Sunday, September 30, 2007
65 miles...on a bicycle built for two
so, i've been on a road bike all of two times, and ridden a whopping total of 10 miles on aforementioned device. this past weekend i went blazing (perhaps that is a stretch on the verb) through the cornfields and country roads of southern indiana. on a tandem. for 65 miles. voluntarily. the ultimate test for someone who has chronic control issues.
my job was to pedal, and bring up the rear; behind a "proper roadie", who rides for a local team sponsored by papa john's (pizza and cycling; what an obvious combination). the "captain" dragged himself, me, and the bike up many (many) rolling hills. fortunately my inner control freak was seduced by the very simple, concrete, 2-step directives issued forth; "pedal" and "pedal harder". i am a closet uni-tasker. conveniantly, lactic acid was mostly ignored with the distraction of incredible views of louisville.
there were no decisions to be made (by me at least) about gears, braking, or steering. where all of the cuticle tearing views downhill, or "this chick needs a defibrillator" uphills, were obstructed by a mass of red, white and black spandex (which incidentally provided a great barrier for "bugs in my face"). a tandem may just be my new metaphor for life. as long as my legs were turning over i could have been doing the sunday crossword back there. instead, i chose to indulge my autistic like tendencies by keeping tally on how many statues of the virgin mary (sequestered in bath tub looking structures) were displayed on front lawns (final count: 15). other popular lawn art genres were represented in the form of knackered out, rusty pick up trucks on blocks, or statues of bambi's extended family. the true prize of the day however, was a lavender bath tub housing a concrete owl (and why not?). the miles slipped away as conversation shifted from work, to inseminating livestock, and proper tandem etiquette; number one being that the person in front is absolutely, under no circumstances, allowed to fart.
finally (in addition to sore muscles and "bike short tan lines"), i came away with an experience where i was able to give up control (sort of), and allow someone else to take charge and do the grunt work for a change. of course i still felt a great sense of responsibility that short legs, slow twitch muscle fibres, puny quads, and lack of time on a road bike would be a burden to someone who was obviously professional enough to shave their legs to ride on two wheels. codependency transcends all modes of transportation.