Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Does this make me a bad person..?

(No interest in proofreading right now...I'll try to get to it tomorrow...but this isn't why I might be a bad person...)  On Saturday I went out for a bicycle ride.  I purchased an upscale two wheeler last summer upon my return from DA KINE (Well, semi-upscale...think Nissan Altima or something like that...somewhere in between a Kia Rio and a Mercedes AMG series...) and I never bothered to tune it up after I brought it home.  I only made it out for a few rides so it wasn't that big of a deal.  This year I wanted to start things off on the right foot so I scheduled a tune up for it at the local cycle store in the 207 and convinced my parents to drop it off for me and then give me a ride back to the 617 after I picked it up.  I know a little bit about a little bit but not a lot about a lot about bikes but I knew this thing was a little rough around the edges as far as its internal organs went.  Sure enough, it was a bit more than rough around the edges, to the point where hipster bike nerd #1 made a point to call over hipster bike nerds #'s 2, 3, and 4 so they could see the sharty state of the bearings that were in my wheels when I brought it in.  Go choke on a bottlecap, hipster bike nerds.  It was the other guy's fault!  I got bamboozled on the craigslist, just like many car buyers!

This is not really the case as it wasn't a lot of money to get my baby shipshape.  But it did kind of bum me out to be looked down upon by hipster bike nerds when I was TRYING TO TREAT MY BABY WITH LOVE AND TENDERNESS AND RESPECT.  Yet, in their eyes I was the asshole.  It also isn't a fixie.  Maybe my cause was hopeless from the start.  D'oh.

At any rate I conned Papa Skip into a southbound ride for repayment for ruining my Mother's Day surprise of, well, ME!  Home for the weekend to get drunk by night and sleep on the couch by day!  HELLO, PARENTS!  The weekend was too short but it was extremely nice to be home, and also be able to get my hands on my performance whip as my classes and the track season were winding down.  While as of Mother's Day weekend summer was just a sunset many days away, now it's more or less here.  Boo yeah.  Twenty seven going on twenty eight and still reaping the benefits of poor pay in exchange for summer vacations.  I'll take that trade off until I'm 30.

Man, I'm all over the place.  It's been a long time; I swear it's not usually like this...

My last track meet of the year was on May 17&18, a Thursday and a Friday.  This left me with my first Saturday off in quite some time so I decided it was a pretty nice day for a bike ride and decided to set out into the countryside.  I had no idea the best way to the countryside so my first errand Saturday morning was to my office to craft a route on Google maps that I could print and store in my underseat pouch, because I have no maps of Massachusetts nor sense of direction outside of my little Somerville bubble.  In Maine, at least close to home, I have a pretty good sense of route numbers and roads and how things link up but down here I didn't have the slightest idea of what was close and what were good roads to ride on or any of that nonsense.  So I picked a couple of landmarks and printed some directions and a couple of big maps and set out with my waterbottles full and my helmet on (Proud of me, mamacapone?) to see some sites.

As it was a day of exploration and self-discovery (hardly...) I set out to Walden Pond by way of Lexington and Concord.
I had a good sense of how to get to Lexington on backroads because during cross country season we occasionally travel to Minuteman National something-or-other (I don't think it's a national park but I'm pretty sure it has "national" in there somewhere...national historic site/place, maybe?) to run on the Battle Road.  My first trip I rode shotgun, in early September, just a couple of weeks after I set up shop in the big city.  My second trip a couple weeks later, first as a driver, I couldn't quite make it the two-ish miles from campus to Route 2 (a big, ole highway) due to multiple factors.  First was I told my head coach I was going to follow her there because I wasn't quite sure where I was going...and she promptly dusted me out of the parking lot and probably ran a yellow to leave me on my own.  But as I pick up loose information here and there I knew we were ending up on MA-2A in Lexington, and I knew of where MA-2A ran into Somerville.  So I went with what I knew, it took about fifteen minutes too long, but we made it.  Got the XC'ers extremely confident in my leadership..
Anywho, I had a pretty good sense of how to get to Lexington and from there Concord and Walden Pond were just a couple more miles.  And easy enough it was.
Here is where I'll let the cat out of the bag and say I didn't get caught off track once during the course of my travels.  No big deal..
Earlier in the spring I had been traveling in a car and we drove past Walden Pond on the way to a field trip (Yes, graduate school field well spent..) and it looked quite idyllic.  This was on a rather chilly day in early March.  Fast forward two months and this place looked like Range Pond State Park.  A little, okay, moderately depressing.  Guess it's not the 1870's anymore...but I digress.  The whole scene was just a little bit silly.  There were serious cyclers using it as a home base to set out from, there were foreign tourists who no doubt wanted to see what America's "nature" was all about, and then there were plenty of Bostonians who brought there little kids to piss and shit in a shallow pond fifteen miles from their houses, because on apparently on sunny days bathrooms just will not do.

From here I had plotted out a possible route to circle through some little hamlets before ending up in Waltham, about seven miles from my house.  I had so much fun that once I arrived in Waltham and took a little break for snack and drink I decided I felt so good and it was such a nice day that I'd just head back the way I came.  And this leg of the journey was a little bit tiresome but a couple miles away from Walden a couple of guys who were returning to Walden from their ride to southern New Hampshire caught and passed me, so I hung with them to learn how non-rookies handle stops and shifting and drinking water and all that goofy stuff that I've been self-taught on.  Yes, I felt like a little kid and didn't tell them any of this; I just clung to the rear and didn't say a word.  Sneaky, am i..

I tried to say hi to most every passerby I could, whether they were on bikes or on foot.  I kept pulling out the "Nice bike, man!" the couple of times I wound up stopped at a light next to a guy on a motor cycle.  It's good for a laugh EVERY time, except for when I say it to the guys who would rape guys like me in prison.  In those cases, it's good for a gut-busting laugh from me (after the drive off without raping me..).  Most people on bicycles are too damn serious.  Lance, man.  It's not the Tour.  Take the needle out of your asscheek and smile on this beautiful day.

None of this is really relevant to what I really set out to talk about here.  Whoops.  To sum: I made it back to Walden, pretty tired, but still about twelve or thirteen miles from my house.  And those last miles were downright miserable.  I don't care about my "look" a lot (clearly, because I usually look like a vagrant..) but I don't like to look like some schmuck who can't hang for a little loop around town.  And I was hurting a tad rolling back through Arlington.  All tallied, I was in the saddle for close to 70 for the day and it felt AWESOME.  Those hipster dickheads were onto something with whatever all natural, probably vegan and non-animal tested shit they threw on my baby: now she rides like the wind blows.  If the weather clears I'm hoping to get out for a little session in the AM Wednesday, but if not I'll have to wait until next week to find the FREEDOM OF THE OPEN ROAD

This is the best commercial to ever air on television.  This guy needs to be the third one of Adam Sandler's lackeys that show up in bit parts in every one of his movie.  It's too perfect.


K, onto the real story.  Post-ride I got home and started to cook up some pasta and some sauce and I sliced the bejeezus out of my left index finger when I was chopping the onion and I got blood all over the cutting board.  I don't have any bandaids because I have toilet paper and duct tape so I threw some of that on to stop the bleeding and continued with my evening.  Sunday morning I woke up early to work Tufts' commencement ceremony and in an effort to class myself up I traded the duct tape dressing for an athletic tape dressing.  This stayed on for the morning and also for my afternoon ride down to the Charles and walk around Harvard with my finest cutoff Carharrt's and sleeveless tie-dyed on.  The shirt is irrelevant but when you look awesome it's important for everyone who wasn't there to know about it.  I went to a friends house for an early barbecue supper and while I was having a beer with him and his girlfriend I saw a coffee table book of from some magazine photographer that I can't remember so I went to the kitchen to remove the dirty dressing and wash my hands.  The book was kick ass, and I didn't bleed on it.  That didn't happen until i was outside opening a bag of charcoal, for some reason with my left hand, and the cut opened back up like a sieve.  They just moved to the second floor and that afternoon their new downstairs neighbor who I had never met was moving in.  As I was walking upstairs with my bloody finger I dripped blood on the young lady's tupperware cupcake box.  I tried to wipe it up but really just kind of made it worse because my right hand already had some blood on it so when I heard someone coming I just darted up the stairs.  When I came back down, band-aided, the box was already inside.  Does this make me a bad person?  Or just gross?

Later that evening outside she mentioned to us that she is an RN.  So CLEARLY I'm not a bad person; though I brought her work home, I'm certain this was not the first time she had to clean up after a homeless person.  When you're used to something it becomes second nature and no big deal, right?  Cheers.

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