Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can’t See the Forest For the Trees

If three bikers were lost in an area of town they normally DO NOT ride, would anyone hear their cries for directions and help? We had talked about doing the Jefferson Memorial Forest for the past couple of weeks. We now see the one-mile hill as a conquest, something on our “bucket list”, an initiation into road cycling, a two-wheel hazing, or maybe just a part of training that will improve our legs.

It may be hard for the mere outsider to interpret what we are discussing when we plan a ride: road cycling or motorcycle riding. Perhaps due to the increased testosterone in our systems before a ride, we now talk ourselves up with phrases like “you are going to kick that hills ass” or ”we are going to crush it…” . All the while, we are also planning our post ride meal (usually a detailed discussion about cheese, meat, bacon, and chocolate-possibly ALL mixed together), which is probably NOT so Hell’s Angel like.

Car loaded. Gu, water and blocks being consumed, we ignored all the weather reports and the fact that in the morning it had rained over two inches. We ignored the earlier setting sun (now around 8:30PM), we ignored the general directions and by ignored, we forgot them. The car was secure with wheels, helmets, gloves, CO2 cartridges, tubes, shoes, but no directions. NO WORRIES….we are practically a biker gang… we are VERY independent women, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING DIRECTIONS. We can find a forest on our own, right? You can’t miss a forest, right?

Over an hour later on a busy, twisting, winding, two lane road, we discovered that with all of our independence, we could NOT find the forest but we could purchase a 1972 fully restored Mustang that sat for sale in someone’s yard (tempting but it needed a bike rack). Stops had to be made quite often to secure our position on Lee’s cell phone (thank goodness for technology) and to debate missing street signs (what are my tax dollars paying for?). Unnecessary attention was being drawn from not-so-friendly motorists who passed us with Tone Loc blaring out their Cutlass’ windows (Funky Cold Medina). We busted out in a dance only for a second realizing we would garner MUCH more unnecessary attention dancing in spandex next to a liquor store (with a drive thru). The consensus was to turn around…and climb hell.

Hell is a hill in Louisville that has one of the steepest inclines I have ever seen or done on a bike. I refused to dismount from my bike and I refused to waste any breath screaming at the oversized pickup with missing catalytic converter and/or muffler who insisted on passing me so closely (thanks jackass). I am not sure if Lee and Candice noticed the cemetery that awaited us at the top…like a welcome mat for our dead and exploded lungs. We pressed on until we figured out our missed turn (a few more stops). By now, we understood that our built-in directional senses, cycling sonar, were scrambled…most likely from that blaring of Tone Loc (it’s a side effect). We headed back down the curved nightmare of a road and noticed a strong headwind and black cloud hung over our heads (uh oh). One…two….three drops of rain bounced off of my burning thighs and then like someone pulling a zipper, the sky opened up, soaking us in our last push to the car.

So we got lost. We still rode. We got wet. We were chilly. There was not a single complaint. We conquered a quality hill which was our initial goal anyway and we got a workout in. Our finish line was a rainbow that bent over the car welcoming our cold, wet, directionless bodies back home. We may not be ready to be Hell’s Angels yet but give us time and a Garmin.

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