Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The unbearable lightness of biking


We could also call this Tasha’s Big Day – for today, yes today, is the first time I’m going to be riding my bike outside this season. Since last September, actually. And okay, I haven’t ridden it inside on the trainer either, given that I’d rather watch paint dry on grass as it grows, given how insanely boring that is. But still, I’m thinking that I could crank out a brisk 50 miles or so, thanks to my supreme muscle memory and inherent fitness and all that. Right?

Of course, by the time I get out to my mom’s in Huntley, the storm clouds have moved in, the sky is black, and thunder and lightning abounds. Shit. I thus do the only thing possible under such circumstances: I go to the nursery, where I join the few other people darting in and out of the rain to get plants that are outside.

Woman, to me: We must be crazy!
Me: True, but at least the rain got rid of the riff-raff!

She suddenly decides to go inside to look at annuals, all the way on the other side of the nursery. People are so odd.

Anyway, I head back to Sun City and my mom’s, and the rain seems to have abated, at least for now. Off I go! A quick 50 miles, no problem!

Except a couple of miles in, I’m already tired. Which I ignore, because it always takes me a while to get warmed up. Still, maybe I’ll do 40 miles. I keep toodling along on my beloved country roads, with few cars, smooth roads, wind at my…..well, okay, it’s a headwind, but you can’t have everything.

Regardless, I’m insanely slow, quickly tired, only manage about 25 miles, at a snail-like pace of about 15 mph.

It was about as pure a happiness as one can find.

* * * * * *
I’m returning to my mom’s, when I wind up making the most supreme sacrifice that a cyclist can make. I stop. Going up a steep hill. Yes, it’s true. And a word to the wise, or to my alert reader(s): when picking up a box turtle so that it doesn’t get squished in the road by the careening ’82 Buicks of the elderly residents of Sun City, make sure you hold said turtle AWAY from your body, because it’ll suddenly start peeing like a geyser. What the heck, are turtles 90% water or something? Luckily I avoid any trace of turtle pee, but consider yourselves duly warned.

I’m glad that I don’t have any actual bike problems, because the denizens of SC continue their careening past me, even as I’m stopped with my bike on the grass.

Mabel: Dear, what do you think that girl is doing by the side of the road? Should we call the police?
Fred: Mabel, keep your eyes ahead, don’t look in her direction. It’s none of our business what shenanigans those young kids are up to these days. Besides, you never know when someone might have a gun.
Mabel: But she has a bike and….
Fred: It’s probably a trick! To get us to pull over so some ruffians can run out of the woods and take my collection of Kennedy half-dollars. Lock the doors!
Mabel: Oh my goodness, you could be right! Keep driving!

After setting Mr. Turtle back away from the road, I get back on my bike, do a little Shriner circle to get going, and set off, homeward, good deed done for the day.

* * * * * * * *

“So, Kona and I are moving in for the month of July.”

For some reason, this pronouncement of mine sets my mom to laughing. Loudly.

“You have a router, so I could use my computer,” I mutter, thinking to myself, “and I’m sure there are dog parks around here somewher……hey, what’s so funny?” My mom is still laughing.

“What? You’re moving in? What?” Mom seems puzzled.

“The Kone and I, we’re moving in. You don’t mind, do you?” I add.

“You’re serious?”

“Well,” I note, “the only way I’ll avoid dying in the Alps on my trip with Stacey is if I spend the whole month of July riding insanely long hours and miles every day. And I can’t do that in the city.”

“But, you…..but….Kona…..”

“It’ll be great!” I wax enthusiastic. “Kona and I can go running around the lake, and I can hang out by the pool, all in the fine tradition of kids moving in with their parents or grandparents at their retirement communities. Is there a karaoke night here too?”

“I don’t know about that, but there IS a weight room that you’d be able to use,” my mom muses, slowly warming up to the idea. Or at least recognizing the inevitability of it.

“See, that would be perfect!” I crow.

“And I’m hosting Bunco in July….”

“See, I could be an extra for Bunco! Though I guess I’d have to learn how to play, huh?” I muse.

I trot off to take a shower, babbling about the sugar daddy that I envision myself finding when I hang out at the Lodge every day, and when I’m done, I see that my mom has taken out a bottle of wine. After I open it for her – one of my many skills and talents – my mom hoists glasses in solidarity with her neighbors whose backyard juts up against hers, apparently having told them about the world-famous blogger that'll be in their midst come July.

“To July!” proclaims my mom.

“To July!” returns her neighbor Nancy.

I’m glad she’s taking this so well. Though I wonder if the wine has anything to do with that….


the infertile breeder said...

You might want to think twice about picking up a sugar daddy out there. Men are in short supply in retirement communities and those old broads will seriously cut you if you get in their way. And noone will fall for that sad Cancer Face, since many of them have it too. Otherwise.. sounds like a great plan!

Colleen said...

Tell me you're not actually going to do the Alps ride. Are you insane? (wait, don't answer that!) Have we learned nothing about ramping up?

stacey said...

colleen, we have 10 weeks so technically feasible if either of us can find routes with 10,000 feet of climbing over 30 miles.

JoJo said...

That sounds like the perfect plan to me! That is, moving in with your mom, not my mom. Mine would be telling me that so much exercise just isn't healthy...look at Jim Fix...blah, blah, blah. I haven't even told her about IM Lake Placid yet!! So after July with your mom, the Alps will be easy-peasy!

RP said...

gawd, you made me log in just to respond to this.....

What happened to the buttloads of Spinnervals I sent your way GF? I'm just saying....

You're willing to live with mom for a month...hahahaha! That's rich. Ok, hahahahaha!!

dan brown said...

good one tasha.

but do you really think you can stand being away fro your awesome
neighbors ? they will surely miss
you !