Sunday, June 8, 2008

We laughed, we cried, we fell of our bikes like jackasses

Well, we survived our sojourn to north central Indiana. Let me just say, I would have enjoyed my lap dance a lot more if it wasn’t Chas’s uncle who was doing the dancing. At least he didn’t try to slip me the tongue. Oh well, his youngest daughter had just gotten married, at least he had an excuse, me I just drank myself stupid for no apparent reason. As predicted I got to ride, I ate too much, and I drank (way) to much. I'm pretty sure my liver gained a pound or two.

The adventure started early. We hit some pretty heavy rain around La Port. Chas was driving, because I’m lazy and I hate driving, especially that stretch between Chicago and South Bend. I think it has been under construction for like 15 years now. So anyway, the rain got bad, and then the wind picked up, and Chas switched over the CD we had been listening to and tuned in a local radio station, just in time to hear the tornado warning being broadcast, describing a tornado moving through the very are we were driving through. I turned the page of my magazine. Chas white knuckled the steering wheel, and then aged about 7 years. We eventually punched through the storm with out seeing any cool flying cows or anything. We spent the rest of the drive skirting the edge of a pretty hefty storm system. Once we got into town we stopped at the local Walmart to pick up a few last minute things, then headed over to her uncles pad in Lagrange. About 20 minutes after we left Walmart they had a “Code Black.” A funnel cloud was spotted and they had to lock everybody in the store till things cleared up a little.

So we get the car unloaded and I can’t see any lightening and can barely hear any thunder, so I hop on my bike and head south into a 30 mph headwind. The first thing I notice, Lagrange has hills! I mean I’m sure they’re nothing compared to the mountains some of you all get to play on, but where I normally ride, the biggest hill is the Peace Road overpass that lifts you over the local train tracks. I wasn’t 2 miles form basecamp, and I was in my granny gear! It was kind of brutal at first, heading uphill, in a pretty strong head wind, but after I got warmed up and got the new shifting pattern down I started enjoying the ride a little more and soaking up the local scenery. There were all kinds of old mills and farm buildings and ancient looking brick school houses and stuff. Oh, and Amish farms. I came across a couple of Amish buggies waiting for me at intersections. I always heard that the Amish could be a little standoffish to us “English” but I got more waves and smiles from them than I did from the numerous mulleted pick’em’up truck locals I came across. About 13 miles out I hit some hodunk town called Rome City. They had built a huge reservoir in the 1800’s and I rode up to the damn and stopped to catch my breath and take a look around. From the top of the hill I could see the storm front to the south, even uglier than the one we drove through on our way out here, and decided I best turn around.

With the storm booming behind me, and giving a pretty good push, and a predominantly down hill ride back to LaGrange, I had a blast. I raced a couple of Amish buggies. The hills don’t slow them down as much as you might think. About halfway back the storm caught me, and things got a little squirrelly. It got so dark I was worried about being seen buy car traffic, and the closer the storm got, the stronger the winds got, and its direction began to shift unpredictably. One gust caught me off guard, from the side, and literally shoved me off the road. I was lucky it wasn’t from the other direction or I would have been blown to the center of the road.
As I got into town the storm let up a little, and the wind started blowing steady from the south again. I timed it right and hit every light going through town, heading north downhill. Shooting north out of town, the sun came out, but the rain held up, I was rounding a curve, passing cars at 35 mph and shaking the rain from my eyes. It was beautiful.

By the time I got to my turn off the highway, my legs were blown, and I mean BLOWN. It was awesome, I was wobbly and shaky, I could barely turn my cranks. Less than half a mile from where we were staying I had to make a sharp turn. With the wind and shaky legs, I wobbled and didn’t cut it off sharp enough, and my front tire washed out in the sandy soft shoulder and down I went. No permanent damage to bike or flesh, I had to laugh at the irony it, staying up right while 40+ mph crosswind blew me off the road doing close to 30mph, and dumping it going around a corner at less than 15 mph. Despite the jack ass ridden denouement, that was one of the best rides I have been on in a long time.

I haven't stepped on the scale since we got back, but I'm sure it isn't pretty. I'm looking forward to that Monday morning. I ate like a pig all weekend and drank way too much Saturday night. I plan on dropping some serious poundage the rest of the month though, I've got some changes planned in the diet area, and will buckling down for some serious training. I've had fun dicking around the past few weeks, but it's well past time to get serious.


Nikki said...

Glad to read you had a good time. The tornado warnings around here were endless all weekend. My friend bailed on me for the 3rd weekend in a row so I got out for my ride alone this morning between storms. Came back filthy and dead. It was great!

The pic looks awful! Is that the back of your leg? Ouch!

Jafael said...

Sounds downright invigorating!

Johnny said...

No, that's the front of my leg, the scrape is just below my knee cap. It's pretty much just a scratch, sometimes it stings a little if I bump it, but otherwise its purely superficial.

Erik said...

Rock and roll! We actually lost an entire day in what should have been a 5 hour drive from Cinci to Chicago. Big accident, construction, parade weekend. We left at noon, were supposed to meet friends at 7, got in at midnight. That's why I'd rather ride than fight traffic.

Sorry about the cut. It looks like it stings.