Sunday, May 08, 2005

Not one pedal stroke and memories.

Between Mother's Day and Home Improvement Hell there was not one pedal stroke spun this weekend. And I was forced to run on the bike path. Sheesh. Unless it is for soccer running is one of my least favorite activities. My wife wanted to ride on the bike path with our older son and I was going to walk next to the little one while he rode and then he and I would go pick up them at the other end of the bike path and she would ride all the way back on her own to get some excercise.

Turns out he rode way way faster than I was expecting. Just like me lately, on the flats he'd tear it up then lock the brakes up right before a hill and cry when he couldn't ride up it. But I had to jog to keep up with him and then I finally just walked and yelled at him to slow down. As he turns his head around to look behind him and veers to the other side of the bike path.

Home improvement projects induce the same short term memory loss I've spoken about that mountain biking and childbirth produce. Everytime I do one I want to be finished well before I'm even close. And swear that I won't do another one. I don't know what I'm doing so it takes 3x more concentration, all the while dealing wtih regular life and trying to work around the kids, and having to worry about every little cut, dimension, color, spacing, and any other variable that my wife isn't going to like.

In an effort to save a buck, it invariably creates more work and stress than it would have if I just paid someone else to do it. And my goodness all I do is eat when I do this stuff. Comfort food, chips, candy, coke, whatever I can get my hands on. There definitely is the satisfaction of knowing that I did it, but lately I think I'd rather get that satisfaction from doing something just for myself like a frame or working on the bikes, and let some contractor deal with the home improvement.

But then again its projects like this that create those memories that you never forget. Like my wife and I were lugging this huge rental tile saw to the back deck. A rental saw that cost $70 per day. All I was tiling was around the mantle, so a contractor probably would have only charged $50-$100 to do it all. And we are pretty small people so it was tough, and laid it down on this flimsy stand. Turns out I had the stand upside down and the tile saw is just barely sitting on it, and then it falls. Thank god it didn't fall all the way to the ground, it was just hanging on at one end, how I don't know. So we are barely holding up one end up it with the other just hanging onto this flimsy stand and my wife is asking me if I can return it and get my money back. Um well, first we gotta figure out how to get it untangled off this stand and onto the floor before our arms give out.

In all my years of mountain biking there have been thousands of rides. There have been some awesome rides where I was riding my best ever, but honestly, I don't remember vivid details of those rides, more just the fact that those rides have existed and the basic vision of those perfect rides as something to shoot for. BUT there are so many memories of those less than perfect rides. Those epic rides with the wrong turns, those crashes, those bonks, dehydration..You know all the bad stuff you strive to avoid. Yet they have made the most unforgettable memories.

Here are a couple random ones.
-riding with my friend Kevin in Saratoga, CA. Cruising down this one lane paved road off the trail head. Small stream crosses the road diagonally. Turns out there is moss growing under this 1/4" layer of water. It happens to be right on a turn. Kev is 1/2 wheel length in front of me. His front tire hits the water at a slight angle. His front washes and he starts going down. I am just far enough behind him that I can see it happen and am thinking to my self, Oh shit, he is going down. Then my front tire hits the water and the moss with a slight angle on it. I start to go down. So here we are both sliding diagonally on our hips across this road to the ditch. In total unison like synchronized swimming. I've still got the road rash on my hip somewhere.

Kev and I got lost out at Saratoga Gap one time. Trying to explore some trail. Getting darker, colder, hungrier. Finally just followed this stream bed till we found a trail head. Got to the car and it was dark. Our fingers could hardly turn quick release to rack the bikes.

I met my wife at a race because I had gotten heat exhaustion and was delirious enough to be have the courage to go up and talk to her.

I dehydrated so bad on a lap at the 24hrs of Canaan that I was out there for 5 hours. It was my birthday and they had cupcakes and candles and a banner waiting for me when I finished my lap. The candles had all burned out by the time I finally got back.

And on and on.


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