a not very death ride
I don’t know much about bicycles. Riding them feels nice, feels like being a child again. Something about floating or flying by. I’m sometimes asked what gearing I have, and I have no idea. I have a big ring in the front, and a series of smaller ones in the back. I push these things up front, and the bicycle feels different, and that feels alright. Riding up hills is my favorite. For a while it hurts, and everything inside insists you stop, but then it goes away and you sort of just drift to the top. I rode the death ride once, and going up those hills felt best. I found myself going 6 miles per hour, and discovered I could go 6 miles per hour for hours and hours so I did. I went ahead of one person, then another, and kept going by people. Some of them looked pretty tired. There was only one man who actually overtook me. I remember making a joke, “you look fresh as a daisy!”, and then he muttered something back with a lisp.
I chased a lot of men wearing pink shirts that day. I don’t know if they were the same man, I was tired, but I remember a man in a pink shirt always being just out of reach. There was one just before the end. I confronted him, demanding to know whether he was real or a mirage and he just looked really confused as the words left my mouth so I shut up and rode in front of him.
He doesn’t know it, but I won that day.
Mostly, though, riding 129 miles in 100 degree heat makes you a little delirious. I drank a lot of water that day, yesterday and today.