Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Unsympathetic Hero

All it took was one small cough.  I felt the twinge and knew immediately I was going to.................drop to my knees.  You see I have been there, done that so many times in the last 25 years, I know better than to resist.  My only problem was I had organized the trip and marketed it to enough people that I felt obligated to go.  Besides, I had not been to a "Turkey Burner Ride" in years and I wanted to ride with my kid again.  Screw my back.  I would be okay once we started riding, right?   Riiiiight.  Sure, anything you say.

Of course, before I could ride, I had to drive for an hour and a half.  That meant an hour and a half of extreme discomfort, my legs were gonna be in pain, the knot in my back would grow to the point that once I hit the parking lot at Massabesic Lake, I would be a crumpled and twisted old fart who probably should have stayed home.  Yeah right.  The number of rides I have left is growing shorter.  So screw my back, I'm going for a ride.

This was the 17th Annual Turkey Burner Ride sponsored by a tight knit cycling group called FOMBA (Friends Of Massabesic Bicycling Association).  For 17 years they have had this event the day after Thanksgiving.  I have seen as many as 700 people there and as few as a couple of hundred.  But rain or shine, they still show up.  It is a pay to play event with the money going to a local Rescue Squad.  

The first eight or so miles was rolling flat double track with some connecting pavement.  I was doing fine.  Then the group of four I was with landed at the Hot Chocolate Stop.Two hundred yards down the road was the  split where the Heroes went right to taste 15 miles of single track and the regular folk went left to finish back at the parking lot.  Sadly, I had brought heroes with me.  They went right.  Having ridden the single track there before when I used to be heroic, I knew I was in for it.  I was not disappointed.

My situation was not helped by the fact that on the day previous, Thanksgiving, I imbibed in more beer than I am used to, ate more sweets than I am used to, and stuffed food of the Thanksgiving kind down my throat like there was no tomorrow.  So with an extremely sour stomach, achie head, and a back that was in a constant state of spasm, I entered the single track.

It got interesting right out of the gate.  The trail was called the Long Trail.  I assumed that it was so named because it never did end.   Okay, yeah it ended, but it seemed like it took a life time to unfold.  And while it was unfolding, I managed to use body english to my dis-advantage.  Every technical spot I would un-weight one wheel or the other, twist this way and, ouch dammit, twist that way until finally back close to where we began this torture I was ready to have someone dig a hole, kick me into it, and maybe cover me with dirt.  It wouldn't matter, I would not have noticed either way.

We had our pants full about 17 miles into the total of 27 miles available that day.  I hung in and managed to finish with a smile on my face.  As I was wolfing down an excellent roast beef sub at some deli somewhere close to our departure point, I realized a painful day in the woods on my bike beat a painful day on the couch, hands down.  And I had the opportunity to spin my wheels along side of my daughter's wheels.  That alone made whatever discomfort I endured well worth the trip.

Keep it 'tween the ditches.................................................


BBC said...

Maybe it's time for you to just be an amusing old fart that organizes things like that, and just go on leisure rides from now on.

Ol'Buzzard said...

You only go around once - boogie till you puke. go for it.
the Ol'Buzzard

The Blog Fodder said...

Doing dumb things is always worth the pain. Well done!!!

squatlo said...

Proud of you, man! I've overloaded my ass with youthful exploits a few times, myself. You just have to know that a lesser man (or a mere mortal, as I call them) would never have ate, drank, and peddled the same distance with the same kind of back pain. I've had two cervical laminectomies and can assure those who don't know: your neck and back run the show. When you're back goes, so goes the show.

Well damn done! Enjoyed the post!