Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sick on a bike

Riding a bike recovering from a head cold is not a good idea. Riding a bike like a lunatic with a head cold trying to make the train ride to work and facing the real possibility of missing the train to work… is not a good idea either.

Last night I laid out my work gear and bike gear with the simple plan to wake up, get dressed and move out for the train. But like all simple plans this one was blown out of the water right from the get go. Just as I was ready to mount up the phone rang. I spent way too much time talking to my mother about my brothers not attending church any more, about my father’s increasing forgetfulness, and about her efforts to bring the family together again. At that very moment I looked up at the clock and bam! I was officially late for the train. “Sorry Mom, I have to, must, absolutely got to go!”

Usually, my bike route to work takes 25 minutes. This morning I took the same exact route and made it to the train station just as the train was pulling in – in 14 and a half minutes, and this was with two stop lights! Where did the 11 minute go? Poof! 11 minutes gone in dazed and frantic pedaling, in the grit determination to not miss the train, and in the near barf-o-rama-black-out when I arrived at the train wheezing and panting like a rabid fox! Sweat trickling down my forehead like a condemned man facing a firing squad. But I made the train and that is all that mattered. Sweet Jesus, thank you for helping me get to the train on time. All the way down I muttered in between heaves of air, “God, please help me make the train. God, please help me make the train.”

The next half-hour on the train was spent focusing on my breathing and trying to block out the dizziness and the urge to yak all over the place. Finally, systems restored, I opened my eyes and gazed upon a sweet red and white Lemond Zurich road bike. Like a complete zombie I stared at the bike for at least 20 minutes while the bike’s owner sat straight across from me. Every inch of that bike was awesome from the Rolf Vector Comp rims to the Ultrega everything. As I looked the bike up and down, side to side, I could see myself 100 pounds lighter, attacking the twisty back road leading up to the Sandia Crest (11,000 + feet, baby). I could also see myself on the descent, the world blowing past in a blur. I had that thousand yard stare, hardcore, when I looked up and he saw me checking out his bike. I’m sure he thought I was a weirdo. In truth, I’m sick... with a head cold.

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