Life lately seems like an extended intervals session. I could really go for some LSD. And some long, steady distance, too.
Thing is, I’ve soured on all my usual rides. Like a lot of folks, I regularly retrace a number of short, well-worn paths dictated by time constraints. And familiarity, as usual, breeds contempt. There is a road not taken. I’m certain of it. And it’s out there, waiting.
It would be refreshing to hop on a bike and just go somewhere. Ride until the legs complain, then stop for a while. Eat a meal prepared by someone else, sleep in a strange bed, take a bite of breakfast and the morning’s news in some java shop and then get right back after it.
Can you tell that “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” were among the first books I took to heart? Subsequent readings and re-readings of “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Travels With Charley,” “On the Road,” “The Dharma Bums,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Lonesome Dove” and “Blue Highways” have only fertilized my tinkerish tendencies, rooted in a military brat’s peripatetic upbringing and a perpetual short-timer’s attitude as regards traditional employment.
I had hoped to squeeze in a short cycle tour this summer. Nothing ridiculous, no cross-country excursions, just a few days spent rolling Colorado roads and trails to flush out the headgear, hit the reset button, reboot. But one thing or another kept getting in the damn’ way. Exploding toilets. Spousal travel. Veterinary issues. And No. 1 on the hit parade? Work.
As a professional paranoid I try to keep a number of revenue streams flowing — writing, editing, website wrangling, cartooning — knowing that the slightest change in the journalistic climate could transform one or more of them into a bone-dry arroyo. Thus, though I don’t have a job per se, free time is surprisingly hard to come by. It seems something always needs doing.
So between extended bouts of doing, I finally dialed the deal down to what the Adventure Cycling Association calls a “bike overnight.” Ride somewhere, spend the night, and ride home. I did one last year, right around this time, to Pueblo and back. The upcoming week or two seemed perfect. The Vuelta a España remains ongoing, but the Colorado State Fair is history, Labor Day will be done and dusted and I don’t have a print deadline until after Interbike.
Alas, as the Yiddish proverb has it, “Man plans, God laughs.” The last item in our downstairs-bathroom restoration is supposed to arrive on Wednesday, followed by the plumber on Thursday, and I have to work on Saturday and Sunday. Plus Herself has another professional road trip queued up that will require someone to assume responsibility for critter management. Guess who.
Ah, well. It seems I also have another bike inbound for review, an All-City Cycles Space Horse, so duty calls. The two of us may not see as much new country as Captain Call and the Hell Bitch, but I’m hoping to get bucked off and bitten less often.