As you may recall, I’m doing my first triathlon this weekend. Training has been, well, spotty at best.
I’m just back from a weekend away with my college besties to Texas. More on that later, but it was a freaking awesome trip.
While I was away, I was able to fit in two runs, hilly ones at that. But I know this week I HAVE to do some swimming and cycling. Of course, though, over the past couple days, Florida has been socked in with some unusually rainy weather. I’m sure I could have sucked it up and still swam in the rain this morning, but let’s be honest. I’m not a “suck it up” kinda exerciser.
When I got home from work tonight, it was surprisingly cool so I decided I’d do maybe a 4-mile bike ride, followed by a short run. I believe the kids call it a brick.
I pumped the air in my tires and took off, phone free. It’s been a busy, kind of chaotic, week so I decided I wouldn’t mind going off the grid for about 30 minutes. Big mistake. Huge mistake.
About 10 minutes into my ride, I ran into a friend of mine and her son, also out on a bike ride. I stopped longer than I intended chatting so by the time I left, I was already getting anxious that it was getting dark. Then, almost as soon as I pulled away, I heard her son screaming at the top of his lungs. I quickly turned around and found he’d fallen off his bike and was bleeding all over the place. I helped her get settled at a nearby friend’s house and I was on my way again.
The bike ride was going pretty good. I’m not wild about riding through my neighborhood because there are lot of brick-lined streets, which I feel are bad for the tires, and I have to cross over a lot of intersections — always a risky act since I’m using pedals with cages.
Otherwise, though, I was feeling good. The weather felt just a smidge cooler and I was actually starting to feel some endorphins.
I was 3.25 miles into my ride and just starting my return to my house when suddenly, I couldn’t pedal anymore. No, it wasn’t my legs. It was the pedals. They suddenly wouldn’t advance. I kept trying and trying, cartoon style, to move them forward but they were stuck. The bike slowed down and down until finally I had to hop off before I toppled over.
I got off the bike and in my very limited bike knowledge, tried to figure out what was wrong with it. The chain was still attached. When I pressed the brakes, I saw them move up and down on the wheels so I knew they weren’t stuck in place. That was all I had.
Luckily, I wasn’t that far from my friend’s house, so I started walking with the bike. Surprise, surprise, guess who wasn’t home. My friend.
I considered knocking on some of her neighbors’ doors because I’ve met them at block parties but then my annoyance and lack of desire to make small talk while I waited for my husband to come get me won out. So Old Yeller and I kept walking.
Here’s what a genius I am. About a half-mile later I realized, “Duh, I should have stashed my bike in their back yard and ran home.” Once I realized that, the walk felt even longer.
The only saving grace was I was walking toward one of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve seen in a long time. The sky was tangerine, dusty rose and purple … and just simply stunning. I would share a picture with you, but yeah, that whole no phone thing strikes again.
The sunset made me feel a little zenlike for a few minutes but then I heard the pedal’s cages dragging along the ground “scrrrraaaaape, sccccrrrrraaaappppe” and I got annoyed all over again.
Funnily enough, when I was within about 1/4 mile of my house that same friend who wasn’t home drove by me, pulling over and yelling out the window, “What the heck are you doing???”
She’s done a couple tris herself and she had no idea either what was wrong with the bike.
So we loaded it up into her car and she drove me home.
As we were pulling into the driveway, my husband and E were walking out the front door with a look of panic on my husband’s face. Seriously, he went white when he saw the car. He came running up to the car because he later told me he was convinced I’d been hit by a car and someone was coming to tell him.
Before he even saw the car, he was heading toward his car to start driving around looking for me because I’d been gone for so long and I’d told him I was only going on a short ride.
So what’s the moral of the story?
a) Always take your phone. Always. Even if you turn it off, take it.
b) Exercise is dangerous for your health and sanity.
So who knows what’s wrong with my bike? Have I mentioned my tri is on SUNDAY? I need to figure this out ASAP. Have you ever been stuck somewhere without a phone? Of course, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. A couple years ago, I wiped out on a run a couple miles from home and had to limp home, bleeding all over the place. You’d think I would have learned my lesson.