Moving On

The original purpose behind The Fourteen Percent Ride has long since been fulfilled. So, I've decided that Mighty Proud will be the last posting. It just seems right.

But, don't worry. Or maybe you should. In any event, I plan to continue. I'll keep riding. And writing. Click here to come along in my new blog ~ The Long White Line. <-- check it out!


As I've ridden for the last two years, I've picked up on the fact that Shirley, my darling wife, has been more worried about my safety than impressed with my "accomplishments." How do I know this? Well, when I'd come back and tell her, for example, that I'd hit 53.6 mph going down FO, she'd reply, "I don't want to hear it." Being the sensitive sort I figured out, after many such comments, that just maybe we were not on the same page here. But last week, she told me that she would "greatly reduce her focus on the 'fear for my safety' issue." We talked about the tour, looked at some maps, researched nutrition suggestions on the internet, and so on, just enjoying the idea of the ride. How nice is that? Thank you, Shirley!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Shall We Dance?

Did you know that you can dance on a bike? You need rhythm, balance and a nimble-footed partner. Last Saturday, at the start of the County X climb, it all came together. My rhythm and balance are legendary, of course. And my partner on this cool and soon to be rainy day? A rather large cow, her color a blend of copper and rust. Just after I'd settled in to a lower gear to start up the hill, she ambled onto the road about ten feet ahead of me. She looked over her shoulder, taking in my bright yellow jersey, new silver shoes, white helmet and laser-bronze Technically Cool* glasses. Her reaction was reminiscent of the young Ugandans* when they saw me, their first mzungu*: wide eyes, a bit of panic in the look and feet ready to beat a hasty retreat.

Our dance started as she tip-toed, if you can picture that step from a 1,200 pound cow, across the road. I moved in the opposite direction to go around. A fence, however, blocked her retreat to the safety of the field, so she clip-clopped back to the side from where she started. I countered, moving now to the right. But, being farther up the road, she encountered another fence, so back she went, a little more frantic now. I followed her lead by going left across the road and slowing a bit to provide a little more space between us. So it went. A bovine two-step. Or four-step in this case, I suppose. Our dance continued until she finally found an opening providing an escape from the multi-colored threat rolling along behind her. A "mooving" experience for us both, to be sure.

Bill saw it all in reverse in his mirror. His laugh rolled down the hill. It was one of relief, I know. It could have been him.

* click on the links for information on technical coo-ality (I made that up), the Uganda trip (an earlier post in this blog), and mzungu (did not make that up) :-)

Oh yes, the riding. That is what this is about after all. Since last Tuesday, I've accumulated 155.2 miles and 8,450 feet of climbing. Total for the year is 3492.5 miles leaving a mere 1507.5 miles to go for 5,000. And,for the first time in over a year, I had a flat. As this update is being written on Wednesday after the ride, I can report a second flat. Not a good trend...


Anonymous said...

So you were you or weren't you *cowed*?

Anonymous said...

Fun to read, even though you'd read it to me moments after you wrote it:)