March 31, 2005: There ain't much goin' on and folks ain't in no hurry to get it done
It's nice to live in a beach town like EG on a day like today. Sun, warmth, ocean, babes in bikinis, the smell of Sex Wax, the slow line of cars snaking their way to the surf spots, bare feet, sunscreen, cold drinks, skateboards, surfboards, cruiser bikes, flip-flops, motorcycles, hot rods, horses, kites, and hounds. A festive, laid-back, take-it-easy atmosphere that combines the beach feeling of places like Santa Barbara and San Diego with the small-town pace and flavor of Gila Bend, Arcata, and Ninilchik -- there ain't much goin' on and folks ain't in no hurry to get it done.
It's the feeling of summertime, of carefreeity, of youth.
Hey, karma is for real, babe. Work your way towards it: if you see a nail in the road, pick it up. Your efforts will be rewarded, somewhere, sometime.
I saw on SportsCenter that Lance is fending off more steroid allegations. I want to believe he's clean, but six straight Tour wins? In this day and age, every top athlete, especially those who accomplish amazing things, are suspect. Even Lance.
I was going to crank out a Lobitos Triangle (bikepath-Cabrillo-Tunitas-Lobitos-Verde-Higgins Purissima-bikepath) time trial on the Blade today but bumbled and stumbled out of the gate. I forgot my rear-view mirror and decided to go back for it. When riding on the Cabrillo, a flasher and a rear-view mirror are critical gear. I never did get into a very good groove, and it was clear early on that a time trial was out; I did stick with the original route.
Bombing down the coastal bikepath, I took a large bug right in the craw. I could actually feel it scraping the sides of my throat as it went down. Felt like some kind of hard-shelled wingéd beetle. Yuck.
I'm just glad it wasn't a bee or I could have been in serious trouble. I'm very allergic to bee stings. It's not as bad now, but when I was kid, it was so bad, I had a special syringe at the house that I was to use in case of a really bad reaction. I even had to demonstrate that I could inject myself. This is at about age eight. No wonder I'm a needlephobe. Anyway, I would swell up really, really badly as a kid. I remember the first time it happened was the day our family bought its very first new car ever, a 1977 Datsun B-210 hatchback. My mom drove the new car home and I got to ride in the backseat as the sole passenger. I climbed in and reached down for the seatbelt. A bee had gotten in there some time during the day, and in its death throes, it stung me. Within 10 minutes, my middle finger was the size of my forearm. It was like a fake clown finger. It was grotesque to absurdity, and was probably pretty funny looking to everybody except me.
But the worst of the worst came in the fall of 1983. I was sophomore in high school and was outside playing ball in the yard one crisp fall morning. My parents and sisters had gone to the swap meet in El Cajon, 20 miles away, and I was enjoying the privacy. I was playing the one-person tackle football game that I had evolved over 10 years of isolation, chasing after a self-thrown pass. As I ran, a bee flew up my nose and stung me!
<<Insert obligatory nose jokes here>>
Yeah, it hurt, but more than that, I was immediately panicked by the thought of the inevitable swelling and the brain damage and/or breathing problems it might cause. The stinger was way up into my nasal cavity, so it just sat there pulsing venom into my tissue and there was nothing I could do to remove it. Instantly, I could feel my face tightening up and getting very, very hot. I didn't know what to do. We lived six miles from town, and 20 miles from the nearest hospital facility. Plus, I couldn't drive, our nearest neighbor lived miles away, and my parents would be gone for hours still.
It was like I had just crashed on my motorcycle. That kind of dazed, numbed, know there's going to be some pain coming once the shock wears off feeling. I stumbled around the yard and the house for a while getting more and more swollen, before finally getting some ice on my face.
After what seemed like an eternity, my parents came home and I stumbled out to meet them spewing spittle like I had just been shot up with Novocain. They were horrified by my disfigurement. We rushed down to private emergency care place in El Cajon and it was brutal. Think the kid from Mask, think Elephant Man. I am not exaggerating. The swelling was incredible and my entire face was warped and distorted beyond all recognition. I was hideous. I was the Elephant Boy.
Now when I get stung, there is moderate localized swelling for a couple of days, then the tissue around the stinger kind of dies. It kind of looks like the tissue damage done by Brown Recluse spiders. All of this is why I was really, really glad I hadn't swallowed a bee. It wasn't the only bug I swallowed today. I could have left all my food at home for all the extra protein I inhaled.
Coming back, I got it up to 35 MPH coming down the Grapevine. That's flying through those tight turns. Sometimes, I don't even break 30 MPH in there. I also had a good time slaloming the bi-directional traffic on the coastal bikepath. There were a lot of people out there and I felt like I was in a Hollywood slow-motion wrong-way freeway chase scene as I bored down on people head-on, only to cut over to the proper side of the path at the last second. I had everything under complete control.
I watched a blazing orange and red sunset while spinning up the coastal bikepath. The sun set spectacularly behind Pillar Point and backlit it with a fiery palette of oranges, reds, and yellows. I felt like Lance sipping champagne on the Champs D'Elysses.
|Mileage: 36.57||Time: 2:21:08||Avg: 15.5||Max: 35.5||Weight: 169.5|
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