My plan Sunday was to run Make Tracks for the Zoo, but my failure to commit and the other 3,000 people who did commit left me plan-less for the day. Having already decided I was going to do something, I checked what Trailnet had to offer. Berry ride? Strawberry shortcake at the end? Sign me up!
Jocko, my 15 year old son, had agreed to go to the zoo to take some running pictures for me (fee payable in donuts), so I asked him if he wanted to ride with me instead. The boy hasn't ridden a bike in over a year, so I knew he'd say no. He, of course, said yes.
Since a non-rider was going, I decided we'd only do the 18 or 27 mile rides. Last year, other than training rides up to the Katy Trail tour, my shortest organized ride was 63 miles. I rode a century. Yes, it took my 10 hours, but I pedalled 100 miles. I'm at least a junior stud. So 27 miles felt a little like a step down.
I gave him a brief rundown on following the road markings, passing etiquette, riding in traffic, made sure he knew the hand signals, etc., and we set off together. I told him, "It's nice that you came....why did you come?"
"Because I don't have my phone. And there's nothing to do at home. And since I don't have my phone, I have to get out of the house and do something." (Jocko's way of coping far beats Hamlet's silent treatment/hide in his room method)
Rock on. We stuck together for a few miles, he effortlessly staying a bit ahead of me on my brother's mountain bike, me huffing along on my hybrid, and then on one of the hills he looked back at me like, "Are you coming?" and I, fool that I am, told him, "Go on, I'll catch up." Meaning...don't slow down as you go up the hill...wait for me at the top. And then he was gone.
Never did see him again for the rest of the ride. That's cool. I spend lots of time riding alone, and at 6'4", 205 pounds of muscle, nobody's going to mess with him. I'd just catch up with him at the end of the ride. And let me tell you, even if I "only" did 27 miles because he was with me, I was looking with some longing at the 18 mile route where they split. I haven't ridden any miles to speak of since my singletrack debacle, but you'd think the running would put me in decent stead. Not so much. Add a nasty headwind, the hottest day so far this year, and an ill-advised bike glove pulling on the one remaining pin in my hand, then mix in a broken spoke and bent up back wheel (just bc they call it a hybrid doesn't mean you should take it offroad. Lesson learned. Get thee to the bike shop).
Very pretty rural route
Note the skillful composition (snort)
My brother Cappy had finished the 27, got a drink, walked around the fairgrounds a bit, then rode back and met me about 5 miles out. We ride into the fairgrounds, no Jocko. Can't call him, because if he had his cell phone he'd still be at home. No set meeting place, because I hadn't planned on separating. Cappy has a seat in the shade, and Mommy that I am, I start walking the circuit...fairgrounds, to the truck, to the church where we started, to the fairgrounds...repeat. About 4 reps of this and I run into my boy as I'm walking to the church.
"I've been looking all over for you! Where have you been?"
"Uhhh...I made a wrong turn and rode 42 miles."
And it only took the non-cycling little sh-- and hour longer than my 27 took. Clearly I need to learn to push myself. So today, my ass and my ego hurt.