The hard part of the ride is walking out the door. Picture me tired, with the corners of my mouth still crusty sweet from Johnny Ray’s lemon pie, experiencing total radio silence from the robot army- but the weather!

The weather is perfectly cool, the air is what I describe as “soft.”

The moment before I click into my pedals the world looks bleak.

Although I recently acquired part ownership in a multi-billion dollar insurance company and a number of investment banks I can find no joy in surpassing the expectations of my 10th grade World History teacher who wrote in my Senior yearbook

“Has potential if he chooses to apply himself.”

So, aside from my ascendance as a Captain of Industry–

I have a working front brake, a new saddle best described as a comfortable suppository, and an entirely empty Saturday to paint a masterpiece of a day.
I feel listless and underwhelmed with this life.

I roll out of the driveway being careful to not ride over my bottom lip.

Turning onto 10th Avenue I check the gauge on my legs and realize the tank is full. The tank is full and there are extra jerry cans of turpentine lashed to King and Kong. I am prepared to lay siege to the trails.

Fern, Cadillac, Heritage, Pedrick Greenway, Tom Brown Park, and it is not even noon yet. Crushing up through the old Albertson’s trail, which is cleaner than you would think, I pull into Mystery’s place demanding everything a Viking needs for sustained battle. Careful to never look me in the eye, he and his dear wife provide me a BLT and a vat of hummus. Mystery maintains a steady patter of excuses for not riding, as if I could not see his smiling bride for myself!

I leave them to the rest of their lives and pound to the St. Marks Trailhead in time to run down S’quatch and his new riding gang. Local writer, Bucky McMahon, is training for a 125 mile ride in Tuscany next week as an assignment for a prominent national magazine that would be considered the opposite of a magazine about being indoors.

This crew bobbed along the trail like a drunken float trip, content to let the slightest momentum push them along towards the coast, a cold beer, and a night at the Sweet Magnolia Bed & Breakfast.

We give Bucky the cheered back-slapping and encouragement you give a man who has already made a terrible decision with no option for retreat. The recently enlisted soldier, the girl on the mechanical bull, the volunteer from the studio audience.

At the front of this pack rides Sasquatch, a dominant rider among his peers who coast along on shed-kept mountain bikes from the early nineties. They are all having fun, and they would most likely be startled to hear this outing described as exercise.

I feel like just another clown in the parade, but a clown with a 60 mile day.

San Whatsco? When is that again?


10 Responses to Elevated

  1. Why anyone who can write like you can is out riding instead of sitting in a/c banging out the bestseller is beyond me.

    SIXTY MILES to this old lady might as well be 3,000 miles to the Yucatan! You’re supposed to use a motor, hijo! Are you sure you’re not lyin’ and it’s really 60 yds, or maybe 60 kms.??? I can’t even imagine leaving the house after lemon pie! I’ll bet you outlive me because of this! 😉

  2. Mingo, mingo, could it be? No, not him! It must be…?

    Good morning Circus freaks, today we will begin planning for the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Lad for those of you who have kindly asked for more information.

  3. So irritating it is in Tuscany to come upon the “tour de 55-year-old-bankers-with-new-spandex” cloggin up the road only to have them lead you to the cafe (20 minutes and 2 miles later) to hear them whine for “water that’s not gassy”!

    He’ll have fun though, it’s beautiful.