Thunderstorms were supposed to happen today with the morning looking dreary, dark clouds looming over head and a strong wind gusting through the leaves of the maple tree outside my bedroom window. Even though the odds of an overnight storm were in the favor of the rain gods, not a drop had fallen during the night. Hot, humid weather had been pushed ahead of the storm front. I awoke to the weak morning light, rolled over again as I observed the weather outside my window. No bike ride for me today, I thought to myself as I drifted back to one of those dreamy half awake sleeps. Thunderstorms were a sure thing the entire day as well as the remaining week.
A sunny blue sky greeted me as I left the building this afternoon at three thirty. YES!! I had an appointment with an investment analyst to finalize the transfer of my retirement account from my previous employer’s investment service to the one I had chosen. The time consuming tasks had been taken care of in a meeting with the analyst last week, today’s meeting just a formality with only a few forms to sign. Freedom was sure to follow, with visions of dry dirt mountain bike trails dancing through my head. It had been a productive work day, my revelry earned, the satisfaction sure to add to the joy of the ride.
I — could — not — wait.
The anticipation felt like Christmas and my wedding night rolled into one (let’s face it girls, and I have to say this, most guys ain’t looking forward to the ceremony so much as what follows the ceremony — and at 53 years young a bike ride is like sex to me).
Maybe that is what made me a stinking muddle headed, scatter brained dimwit this afternoon. I whistled a happy tune to myself as I changed into my new mountain biking clothes, the kind that do not look like spandex and more like regular shorts and a tee shirt. The cool bike rack I have for my car installed easily, the familiarity now second nature to me. My bike shoes, helmet, gloves, hydration pack were on the driveway next to my car, ready to be loaded in after I put my bike on the rack.
And that is where they stayed as I drove off to the mountain bike park.
I was ten minutes away on the toll way before I realized that I had my bike and some socks, but my other necessities for the ride were still where I had set them on the driveway. Oh well, I thought, not a big deal, what’s a few extra minutes. I will still get an hour or so on the trails. I licked my wounds, turned around, and drove back to retrieve the forgotten items.
Ahhhhh, the music was fine on the way there, until I looked in the rear view mirror and realized I had not secure the bike rack as I should have. The support arm had moved out of position and the rack was being held to the car by the straps.
Oops. A quick stop once I exited the tollway remedied that. Not a big deal. There had been no danger of the rack falling off. Besides, the park was just a few short minutes away. I would be bombing along the dirt trails in short order.
I was ecstatic as I parked my car at the trailhead, quickly putting my shoes and gear on and unloading my bike from the rack. A pleasant fellow rolled up next to me, fresh from a good ride with a report that the trails were perfect tonight. Oh yeah. This was going to be good. He asked me about the VW TDI diesel I was driving, complimented the car with the appreciation that comes from wanting the same car. That felt good and I pedaled away towards the entrance to the trails with a satisfied grin on my face.
Why was my right cleat not clipping in to the pedal? My pedals always work perfectly, but for some reason the spring loaded pedal was not engaging the cleat.
Did I mention that somehow I was more dimwitted and scatter brained than my usual state? How about that the shoes I use to ride my road bike are made by the same manufacturer as my mountain bike shoes? I liked the road shoes so much that I bought the mountain bike version of the shoe. The shoe looks the same, but the soles and cleats are different. My road cleats will not work with the pedals on my mountain bike. You already know what happened. I had picked up one of each when I left the house, did not even notice the difference in shoes as I put them on, so happy to ride was I.
As I left the parking lot, my mountain bike still clean as it hung from the rack on the back of my car, a favorite Kansas song (Miracles Out of Nowhere) both taunted and comforted me, lyrics haunting with a message meant for me:
Hey there Mister Madman, what’cha know that I don’t know
Tell me some crazy stories, let me know who runs this show
Glassy-eyed and laughing, he turns and walks away
Tell me what made you that way
Here I am just waiting for a sign
Asking questions, learning all the time
It’s always here, it’s always there
It’s just love, and miracles out of nowhere
Argggghhhhhh. No ride for me tonight. No ride in the morning either as I get the privilege of going out to coffee with my lovely daughter before work in the morning.
Who wants to bet it rains tomorrow, all day?