I figured what the hell, I’ll try to get out today. So I had an english muffin and a cup of juice and decided to hit the road for an hour.
First 30 minutes I’m coughing and hacking up shit as I roll along the west side toward 114. It’s embarrassing. I sound like I’m ready to cash it in. People are staring.
Down 114 and up Wallace and of course who do I see coming down Wallace but Grampie & Betty.
We chit chat for a few minutes and I agree to tag along with them for a while. They’re headed out to Kearsarge – the exact opposite direction I should be riding – but I latch on & figure I’ll bail out somewhere along the way and double back. Which I do. At 202/9, at exit 4 on I89. Which as I now know leaves me a SOLID 25 miles back to my doorstep. Headwind the entire way back, one gear, no help, you are screwed, go piss up a rope.
So much for taking it easy and seeing how I feel. Here’s how you feel: nobody cares so ride or you’re not getting home.
I get maybe halfway and I am totally fucked. I ate nowhere near enough for this. Any legs I had I burned on the way out to “the bailout point”, and I’ve been so sick that my energy tank is horrible. I blew my emergency $4 on Gatorade and water to complement the 1 gel I had left, which was like trying to stop a fire with an eyedropper.
I get about 5 miles from home and I am despondent. Off the grid. Rolling through every traffic light & maybe picking up my head to check out what color it is. The tiniest climbs were crushing me. I was on a 42×16, but still. My batteries were empty, thrown away, buried in a landfill, and leaking mercury into the water supply.
I’ve never actually ridden through my own neighborhood feeling like that, and it was really weird. But also reassuring that when I got home, it was over. No breaking down gear and driving an hour home. All over, just sitting on my front steps, staring at the ground, wondering why the hell I’m so stupid.