Thursday, June 18, 2009

An ode to Sparta

Monday night

After driving for what seems like an eternity, I decide it’s time to stop, and suddenly I see a sign for Sparta. Sparta, as in Home of the Butterfest? Sweet! Unfortunately, the Best Western I stop at has no rooms, but the nice woman calls the Country Inn down the road and they’ll hold a room for me. Before I leave the Best Western, I ask the woman just to make sure: “Is this the Sparta that’s the Home of the Butterfest?” It is! How exciting! But apparently I just missed it. Damn. Well, at least there’s that Sparta bike trail that I’ve heard so much about from Joe, who’s from Sparta and who’s made us all aware of its charms. I need to do some light riding this week, so tomorrow I’ll check out the bike trail. I decide to watch the forecast on the Weather Channel, to get confirmation of what I’m sure will be the sunny days ahead. What’s this? Tuesday – showers. Wednesday – showers. Thursday – t’storms. Friday – t’storms. Are you fucking kidding me???

Tuesday morning

I get up at 5AM as usual and peek out the window – no rain yet, though the clouds on the horizon look threatening. Better head out now. Somehow, I manage to find the trail – shocking, I know. And proceed to have a nice, tranquil bike ride on a gravel path, which is good since it prevents me from going as fast as I normally would, speed demon that I am. Once in a while it’s good to slow down to a lazy 24 mph or so, see how the little people toodling along on their bikes view the world.

As I’m returning, after seeing not one other person on the bike path, up ahead I see an older man and his dog, right at the point at which I start speeding up in order to end my workout on a high note, as I usually do. I always say, if you don’t end your workout gasping and out of breath, what’s the point? So as I’m getting closer to the Old Man and the Dog, I start yelling: “On your left! COMING THROUGH! Come ON!!!” But to no avail – I approach and they’re still scrambling to get out of the way, so I have to come to a screeching halt, kicking up gravel and getting dust particles on Salome’s frame. Oh, the humanity! Naturally, I start giving this guy a piece of my mind, telling him in no uncertain terms how selfish and inconsiderate he is, because this is obviously a BIKE TRAIL, got it? So people like him have to MOVE FAST to get out of the way of people like me, serious athletes doing a critical workout. I wind up my harangue with the words “….and your little dog too!”, just to make it understood that Harry, as he was calling the dog, wasn’t exempt from my wrath. That’ll teach them. Hmph.

Oh wait, never mind, I was pretending to channel my inner Swimfan. What actually happened was that the guy heard my wheels on the gravel path as I was coming towards them, and tried to move aside, but Harry was having none of it. In fact, he stood there in the middle of the path, paws firmly rooted to the ground, giving me a truculent look that said he wasn’t budging. So I coasted to a gentle stop and chatted with the guy for a while, about how nice the trail is and about yet another successful Butterfest in Sparta and so on. And tried to make friends with Harry by scratching his head, though as I bid farewell and tried to ride off, Harry still wasn’t moving. Oh well. I tried.

Then after calling Joe to tell him about the “situation” we were having in Sparta – i.e. the coffee at the hotel was horrible, so I needed to find a Starbucks stat (Joe basically laughed at that one), I drove on. Idaho or bust! How much fun is this going to be?!

1 comment:

JoJo said...

Sparta is the bicycling capital of America??? Who knew?? Sounds like a nice diversion on the road to awesomeness this weekend. Good luck (not that you need it) and enjoy (at least the less sucky parts), and most of all go kick some IM butt!