Sunday I decided it was time to ride. Lovedog had asked me join him on an “easy” ride. I should have known he’d bend me over a barrel and give me the business. But I’m a dumb ass.
I met him ’round about 9:00am. And only then did I find out we were also riding with JR and Mark, two of Flagstaff’s more serious riders. I was so going to die. I’m not serious at all. Not even a little bit. Easy ride? Do you people realize I haven’t been “riding” for the last ten months? You don’t know what “fat & outta shape” looks like. I don’t even think you guys can spell “fat”.
I once asked a friend of mine, a novelist, why so many writers have drinking problems. “A better question is why so many drinkers have writing problems,” he replied.
Paul F. Campos.
Since my Litespeed got beat the fuck up back in August by that god damn drunk driving son of a bitch (can you tell I’m pissed?), I brought out the Ciocc.
Lugged steel. Eight speed Campy. Brand new white bar tape. New white Rolls saddle (thanks richard sachs).
And mountain bike pedals.
Why? Because I haven’t bothered to put cleats on my new-to-me (thanks kerry) road shoes and the cops still have my old Shimano ones in “evidence” where they’ve been for the last ten months with my beat up Litespeed (can you tell I’m pissed?). So, mountain bike shoes it is.
At least they’re comfortable. Shit, everything about that bike is comforable. She’s like a great big lounge chair on wheels.
Truth be told, the ride was quite civil and well within my level of tolerance. We just rolled out east towards Sunset Crater. I make it half way up the hill to the turn off and flip a bitch with Lovedog. Nice guy that he is chatted with me all the way back into a headwind. We somehow ended going up and over Cedar Hill on the way back (yeah, that’s the most direct route?) and that kinda sucked it. Lovedog even pushed me. But only once.
Everything was cool. I felt pretty ok. Sure, all the contact points were hurtin’, my feet, my hands, my ass. But I was pedaling out in the sunshine. Life was grand.
And, as we rolled down Beaver Street, a woman made a right turn right in front of me (no turn signal) and I hit her car. Yep. First road ride since I got popped and I get hit again.
God fucking damn it.
Before I scare ya’ll too much, I’m fine. I managed (somehow) to keep the bike upright and didn’t hurt a thing. Neither the bike nor me were injured in that stunt. In fact, I took that photo of the Ciocc today. All she suffered was a front wheel that was slightly out of true. I didn’t even have to undo the brakes afterwards; it was a very slight bend.
Back to the accident – I have no idea how Lovedog avoided it. One minute we’re riding along in the bike lane talking ’bout bullshit, and the next I’m turning hard right with my inside foot clipped out, rear wheel locked up, leaning way into it. I took it like a bump turn on a motorcycle, where you’ll never make the line unless you hit the rider on the outside who has the better line. You gotta come way up under someone real hard to pull it off.
And I pulled it off.
My hands never came off the bars, even though I hit her car hard enough to dent it and bend my wheel. I came up from sideways to completely upright and rode the side of her car around the corner like a hockey player. It happened so fast I didn’t even time to think about it. I just did it.
She stopped immediately, right in the middle of the road, and was extremely apologetic and concerned. I told her I was fine, thanks for stopping, and that I had dented her car. She replied, “People are more important than cars.”
And that was all right with me.