Friday, April 26, 2013

The Hitchhiker's Guide to....Cycling??

If that book exists, I need it. Perhaps I should explain.

I had a simple hour aerobic ride on the schedule and took the bike out with the race wheels for the first time this year. Weeeeeee! I drove the bike to my kid's school and figured I could just squeeze the ride in from there and finish to coincide with dismissal. No time wasted! Perfect plan! Yes, until 3/4 of the way into the ride when I spotted a crouched white kitty alongside a sharp bend in the road, then saw the gravel and oncoming traffic, made some cat-and-vehicle evading maneuver and blew a tube.

Dang it! And no repair stuff with me (yeah, yeah...dumb). Then I remembered the small split in the tire left over from last season. Could that have been it?

I was just a few miles from the car so I figured surely some good Samaritan would offer me a ride into town.

I took off my helmet, hung it from the aerobars, then....oh so stupid....took my bike shoes off (to spare the cleats I could replace for $10 was my thinking) and walked barefoot on the asphalt shoulder. After a while I began to wonder if rolling my beloved race wheel on a flat tire was doing damage to the wheel so I then carried the bike -- complete with the dangling shoes and helmet.

Barefoot woman, walking, carrying a bike adorned with shoes and helmet. Nothing strange about that.

People waved. "Hi!!" Trucks went by, a school bus, big roomy mini vans. I faced traffic. I looked the drivers in the eye. I telepathically communicated that my bike would fit very nicely in the back of their truck and that as a grateful passenger I would make enjoyable small talk!

I've rescued riders before. Hellloooo, karma, where are you?

Despite the cool day, my feet apparently started to burn. I walked about a mile thinking I was just being wimpy. Then they really started to hurt. I thought back to the barefoot runner I saw at Boston.

Argh! Come on, people! I know about 42! I don't even need a ride through the galaxy, just into town!

Then I called my friend Bryan for a rescue.

I am left with sizable blisters on both heels. The upside is they keep me from noticing the blisters on my insteps from my failed attempt at the sock-less run yesterday.

The bike is getting new tubes and tires. Too bad the shop did not also have new skin for my feet.

So what was I missing? Some secret sign? An expression? Was I so scary looking? Why was I so incapable of hitchhiking back to town? Where is the Hitchhiker's Guide to Cycling?

Lessons learned: don't train without the bike bag and repair kit and don't worry about the stupid cleats.