I truly do wish it took me more than a couple of minutes to find the source of S’quatch’s 9 or 10 flats that ultimately cost him his run for the Home stretch. I was rested. I had good light. What more can I say?
Manically searching and searching in the 100+ degree heat S’quatch must have resembled a fearsome Dustin Hoffman muttering Wapner 4:30
as his vital fluids slowly drained from his brow.
I believe we will have to let the man speak for himself on the nuances of his considerable accomplishment. Who am I to determine where to start? The Angel Dog story, a clash of beasts in the night? Perhaps I should begin with Audrey, the swamp gypsy bartender who saved our friend from a night of cramps and cringing in the dirt?
It really is too much responsiblity for a thrid party at the moment.
Until I can work it out, Big Worm sent this bit of prose around the internet so I reckon I will exploit it.
So I look up an see Little Berg about to get hung out in the wind way too early. I tell him to hold for a sec, and jump in front of him. As I go by I tell him to hold on, it’s time to go! I flat buried myself. Just hold 32….32 is good ….just hold it….31.5 isn’t so bad, just hold 31.5….I’m starting to fade. I dig again to give him just a little more time….the air dam is wide open and the spotty vision is coming….hello floaty dots, havn’t seen you in awhille. Finally, I’m sucking down so much air, I swallow my own lips! I pull for the gutter and watch David and Justin go by…..we’ve got a gap on the next few guys and the sprint is on! I ask the little floaty dots to move over so I can see who wins…..damn dots……a few riders trickle by my dying carcass…..David looks good……and then there’s the awful crackle of aluminum and plastic bike parts completely dioriented from their usual harmony……the vibration of rims wound tight and suddenly freed to vibrate against the brake pads…..like plucking one of those old school springy door stoppers at your grandparents house…….then the wet slap of body to pavement….the low squeal of rubber, lycra and flesh sliding on asphalt………I’m gonna miss him! I’m gonna miss him!….and like a shot he pops up from a 20 mile per hour flesh slide, straight to his feet and at a full run!!……right in front of me……Oh shit! I’m not gonna miss him!!!…..GO!GO!GO!…….the deer in headlights look, and finally the acceleration of youth……at a full run he clears the curb and saves both of our lives!!!!!!! I don’t know the kid’s name, but I know all too well the feelings he was experiencing. The shakes from the adrenaline high, followed by the nausea as you come back down. The slight embarrassment of crashing….”No No I’m fine. No help needed!”, as blood runs off the end of your fingers and the chain that has simply fallen off the chainring, now appears to the crashee as some sort of gordian knot. And then there is the shower afterwards….the metallic smell of iron….”Why’s my water smell like rust?”…..JESUS CHRIST THAT STINGS!!!!!!…..nothing like more insult to injury. At least he’ll have a greater awareness of his position in the future. Either that or Darwin will be proven accurate one more time, courtesy of the Joe’s ride. I’d still like to know who won that sprint, though.
My Man, breaking it down for you.
Why yes, I did ride my bikes this weekend, thank you for asking.
S’quatch and I “rode locally” following my intercept and extraction of him from the actual pit of hell. The Nature Coast trail is a link in the ubiquitous Rails to Trails system. The trail features a bike/ped suspension bridge over the Suwanee River. Very classy.
After our ride we enjoyed the healing waters of Fanning Springs, the terminus of S’quatch’s epic undertaking. I would provide a link, but you can always google it if you are curious.
We tagged yet another previously unknown spring on the way home. Lafayette Blue Spring, a nice deep hole just 20 miles east of Perry, FL. Lovely and cold.
And I haven’t even gotten into the tour, wow.
So it was an epic ride from Palmetto, FL to Fanning Springs, FL, featuring a first day with so many mechanicals (flats), errors in judgment, and HEAT as to be comical. Picture Ben Stiller on a bicycle tour, and you’ll get the idea.
The second day, which was one of the hottest days I’ve ever experienced, was simply a burn and turn until I knew that IF I made it to Fanning Springs, that would be it for this trip.
The third day, with Juancho serendipidously coming through Fanning Springs at the end of a training in St. Pete, was great. A short, local ride, some fine spring swimming, and the absolute miracle of an air-conditioned 70 miles per hour, all the way home.
Still, I loved it. I’m still riding it, and dreaming of future tours. Thanks for the support.
S’quatch, better to have loved and changed your mind than never to have loved at all. Congrats on having the courage to not kill yourself.
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