‘Tis Not The Life I Expected

The 4th of July used to mean something to me — picnics, parties, friends, alcohol, fireworks (when I wasn’t too drunk from day drinking to pass out and miss them). I remember a 4th of July perhaps ten years ago when I went over my to my friend Maigh’s to hang out and photograph fireworks. On that night I met her neighbor Meg, who would become one of my greatest missed opportunities. Oh hindsight, you are such a cruel bitch.

In recent years I’ve had no desire to go out to see fireworks, mainly because it’s meant that I’d be doing it alone. While I do many things alone, staring into space alone amongst a bunch of groups of people having a good time has little appeal to me.

I never expected to spend so much of my life alone.

Hope that your 4th of July was more eventful than mine.

GroupRide – Group = SoloRide
“Let’s do the Atlanta Cycling Silk Sheets ride on Monday.” Al said on Saturday. With no other plans in place, I agreed. The ride was advertised with two distances, a 50-miler at “Independence Day” speeds, and a 40-miler at a “more moderate” pace. I am not delusional, I knew that I would be riding 40 miles yesterday because I don’t have the legs nor lungs to keep with faster riders any longer (if I ever could).

The group left en masse at 9am and within the first three miles I was dropped due to a combination of following the wrong wheel and getting caught out behind a passing truck, all while attempting to ride up an incline. Within three miles. I wound up doing the next thirty-seven miles alone, as an out-and-back so that I didn’t get lost. I normally don’t mind riding alone, but when I do I’m usually in a place where I can get help (or a ride) if I have an issue; yesterday it would have been quite the challenge to get back to the church had I had a mechanical problem.

To add insult to an already insulting ride, when I got back to the church I found out that Al completed the fifty-mile route ten minutes faster than my solo forty. I realize that there are benefits to peloton riding as opposed to solo riding. Regardless, I’m old, fat, and slow, and ready to give up on non-recovery group rides — unless a miracle occurs. What’s the point of going to a group ride if I am going to get dropped immediately and ride alone? I can ride alone from my home.

The only positive takeaway was that yesterday’s ride marked five consecutive days in the saddle (I’m taking credit for being in the saddle on Friday when I did Spin class); that’s every day since I returned to the US of A! I’m taking today off as a much-deserved rest day.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Mainz Hauptbahnhof, Long Exposure” (Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)
Mainz Hauptbahnhof, Long Exposure
Mainz was the town from which my cycling adventure launched and the Mainz Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is where I landed first.

In this photo I tried to use a long exposure to make the people who moved look ghostly.

I am finally getting around to editing and uploading my shots from Germany; expect to see at least one a day for the next few weeks.

Other Tidbits That I Missed Yesterday
While riding along the Rhine I saw lizards (sorry, I couldn’t determine what type of lizard they were). I was surprised by this because I would have assumed that Germany is too far north to support lizard life.

I have put in a hotel reservation request for Eurohash 2017 in Vienna, Austria from July 7-9, 2017. The event seems so far away, but if I’ve learned anything in my life is that time flies and I better start preparing for things better than I have in the past. Once the actual 2017 Tour de France stages are posted I will start contemplating flights and hotels in Germany to watch at least one of the first three stages.

Speaking of le Tour, I’ve paid $30 to NBC Universal for the streaming rights to my iPad for this year’s Tour de France coverage, but I’ve yet to watch much of the Tour. Why? Because I’ve been on my bicycle during the airing hours each of the past three days.

And speaking of Germany and France, these two countries will face off in the semi-final of EuroCup 2016 on Thursday. Unfortunately the game will be played at 3:00 EDT, otherwise I would see if the Goethe Zentrum, who shares office space with the Alliance Française d’Atlanta, is showing the game and go watch it if they are.

I’m headed back to my doctor, this time to have a look at my sore throat that started about a dozen days ago; it refuses to heal itself.

Dave (aka “Public Enema”) sent out an email about his Cheesy Yellow Tour de France gathering on Sunday (8am, bring running shoes or bike), which included their new address. I’m all set.

This morning I emailed Franklin asking for more details about out RAGBRAI departure (I am now fully paid up after forgetting to send in my balance due in June). He is out of office until July 17th? Yikes, that’s a mere five days before we are supposed to leave!

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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13 Responses to ‘Tis Not The Life I Expected

  1. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Another positive to report today: according to my scale I am finally below 210lbs again! 😀

    Next milestone is 200lbs.

  2. Barb says:

    Martha (remember her?) and I rode a whopping almost 22 on the Arabia Mtn trail yesterday – those hills & the heat made almost 22 miles more than enough. Great job on riding 40. I saw a FB post that Cheetah (Jon Harbert) rode 70 at Silk Sheets – he rides with really fast groups, so if you were part of that, I don’t worry about getting dropped, those guys don’t slow down for anyone.

    Besides that – Sunday we finally get the last few pieces of siding installed on the shed, so hopefully we can get an inspector out & get the final seal of approval. It was so hot out doing that work, we were going to go to Hog Mtn hash (pool ending) but decided to just hang inside in the AC.

    Saturday we went to the PineLake 1500 hash. It was fun, not too much more than 3 miles mostly shaded trail that ended inside the Chattahoochee Island Ford park. (They got a permit & everything to end there).

  3. steve says:

    My ride yesterday was 25 fairly warm miles. The broken spoke in the rear wheel was I believe on the non-drive side, so if I can get a spoke, I can replace it myself. I stopped on the one large hill on the route and tucked the spoke in so it wouldn’t rattle so much. And next time you ride Silk Sheets, give me some warning and I’ll join you.

    Went to a party last night hosted by some of Debbie’s horsey friends. Excellent barbecue and fireworks! She was slightly in her cups by the end of the evening as the host had made some “Summer Beer”, at least that’s what they called it- vodka, juice and beer. I had one and couldn’t tell there was alcohol in it (bad sign) while Debbie had 4!!

    Back to work…


  4. Of course I remember Martha! 🙂

    There was a fast, large group that I saw going out as I was returning. I wonder if he was part of that group.

    Pinelake 1500? Geez, it seems not that long ago that I attended their 1000th!

  5. Though we talked about it on Saturday I wasn’t committed until Monday morning. However, I will let you know in advance when I ride it again. And it was warm. I went through three bottles of Powerade and another bottle of water at my store stop.

    Doctor says that I don’t have Strep, but I do have an irritated throat. I now have a nasal spray that I have to use twice a day.

  6. Barb says:

    Irritated throat – that’s a hell of a diagnosis. I could have told you that! hahahaha

  7. Yeah, I knew that going in. At least she gave me a sampler of the nasal spray so that I didn’t have to buy anything. She said that if it’s still irritated by next Monday I should return.

  8. steve says:

    And saved you $25!! (we crack ourselves up)

  9. Yep!

    Geez, the riders in the TdF keep messing with my timetable. They used to finish each stage around 11:30am local, but now they all ride so fast that I have been missing the finishes.

  10. HOLY CRAP, if you thought that yesterday’s stage finish was close, you need to watch today’s.

  11. Barb says:

    good thing you aren’t on FB – if you had put that out there for Benny to see – he would have unfriended you

  12. Ha! I made sure not to include names to avoid spoilers, just in case ITP Readers are recording it. 😉

  13. steve says:

    And this reader is recording!!

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