Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weekly Beatdown

Today's beatdown was a little more like what I was hoping for last week. I opted for the B1 group today, and felt strong throughout. Maybe last week I was just still sick, or maybe the ride this weekend and yesterday did manage to kickstart my body. Either way, I felt good today. I could really breathe. My "vast mouth inhaled the air in liberal draughts." It was magnificent.

I saw some friends too. The ChiroCycleGirl was there with a cool new tattoo on her wrist. Get her to tell you about it. I'd met a guy last year too who hadn't ridden before and he was training for one of those long charity rides, like Tour-de-Cure or something. I wish I remembered exactly which. He had a new bike and new gear and it looked like he'd decided to keep after this cycling thing. There was a young teenager that rode with us last year too. He was squirrelly, reckless and overconfident and I feared him. Just to be clear, I'm not judging him for those things; on principle for one, but also because of how infinitely more reckless I was at his age. Over the winter, his riding matured ten fold. At least from a cycling perspective, he's become a young man and for what it's worth, he earned my respect today.

There was also a great deal of personal drama today. Some guy I recognized but don't know kept riding on or to the left of the double yellow line. Maybe he didn't realize he was doing anything wrong. "Hey, keep an eye on your center line brother." No reaction. "Car up!" No reaction while an oncoming car passed him. "Car up!" Again no reaction as another car passed a few seconds later. I had been polite, but another guy in our group was more direct and left-of-the-yellow-line-guy exploded in a fit of threats and cursing the likes of which I haven't seen since high school. I honestly wondered if he was being serious or if it was some failed attempt at humor? At first it was amusingly awkward, but then I started feeling sorry for the guy. There's got to be something deeper driving that aggression. Then I felt bad for thinking it was funny. At the next stop sign, he exploded in another fit, directed at a different rider and later again at that same guy again. He faced some harsh justice though. From that first fit on, almost no one would let him in and was relegated to the wind or the back for the duration. Hey brother, if you somehow happen to read this, it sounded like you're working through some real hurt. I've been there. We've all been there. Stay strong. But also, please, for safety's sake, try to keep an eye on the center line.

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