Monday, July 8, 2013

Cursed by the cycling gods

Early yesterday morning, my husband and I set out on our long Sunday ride, as prescribed by the Half Ironman training program that we are trying as hard as we can to follow diligently.  For some reason, when it comes to the weekends, something always happens, and we can't seem to get in those vital long runs and long rides.  It's either storming, we are at a swim meet with my kids, we have projects around the house that have to be completed, it's something.  Our rides are supposed to happen on Saturdays, but when I woke up Saturday morning completely unable to move my neck, shoulders, and upper back due to some weird spasm or something that hit me in the middle of the night, we postponed it until Sunday.  Sunday was supposed to be a REST DAY - those are so few and far between - but I got plenty of rest propped up on the sofa on Saturday.  In other words, life - and OLD AGE - keeps managing to get in the way of our Half Ironman dreams.

Yesterday's ride was scheduled to be 90 minutes, which would have been about 25 miles.  We had mapped out a route that was a bit longer, in order to make up for having to shorten the previous Saturday's ride due to life getting in the way.  We set out on our 30-mile route, I felt great, our bikes were tuned up and ready to go, all was right in the world.

Let me digress a bit here.  Every time, EVERY TIME, I go on a bike ride with my husband, 1 or more of these things happen:

  • He darts our in front of a car at an intersection, leaving me to fight or flight
  • I fall in a very embarrassing way
  • Something breaks
  • Something bleeds
  • Something gets lost
  • I tell him that I hate him
  • I consider filing for divorce
**I am a very intense person, so my telling him I hate him is merely my admittedly immature response to the utter stupidity that he has just exhibited.  He knows this, he accepts this, and I make it up to him later.  Please don't send me hate mail.**

Unfortunately for us, during yesterday's ride, each and every one of these things happened.  About 10 miles into the ride, I was averaging a blistering 18-19 mph (believe it or not this is NOT sarcasm.  That is Tour de France speed for me) on a pretty hilly road.  I was smiling at the mooing cows along the roadside, enjoying the light breeze and slight tailwind afforded us, I was something that I NEVER am on a bike ride - happy.  Then it happened...


My husband popped a spoke on his front wheel.  This was the third spoke to pop in as many weeks.  Despite what you might think, no, he is not overweight, and no, he does not go off-roading on his road bike or otherwise put any type of undue pressure on it.  The bike shops scratch their heads every time he comes in YET AGAIN with his busted up wheel.  We have all decided he needs new wheels.  Brother, can you spare $2000 for a set of wheels for my age-grouper triathlete hubby?  Didn't think so...

So, we pull over, he pops off as much of the spoke as he can, and we decide to head to the end of the road that we are on and turn around to head back home, cutting our ride short.  Of course.  We start up again, get back up to speed, go about 2 miles, then POING!  Another spoke bites the dust.  Are you F-ing kidding me?!?  Four busted spokes in 3 weeks???  Now I am frustrated and cussing, husband is frustrated and cussing, almost to the point of tears.  He pulls THAT spoke out, and we head to the intersection where we plan on turning around.

I've been having trouble with my right clip and pedal lately.  It tends to stick when I try to unclip.  This was bound to cause a problem, and it did during this ride.  Of course.

We get to the stop light, and wait for it to change.  While we were talking the light changed to give us the right of way, but as my husband went to make the crossing it turned green.  I called out to him as the car waiting at the light began to go despite a person on a bicycle being in the middle of the intersection.  I was going to wait, so as I began to stop and unclip, my right clip got stuck on my right pedal and I very dramatically stopped and plopped in the intersection, in front of about a dozen cars that very likely contained at least a few people that I know.  

I landed hard on my right side, and somehow husband managed to not get mowed down by the car and get over to me.  The first thing out of his mouth was, 

"Why can't we ever just have a normal bike ride?!?"

To which I replied,

"I HATE YOU!  Why do you always have to dart out in front of cars?!?  I am NEVER going on a bike ride with you again!"

My leg was bleeding, my knee was skinned.  But I was no worse for wear.  Dirty, deflated, and really annoyed, I got back on my bike, yelled out to husband to just go, and and we began to pedal home.  I had brief thoughts of divorce, but mostly I had thoughts of running over husband with my bike.  It took me running through my gears 3 times before they would properly shift, and I was finally able to get back up to speed, optimistic that we could salvage the bike ride.

The traffic was light, the sky was blue, and I was feeling a little better.  And then a little gust of wind cam along and blew my damn sunglasses right into the grass on the side of the road.  This bike ride had officially reached ridiculous.

Husband retrieved them as, out of frustration, I decreed that I wasn't stopping until I reached my front door.

And as luck would have it, I didn't have to stop.  The traffic lights were with us, no cars got in our way, and I reached home on my dirty bike. Husband's bike was totally out of whack, clinking and clacking and basically limping into the garage.  Yet another trip to the bike shop was inevitable!

With another shortened and memorable bike ride in the books, we went about our day, making no mention of the bad luck - and bad cycling on my part - we had experienced.  And we will likely hit the road together next weekend on our long ride, because that is what our life and schedules allow.  And maybe someday I will be dextrous enough to unclip without falling over like a drunk after an all-night bender.

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