Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Harrowing bike ride

Another bout of PMS has come and gone. Poor Jason. I nearly broke the stupid air pump trying to get air in my tires to go on a bike ride last night. I get kind of caveman-like when I get frustrated. Like an angry chimp.
Note to self: don't try to go a week w/o chocolate right before PMSing. It's a setup for failure. I went 3 or 4 days cold turkey and then, the last 4 days, I gave in to temptation. So, I'm starting over on that one. I also have been going to bed pretty late. I've been so wired at midnight. The last thing I can think about is sleep. So I've been waking up late too. I need to shift everything back about an hour.
On the other hand, I've been pretty good about eating healthier, exercising, and cutting back on the naps. So that's a start. Last night, I decided to go for a spin around Forest Park. I'm sick of the trainer; bikes are meant to be ridden outside, for Pete's sake. I tried to tell Jason that but he wouldn't get off the trainer so I stubbornly set out by myself at 10 to 8 last night.
It felt great b/c the sun was going down and a thin layer of clouds hung in the sky, concealing the early evening shadows and the blazing sun. It had been in the 90s earlier and quite humid, but now, a light breeze, exacerbated by the speed of the bike, blew in my face like a much-needed fan.
I wore no watch, and for some reason, my cyclometer had broken and wasn't giving me a reading. It was pleasantly relaxing, yet I was still working hard. I pushed myself according to my breath. It felt good to just go and listen to my body and not worry about gadgets and computers and readings and keeping your rpms this, your heart rate that, your speed this, etc. I focused on the steady spinning of my legs, keeping even pressure with the bike throughout the pedal stroke, and keeping my upper body relaxed and still, removed from my legs, churning below me, apart from me, like a well-oiled engine.
Even though my lungs burned, I felt good. I love my bike, I love its speed, its comfort, how it fits me, how I feel like a part of it when I bike. I speed down the hill at the zoo and noticed another cyclist behind me. Many cyclists use the loop at Forest Park for a workout so I thought nothing of it.
As I headed by the playing fields, I noticed he was still behind me. I could hear the spinning of his wheels, and the shifting of his gears as we went up a hill. Several cop cars had passed me, and I passed two mounted policemen so I didn't worry too much. Even if he was following me, there were people everywhere.
The cars that drove past me had their lights on as dusk fell. I turned a corner, shifted into 3rd, and took off. Let's see if this f.cker really is following me. I decided to play a game with him. I hit about 30 mph before another hill slowed me down, forcing me to shift back to 2nd. I didn't see him behind me anymore. I was mostly relieved and a little disappointed that I had lost my new playmate.
As I coasted downhill, he caught up with me, and I realized he was definitely following me. My heart leapt in my throat. I took off again and zipped by the tennis courts and the history museum, weaving to avoid some inconsiderate cars who ignored me, almost pulling right into me.
My lungs were burning, my chest heaving, my legs screaming, but I didn't care. Up Skinker I sprinted. Halfway up, I slowed way down. I needed a rest. I sucked down water from my water bottle and hoped my pursuer would grow weary and pass me. I'm not much of a cyclist, and I'm pretty out of shape so I was pretty sure I wasn't challenging him very much. Part of me hoped he was following me because he thought I was such an awesome cyclist that he could get a great workout by riding with me. Ah, such grandiose wishes.
By the time I sped down past the zoo the 2nd time, it was almost dark, and I was debating what to do. Should I pull up to one of the police officers and claim this guy was following me? What would they do? This asshole would only deny it anyway. It's a free country. 2 people can bike on the same path. I didn't want to feel like an idiot. I decided to see what happened when I turned out of the park back towards home.
The final turn was a sharp right, forcing me to slow way down. I took this opportunity to look over my shoulder so I could get a clear glimpse of my attacker. Male, helmet, white cotton t-shirt, blue bike...wait. It was Jason! The whole time! I felt a wave of embarrassment and relief wash over me simultaneously.
"Jason!" I shouted in my southern accent, which I adopt when I'm pissed off. He didn't say anything and slowed down. I slowed down, continuing to look over my shoulder, totally blowing a stop sign and almost colliding with another cyclist in front of me (who was very forgiving). Turns out that Jason, concerned about my riding in the dark, had gotten off the trainer and come after me after I doggedly decided to go for my jaunt in the park. What a scare he gave me! Pretty hilarious.


Kevin said...

such the irony that the one thing he probably feared the most about you boldly going out after dark, is the fear that you felt while thinking he was a stalker.

was he trying to make a point by doing that...making you feel like he was a stranger following you? Or did he assume that you probably knew it was him whole time?

Erin Nicole said...

i'm laughing my butt off...i completely saw that coming as the end of the story and i think it's pretty funny stuff. :)

gradman1 said...

In my defense, I did try to tell Rachel I was behind her but she did not hear me. Getting the attention of a biker concentrating on her bike ride can be difficult.

It was not my intention to teach her a lesson or anything like that. I just thought she might like some company.

In the end we both had a really nice bike ride.

Kevin said...

If you were trying to teach her a lesson, it sounds like it probably would have been an effective one :).

Rachel said...

It was a very fun bike ride. I'm glad Jason was watching out for me. ;)

blake said...

That's funny, I bet you chewed his ass out for that one though!!