Tuesday, I was going to hit Munson. Big Jim convinced me to ride Tom Brown and Cadillac in prep for the impending "Race of Death" that visits our trails annually like a plague. Like a good soldier, I obliged. I rode from my house (because putting your bike on a car is just silly) and headed to Jim's place of work. As I rolled up, the faucet turned on and I heard that music they play when someone loses on a game show. Jim made a series of grumbling noises and I said:
"Well, I'll see you in the back lot" and I rode off to meet Tyler, who was sitting in the rain, waiting for us. We waited about a minute before I recieved the text from Jim:
You see Jim had just had his bike massaged by Big Worm. His bike was dialed, styled, and profiled. Jim likes things to be clean. Jim likes things to be in order. Jim doesn't do rain. Jim was f*#^+ng riding, if I had to kill him and "Weekend At Bernie's" his ass around the trail system. I have a vague memory of cussing into a phone and applying copious amounts of guilt. Low and behold Jim cracked, rolled up, changed, and we headed for the woods. You could have parked a truck on Jim's lower lip. What followed was one of the most miserable, mud ridden, roll outs I can remember. Within ten minutes we were covered head to toe in brown water and trail filth. You could hear metal grinding off our drive trains, cables struggling to move, and chain tolerances going to hell. Somewhere in Japan, a Shimano wept. In a scant ten minutes, all Worms work was decimated, and his efforts to make Jim's bike sing, were crushed, like the dreams of Seminole football fans.
Amazingly, we ended up on the Greenway, and salvaged a pretty good ride. Tyler's steroids kicked in, after we dropped him a few times (not because we were fast, but because he doesn't have gears.....schmuck!). He attacked every hill and robbed me of my delusions of fitness. He even gave me a smirk as I rolled up (four days after they arrived) to the Greenway trail head. The ride was good, and we logged about twenty miles, while the more sensible cyclists sat in their homes, coddled, and well fed, watching The Antique Road Show (Pansies!).
Wednesday, I was riddled with guilt. I called Big Jim to say I was sorry about his muddy bike and invited him for an early ride from my house. This would give me the opportunity to wash his Ellsworth, dump lube on it, floss his calipers and wipe down his frame (insert homophobic jokes here..). Off we went to do the big east loop, in the shining October sun and all was grand...until nearly the end of our ride, when we reached Fern. The clouds pissed rain down on us, in another bitter insult to our ambitions.
Jim has had a perfect bike twice this week, and twice it has been soaked and sullied. My mind wandered to Buddhist Monks making sand paintings for days, denying themselves food, water and sleep. When they are done with the masterpiece, they open the doors facing north, south, east, and west, surrendering to the wind. It is not an exercise in futility, it is a lesson that we must strive for perfection and accept that all our efforts to attain perfection, are in vane. It is in the striving that we live life to the fullest. I know! That was good right? I can hear the sound of one hand clapping all over the Internet.
In all the pictures Jim is smiling, which means he must pick up the burning pot, thereby tattooing himself and leave the temple forever....wait.... did I just mix and match eastern religions?