rides out in the country with S├álome are one of the top things that make me happy, that if I could become a professional amateur cyclist, just cycling across the country and raising money for, umm, Doberman awareness, I would. Toting little Kona behind me as I toodle along on my bike.

Plus, I recall my last post about riding as being particularly positive. Hmm.

Then I went back and looked at my last Huntley ride post, and sure, it was a bit realistic, in the sense that having to start a ride when it’s 32 degrees outside is ridiculous and painful. What, like I’m supposed to be chipper about THAT part? But it went uphill from there, right? Except for my fingers and thumbs freezing and falling off. And my nose. But otherwise, wasn’t I just Miss Susie Sunshine?? Hmm.

While I’ve long held the belief that writing in a positive, uplifting manner would be boring as shit, I decide that it’s really not fair of me to pooh-pooh that notion until I’ve at least given it a shot. After all, there could be gems of true wisdom to be found in phrases like “It was another great ride today – boy, do I rock! 200 watts, baby!” and so on. Right? I mean really, would it kill me to be a bit more chipper? So, onward.

- -
Friday night

I go out to my mom’s to spend the night so that I can get an early start on Saturday. I have to do a longer ride than Deanna, so I’ll get up early, do an out-and-back, then meet her back at my mom’s for the rest of the ride. I’m sure it’ll be a glorious day.

Saturday morning, 4:45AM

The alarm, already? But hey, the sun is coming up, the birds are chirping, it’s a gorgeous start to the day already!

Well, no, scratch that, not quite. It’s actually still dark out....and cold. But the sun is supposed to come out, and the forecasters are never wrong, so I’m confident it’ll be a warm, sunny, perfect day.


Still cloudy and cold.......but really, sun is overrated. Have had my delicious oatmeal and robust coffee, so off I go!


Hey look, chicken statues! No, wait, they’re actual chickens! Black chickens! How neato is that? Boy, do they look cool. I don’t have pictures of them, but here’s one I found on Enjoy!

Errr, let’s see, think positive.......hey, at least it’s not raining!

Great, it’s raining. Cold fat raindrops. Or, umm, as I like to put it......god’s healing tears cleansing the earth and washing away the sins and transgressions of his chosen people. Yeah, that’s it.

(Though given that we’ve had a veritable deluge of rain this spring and the farmers haven’t been able to get all their crops in, do ya think you might be able to shut the waterworks off for a while there Big Guy? I’m just sayin’.) (Hallelujah!)

A huge jet-black Great Dane comes bounding towards me, looking for all the world like Cerberus unleashed from the gates of Hell. Or.....a pony. Yes, just like a pony. Good doggy...

My feet are numb, as usual. Ugh. Soon they’ll hurt like hell, I’m sure. But that’s okay! Because as we all know, pain is just weakness leaving the body. Hup hup!

There’s a cyclist going in the other direction, so as usual I give him a friendly wave. He just looks at me and keeps going. Normally this would piss me off – I mean really, how rude! – but now, I just think, he must be retarded. Because he’s riding along on his road bike, sans helmet....and said helmet is in his hand. I guess he didn’t want to mess up his shellacked blond coif. But we shouldn’t make fun of the mentally unable among us, blessed they be.

I circle back, pick up Deanna, and we set off again. We decide that instead of riding together, we’ll select meeting points up ahead, so that we can each go at our own pace. Pretty soon, Deanna is totally kicking my ass, a mere speck on the horizon. In the next county, in fact. (Okay, so this is because we’re riding on County Line Road, and she turns left before me and thus into the next county, but still.) And I did ride that extra 30 miles before she was even up, but who’s counting? But this is all okay by me, yes, sirree! After all, what are friends for if not to encourage each other in all things? Go Deanna!

Ah, the wind, how I love the wind, constantly blowing on the prairie, bringing to mind the days of yore with those intrepid pioneers and their daily burdens! Burdens that none of US have, for which we can be ever thankful. The wind is just Mother Nature whispering in my ear – at 30mph no less – to remind me of her presence. As if I could forget. A test of fortitude, a building of character is that continual, never-ending, omnipresent headwind. Hallelujah!

We get to the road we’re supposed to turn on,’s a gravel road. What the hell? It’s bad enough you people can’t be bothered with road signs, but to not even slap down some concre........I mean.........I meant to say that I think of gravel roads as an opportunity, to seek out adventures on roads not traveled, to partake in the joie de vivre that comes from.....oh, fuck it. You know what? There’s a reason there are some roads not traveled – that’s because they’re GRAVEL, and they suck. You know what else? If you’re looking for sunshiny and chipper, go to, not here, not with your sarcastic comments. Because that shit IS boring. And I for one would rather not ride in the cold and rain and on gravel, m’kay? And do you think it might EVER be possible for me to go riding out here once and not have the gale force winds slowing me down to 13 mph? That headwind the whole way back was real pleasant, let me tell you. I mean, I know this is good practice should a hurricane suddenly blow into Coeur D’Alene, but seriously.

And one other thing – cursed iPod, ENOUGH with the fucking Dancing Queen already! Yes, it just won’t disappear. I had double-checked my iPod library, synced (again), and that should have done the trick, but nooooo, of course not. And don’t anyone give me this crap about Shuffle being random. If that’s the case, why does it keep playing the same damn songs, namely every song I have on there from the 70s or 80s, yet not ONCE has it played any Soundgarden, for example? Could someone please explain that to me? Oh, and as for Dancing Queen - today, when it came on AGAIN, I yelled “Come ON!!!!”, stopped my bike in its tracks, and soon found that while the song doesn’t show up when I look under “artists” – if I look under “songs” – there it is. Not once, but TWICE!! So it’s true, my iPod IS evil – it’s spawning hated songs! I believe an exorcism is in store.

Whew. Okay then. Heh heh, that seemed to work out well, didn’t it? However, lest anyone be under the mistaken impression that I didn’t enjoy my ride, I also got to marvel at a border collie that was practicing herding sheep, admire some gorgeous bearded irises growing on one of those country roads, exchange greetings with the farmers out trying to get their crops planted, sing along cheerfully with every song on my iPod that was NOT ABBA-related, and finally, finish up my 105-mile ride with enough energy to then take Kona for a run. Right before sitting down with my mom and Deanna for a late lunch of steak hot off the grill. In my book at least, I’d say that’s a pretty damn fine version of life-affirming.


JoJo said...

Thank god the real Tasha is back. That chipper crap wasn't nearly as enjoyable as your usual keen insight into life and such. Oh, and I did CDA last year, and you're going to do great. Wind really isn't an issue except for a few miles towards the end of each loop, and you rode much harder climbs in Mallorca. So go kick some ass...and send us your # so we can track you.

D said...

Who's the ass clown that doesn't like the "real" Tasha? I almost didn't even finish reading your post cuz I was so bloody bored.

Roadie in Vancouver said...

You know Waterloo by ABBA is a really great cycling song, especially when you want to motor up a hill.

Love this latest post.

David said...

Good luck at CDA! Seems all my long rides this year have been brutal with mother nature just beating the crap out of us. This post was funny shit.

Roadie in Vancouver said...

Megan said...

I'm the "ass clown." And the "life affirming" comment was dripping with sarcasm and affection. I think (hope) Tasha is sufficiently aware that I'm addicted to her blog and tongue-in-cheek writing style.

Had a great time at Udder, and, as promised, it was F L A T!