Earlier in the day I am up at Bethesda Naval Hospital for a scheduled eye exam. Apparently in the military you are supposed to have one more then every 10 years or so. As I am going through the exam the eye doc asks "You
are against having your eye's dilated?" “Ummm...no, I have no problem with that.” "Well you did not sign the consent part of the form!" "Oh,guess I did not see it", I say while cracking up. Eye Doc does not find my humor
funny [many people don't] and realizes this exam has already taken too much out of her life. So in go the drops with no particular kindness, never knew my eye lids could be pulled that far apart, I had wall-eye vision of the
whole office including the wall behind me. Eyes dilate....eyes good to go...I head home. Ever try to send a text message while your eyes are dilated...impossible...I challenge you to try. Just don't do it while
driving...how do I know this, don’t ask.
Why do I tell you this part of my day...well as you read on some will say duh and some will agree with me that I was perfectly of the right mind.
Well, can’t go back to work since who gives up a free scam day, honestly? So drop off some dry cleaning and head over to my favorite Starbucks [note: if you want a gift idea for me, gift cards to Starbucks puts you at the top
of my heart.] Well, crap how can anyone enjoy this fine brew of South American ambrosia without being able to read a book? I try just sitting there. Nope not happening, not feeling the Zen. Hey, I could go for a brick workout. Zip home, put the dogs out to pee...mainly just want them out of the way so I can get my bike out of the house. All right, all geared up...dogs back in house, Haha suffer mutts and off I ride on my 25 mile loop...hell, may even do it twice I am feeling that good. 10 meters from the front door POP!! rear wheel goes flat. Now most would call this obvious foreshadowing.
A smart man would say "The Gods of cycling have spoken and swimming is the call." Well the issue here is that all this requires a smart man. Instead running back inside...out of the way dogs...grab extra wheel (lord I am an
ubber geek) and presto-chango back on the road.
The bike trail is wide open at this early afternoon hour...damn, I need to take off work early more often...as if that is possible. Zipping by the occasional jogger (step up the pace there bubba) and the occasional stroller mom (man, I wish I didn't have to work). Heading towards the city, legs turning the cranks like I am a machine. I am muttering this to myself over and over…I am a machine, I am a machine (hey we all get our motivation from somewhere…remember I am a dork.)
Passing by another cyclist this guy locks onto my rear wheel and starts drafting like we are going to the finish line at the Tour De France. This is really pissing me off since now I am calculating in my head how I am
doing 50% of his workout for him, and I hate doing math. So Lance Armstrong and I are moving at a steady tempo hitting the turns and the descent down towards the monuments. Finally, dropping him from my wheel...actually I
think I scared him when I started yelling at some cars in an intersection so he decided to ride the wheel of someone more stable...humph his loss.
Wheeling along the Potomac on the flats. Got my chain in the BCR and I am feeling the effects of this damn
head wind. How the hell is there a head wind? No matter which direction I ride along the Potomac I always catch a head wind...I curse God, I will reap what I sow shortly. Planes fly roaring over head as I pass by National
Airport. Chugging up hills...zipping down hills, I am a cycling God. As each turn approaches I move
my hands over to the brakes...brake...and slide through the turn. I am flying by slowpokes like I am an Ironman World Campion. Haha, how’s my butt look weenies. Hey, you mister! Stop looking at my butt!!
When riding the mind may wonder from time to time. Thinking of things like is Phelps the greatest athlete, God I hope Obama does not win, will Brittney Spears ever make a come back...the usual stuff. My brain comes out of these deep thoughts to scream....TURN!!
Well, reaching for both brakes is out of the question. Quickly my dilated eyes scan my options...pavement under me, big ass tree to right, a sliver of grass to the left then more pavement....this is not looking good for Andy. I
got $6000 worth of carbon fiber and titanium under me...my credit card getting abused to fix the impending damage flashes before my eyes. Heck, the Navy will fix me for free. Aiming for the grass...the grass may be
aiming for me...lets not argue semantics at this point, pain is coming. I throw myself down onto my right side placing my hand down to keep my noggin off the pavement...would it really matter if it hit most of you are saying
right now...hey, that is mean. [note: I always train like it is race day so I wear no gloves...why? I don't know, do
you really have to ask?] So hand down with right hip making a race with it for the pavement. Yup...I just landed on my hip and the rest of me with bike still attached slides off into the grass…please stop before I hit more
pavement…yes. (If I had one of those clicky things I am getting my dad soon...you know the ones, I have fallen and I can't get up, I would have busted it the number of times I would press that damn button)
Whew, saved the bike...I got my priorities. Much too quickly I pop up...please oh please do not let there be anyone who has seen this travesty. Maybe I can just jump into a bush and act like I have to pee really really
bad. Again, God needed a good laugh. I swear to all that is holy, everyone I passed over the last 5 miles must have time warped to this very spot. Cyclist one passing..."You Ok" I am looking down refusing to make
eye contact but I just know he is laughing. Shaking my head...."Fine Fine!" Then a guy who can only be described as a close family relative of Fat Albert...now I know I past him miles back, there is no possible way he could
be here..."Hey Hey Hey, are you hurt?" Still looking down..."No, just my pride, just my pride." head shaking side to side. He actually lets out a guffaw. Move along, nothing to see here.
Cyclist, Jogger, Stroller Mom 2 through 50..."Are you Ok" I am sure I hear some thinking, "God bless him...getting back up on the bike like that".
"Yes, just my pride" Could you please stop laughing.
Now many people would call this an obvious turn around and head on home point. Seems it is clearly marked with my flesh and body marks going perpendicular to the trail. Bike is ok. Knee, Hip, Ankle, Hand...ahhhh I
have had worse. Bike good, at least I didn't pop a tire, haha, that'll show you God...fist pump to the sky. Hopping back on grabbing the handle bars sans skin on the right palm. I continue on with the ride. Lord I start to
think, I hope no one gets murdered in the exact spot because my DNA is all over it.
So riding slowly until turning off onto another trail where I am sure no one here knows of my humbling. Heart rate up...check, leg tempo up....check, head down....check, back in aero position...check...I am a cycling God. Oh,
sorry don't mind the blood running down my leg...its only a flesh wound. My hand keeps sticking to my grips. [If you have ever taken the skin off your palm you know how it gets that seeping sticky goo leaking from it.] The air
flow quickly takes my manageable road rash from moist and pliable to stiff and cracking. Oh the Joy. Arrive back to the house, bound up the stairs with the best “I had the ride of my life” look on my face...I am not letting
the neighbors think anything less and no one is going to say different....right!
Bike back in my bedroom...come on it is a $6000 bike of course I sleep with it, wouldn't you? Running shorts on...shirt off...check raspberries in the mirror...not a good call though my tan looks good. Bounding off on a 5miler
...well at least until turning the corner from my neighbors. Now, I am good...limping along with ‘tears of joy to be running’ streaming down my face. Really, those were only tears of joy...really. What possibly could
happen to me running through the city?