More importantly – how much rest is enough rest?
I had a day off the bike on Saturday, which basically meant I rode with the dog 2 miles, and that was it. This was the first day off the bike in over 45 days.
A few days ago, a poorly attended-to pit bull puppy jumped out to playfully knock me off of my 15 mph vector, and succeeded. I was 5 miles into what would be a 20 mile day. On the right side this time – elbow, knee, ankle; a throw down on Edison. I sat there and cleaned my wounds and demonstrated to these dumb youngsters why a cyclist shaves his legs.
I get a lot of miles in, and I’m dog tired, boss. Dog tired. Still, I get on the bike and every time, feel great about it. In the city of Tucson, shit is far away from shit. A steady head wind can feel demoralizing. Few people ride to do nearly everything, and I’m one of them. I’ve been running around these streets day after day, every day, often pulling a trailer to haul water or wood. Tomorrow is going to be 87 degrees on the F scale. Just enough miles tomorrow should be zero. However, I can’t not ride. I don’t think so much about my sore ‘taint’, or the knee pain that I gotta work away each day, or the soaking wet shirt I put on that’s dry before I get to Country Club. I just go. It is my time to think, observe the places I go at an absorbtive pace, and get to where I need to go.
I think about her often; this noble woman brutally attacked and I imagine the warrior like courage of those who are like her, who will continue to enter the absurd circus of government and try to do good. I am so sad and troubled by our times.
I heard a rumor that they did a hemisperectomy on Gabrielle… that she is a vegetable now and will never walk or ride a bike again. Whenever I see that picture of her getting on her bicycle, or think of it, I get choked up with tears. When wing-nut types present their conspiracy theories, I feel my heart sink to even greater depths. Our Gabby.
I hate to say it – this city is a big tragedy. It’s full of people that are on the death cycle, and so many have given up on even trying. It’s surreal to be riding home at 2:00AM in the cool of the night (when I get some good tire time in) and to be heading right into a neighborhood where a helicopter man hunt is taking place. The quiet midnight pierced by sirens and chopper blades.
I think of Gabby, again… and think of her laying there with just half a brain left, and I say to all who care to hear me: Women of merit, step up and pick up the blooded torch of Gabrielle’s legacy. Be lawmakers. Fearlessly meet the public. Young people, you are not our sacrificial lambs in an endlessly crooked game… you are our only hope.by