Friday, August 22, 2008

Watching Tents Dry

Okay. I took some time off. There are excuses ready made and convenient. Real reasons why I have avoided writing and posting in my blog. Listing them would be nothing but sitting through the same movie over one more time for me. So, no excuses. I just took some time off. Besides, whining explanations or blow by blows about how my life has hit a few small bumps is not why I started this blog. Shit happens.

Recapping recent and not so recent events-

24 Hours of Great Glen

The 24 hour race turned ugly for me. I have never not finished a race before. Ever. I guess it had to happen at some point. Too bad it had to be in a race that my DNF meant disqualification for 4 other team members. But I could not ride after smashing my knee my first trip out. Hobbling the 6 miles back to the start told me I was done. Which meant the team was done. So I sat around, camped, ate, threw wet wood on this really great portable fire pit Dave the Punk brought with him, and watched the tents dry. The rest of the team fell into leisure mode. They still went out and did their laps, but not with any intensity.

It was interesting to be a spectator rather than a participant for a change. I had a chance to observe the racers camped around us come and go from their various lap duties. Everyone takes on the same haggard look over the course of the 24 hours whether they are just doing a few laps or riding solo. No one sleeps really. Not even the support crews or disabled grumpy gusses who drop out. And though the course was absolutely in the worst condition I have ever raced on, everyone stayed upbeat. Including my teammates who continued to do their laps, even though they knew we were no longer among those who counted. In all a fun weekend. Just not the one I had planned.


I met my first blogging friend in person last week. Eric from over to Roadside Manners stopped by at the bike shop. He was on his week down from his last three weeks over the road trucking for Schneider National. He drives one of those big orange rigs we see all over the lower 48. It was so very cool actually meeting one of the people I interact with in this blog world.

We talked trucks and swapped tales of life on the road. He is now a seasoned long haul trucker and settling into a unique lifestyle that is no where near as romantic as the country songs wax poetic about. I thought I might be missing the road more after talking with him. But no. My time there is over and I have no desire to return to that life. Although it would be so cool to drive one of the new rigs that are common today. I guess they are more like like RVs than trucks now. What with the TVs, the micro waves, double bed sleepers, plush suspension and built in computer hook ups. And with all the new computer enhanced safety features, they are, as Eric put it, almost idiot proof to drive.

An Old Adversary Comes Back

The week following the race, I began to feel fatigued. As much as I did not want to admit it, I knew in the back of my mind, my chronic liver problem was back. When that happens, my health takes a dive, my happy factor takes a hit, and I fall into a funk that can sometimes be a deep pit that is tough to climb out of. The duration this time seems to be only a brief visit. I may have lost only a couple of weeks instead of the often month or longer duration I am used to. I am really just starting to come to accept this as part of my life now and accept the physical limitations it seems to insist on. The shitty attitude that accompanies the physical hit seems harder to turn around than the chronic fatigue.

I will close with this close up of one of my campsite buddies. To many of you, just another creepy crawler destined to be flattened by some impersonal boot or compacted into the tent bag when I packed it up. But to me this bug was another example of how Nature will always out trump us when it comes to beauty. Click it to enlarge it and really check out this bug's tats.


Anonymous said...

Good to hear ya ok, Crummy .... was thinking to look ya up on my way to the Acton Fair later today.

toklas23 said...

Welcome back Mr. M...I missed seeing your posts, but truly understand the need for time away. Hope things are back on track for you.'s the Big Acton Fair this weekend, right? Good gawd that damn thing used to be the highlight of my summers when I was a kid (how sad is *that.*)

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Crummy! Glad to see you writing again. I was worried about the silence - you almost "met", via a telephone call to your shop yesterday, your second blogging acquaintance. I know it would have been impertinent, but I was very close to calling just to ask if you were okay.

Mind you, you might not have been at work yesterday. So that may possibly not have worked.

Anyway, glad you are okay, or at least starting to feel better. No need to explain taking a break from the blog; I and just about everyone else do the same from time to time.

MRMacrum said...

Yeah, it did feel good to post again. Thanks for the kind words.

toklas23 and presterjohn - The Acton Fair - what a great event. Proof that no matter what other madness goes on, we know the World will be okay when folks meet every year to prove whose veggies are the biggest, whose chicken is the coolest, whose Team can pull the longest and whose baked goods rock. And rather than look at it as a sad testimony to what I found cool as a kid, I celebrate it now. I just wish they had not banned the hootchy koo tent. Thanks for the reminder. I need to write about my teenaged experience in that tent. Only problem is I am trying to keep this blog at a PG level at the least. Hmm. Interesting challenge.

el cerdo ignatius - Time off is always good. It is better though when choice is part of the decision.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Bummed me out hearing about the race and all----but hey like you already pointed out---"shit happens", and have to say really glad to see ya posting again---somehow restores a balance to the "force" in my estimation. Thats some wild looking caterpillar friend ya got there.

toklas23 said...

Yeah...I have some really incredible memories of the Acton Fair. My sister and I would go nuts when we starting seeing the posters tacked up on all the telephone poles. Oh. my. gawd.

I was a 4-H kid, and I remember running to those exhibition halls to check and see what kind of ribbons my exhibits would garner. What a blast. My dad was a car freak, and the company he worked for had a spot every year at the fair, so we'd camp out in this beat-up old camper and hang at the fair all weekend. I remember every Sunday, just when the money was running out, a friend of my parents would show up and hand my sister and i five bucks each. and back then, five bucks kept you busy at the midway all day long.

my grandmother was such a die-hard Acton Fair person--she'd spend the entire time in the grandstand, watching the tractor pulls and the horse pulls and the Miss Action Fair Pageant...damn. i could write a post on that myself Mr. M.

what a time, what a time...

American Hill BIlly said...

The knee, and other health crap Sucks!!! I have MD, and can relate to very BAD days.

I liked the trucking stuff. It is a fascinating look at a job so important; yet so many jerks thumb their noses at the very people that put the food on the table.

The little critter, I liked. I saw a sea turtle, and an eel the other day swimming. I do marvel at the complexities, and natural beauty of the World around us!

United In Peace And Freedom

Carlita said...

Sorry to hear about the race, but very glad to know that you're ok.