Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Petal pedaling away.....

First off, yay for the ACA! Yay gay marriage! Yay four out of five SCOTUSes! And I have to say, whatever Justice Scalia is smoking, I’d like some please. Anyone who makes up shit like “jiggery-pokery” and then uses it in a Supreme Court ruling is definitely on the good stuff, ifyouknowwhatImean.


Last Saturday was the classic Heatstroke 100 DeathCycle 2015 Petal Pedal ride, which I felt obligated to sign up for since it started and ended right here in bucolic Silverton, at the Oregon Garden. Anticipating being on top of my game, I naturally signed up for the 100 miles. Which pretty quickly became 50 miles on the day of, as temps were going to be in the 100+ range. Did I really want to recreate the RAGBRAIs of 2011-2012 and all their accompanying hot misery? No. That would be a no.

I set off on Saturday with some trepidation, given that this would be my longest ride this year. (Still in the ramping up phase. The science here is sound.) I almost immediately felt the need to start writing letters in my head to various constituents involved in this ride.

Dear Petal Pedal Organizers:

Thank you for organizing such a lovely ride. A small note, however: a mile-plus climb of 14% is NOT a “gently rolling hill.” Please make a note of it. Thank you!

Best regards,
Miss Tasha

I soldiered on, to encounter more hills but none as steep, at least not yet. But really, why the hell does Oregon have to be so damn hilly? Couldn’t they take a cue from the beautiful flatness of north-central IL?

Soon enough, another letter just randomly came to mind.

Dear Petal Pedal pushers:

I know that numbers aren’t supposed to be exact and all. So when you write that the rest stops are “approximately every 15 miles,” one understands that that could mean anywhere from 13 to, say, 17.5. However, even my not-so-mathy self knows that 20 does NOT equal 15. Nay! It does not! So when we’re slogging along and wondering where the hell gosh darn heck that next rest stop is, it would be great if it were actually closer to the rumored 15. K’thanks.

Miss T.

After a quick stop, I continued on the bucolic country roads, but couldn’t help noticing something that bugs the crap out of my cycling-perfectionist self.
Dear Oregon cyclists:

Why? WHY you all keep your seats so low? Pro tip: if your knees are jutting out to the sides as you ride….your seat is too low. Stop it now. This is what a multi-tool is for, to make these all-important adjustments.

Miss Tasha the Cycling Goddess

I contemplated riding up to these people and asking them “Hey, how ‘bout I work on you with my multi-tool?” – but not only did that sound a bit strange, I also would have never gotten anywhere.

The ride meandered over to Bauman’s Nursery, a place I know well, where we could contemplate the kids’ petting zoo/jungle gym area they have there. Quite frankly, at this point I didn’t want to move. My hotfoot problem was flaring up something fierce, my butt hurt, and a headwind had picked up (of course) as soon as we turned the corner to go to Bauman’s.  This damn ride was miserable. And yes, another letter came to mind.

Dear Miss Tasha:

Why? WHY you keep doing this to yourself? You know, getting into great cycling shape – to scale the Alps! To almost careen off a cliff in Morocco! To rule the roads around Annecy even after renting a bike from the Roll the Chicken bike shoppe! – only to then let it all go to hell? To then have to start from scratch all over again. Why? So fucking stupid. Starting up cycling again after a hiatus is just as bad as it is when doing this with running. Dumbass. Enough with this jiggery-pokery once and for all.

Miss Tasha the Slug

I petal pedaled on, knowing that we’d soon be hitting the Gallon House Bridge, and then the end. We actually rode past my street, and I briefly contemplated pathetically asking Most Excellent Neighbor Laura if she’d just drive me back the last half mile to the Garden. Because I knew what was ahead, namely two big-ass hills. At this point though, I just said fuck it, let’s get this shitshow over with.

We of course all wound up back at the Garden, where a lovely lunch awaited us, with chicken and steak and orzo salad and beer and cake. And a side of bitter regret. So much regret.

I know this comes as a shock, folks, but it doesn’t always pay to emulate yours truly. Still, as they say in vaudeville, the show must go on. Onward.

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