Friday, March 12, 2010

Worst Ride Ever

I wanted to do a long ride today. Peter was less enthused. If you ride up to Skyline there is a big 35-mile loop you can do that is a Portland cycling favorite. Peter, being the most supportive husband ever, dutifully prepared his homebrew sports drink and sandwiches and loaded the bikes on the car on this 41 degree cloudy Portland day.

While I drove to Skyline, Peter laid back in his seat with his hat over his eyes. Periodically, he would comment on my driving. "Going around the giant moose statue right now, right?" I laughed and said, "Your sense of direction blind-folded is better than mine with all my senses."

We made it up to Skyline and started up a curvy ascent with cars whipping by us every 30 seconds or so. My bike was feeling great from my professional bike fit I had yesterday, although my cycling shoe cleats had been adjusted so I had a hard time finding the clips on my pedals. I kept looking back to check on Peter and he was laboring on behind me but didn't seem to be having any fun.

Skyline is really curvy with no shoulder so the cars pass pretty close to you because they can't see very far ahead of them. One car passed so close to me that I flipped him off as he drove by. My attitude is: I have every right to be on this road and you can just wait until it is safe to pass. Peter was feeling very differently. Almost four miles in I looked back and he wasn't there. I waited for him to catch up and from the look on his face I knew we were done. "I don't want to get killed," he said. "I don't think we are going to get killed," I replied. "Well, I don't want to be a quadriplegic either."

So, we turned around and climbed back up the hill. I was in the completely wrong gear to start a climb like that and when I tried to gear down going so slowly, my chain dropped and I came to a screeching halt. I couldn't clip out in time and I started to fall to the right, slowly and painfully. "Here I go, here I go," I said as I luckily fell into grass instead of the giant boulders that were just a few feet further away.

When we finally made it back to the car, Peter said, "That feeling is the reason I didn't get a driver's license until I was 26." We loaded up the bikes, defeated and still just sweaty enough to be cold. We sipped Peter's home brew sports drink as we drove. "Why does it tasted like cherry jam?" I asked. "Almond extract," Peter replied. Realizing this wasn't our most triumphant bike ride ever we decided that this day needed something else to make it right. So, on the way home we stopped at the liquor store and bought some akvavit. An hour and a half later, we were relaxing in our sauna, sipping akvavit, and dreaming of buying a summer home in Finland. Where, I'm sure, we could have many happy bike rides.

No comments:

Post a Comment