Monday, January 17, 2005

MLK Day Ride (a.k.a. I feel like shit)

I had off of work today to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, so I organized a ride down to UofC in Hyde Park for a MLK ceremony and then lunch at Soul Vegetarian. http://www.bikewinter.org/calendar/scheduleofevents.php?city_id=1&showPast=true

The warmest temperature that I saw on any of the bank clocks was 14F. I knew it was going to be a cold ride, and cautioned everyone to dress warmly. After the colder Vampire Ride, I was confident that this wouldn't be too cold at all--especially since the people who RSVP'd were some hardcore, experienced riders who wouldn't dawdle. An unexpected rider showed up--Ms.-gortex-way-too-invested-in-her-dog on a folding bike. She bikes a lot and I didn't pay much attention to her when she said that she was concerned about keeping up, because on other rides she has done just fine. Well today she did Not.

The bike she rode was not her normal geared bicycle but a fixed gear ratioed at slow-as-fuck. On the way down to Hyde Park, with the wind on our back, we went about 14 mph--slower than I prefer for staying warm. My extremities were cold and during the ceremony I felt...off. I was fidgety and muscles ached, I was starting to get a head ache and I couldn't warm up. I perked up quite a bit after I got some yummy vegan food in me (normally I wouldn't use vegan and yummy together without a negative in the sentence, but this place also adds magic to the food.)

Two riders needed to be downtown for a meeting so they hopped on the Red Line and I asked her if she wanted to join them, too. "No, I feel great." Fuck you. You damn well should know that you were slowing us down with the wind, now that it will be in our faces you are going to freeze us to death. She stated that she couldn't ride faster than 10mph and also added that she was afraid of riding alone this far South--probably a good point considering that I was itching to take my U-lock to her. Approaching 4:00, I mentioned that if she wanted to take the train she needs to do it now before the rush-hour bicycle ban--but Nope, once again she felt Great, and besides, she would need one of us to come with her to carry her bike up to the platform since she can't lift it up stairs herself. WTF?!? This is the woman who brags so much about how independant she is with her bike and how she can take her folder everywhere? Oh yeah, except where there are stairs or on the South side. Grrrrrrr.

I am freezing at this time and so is John G. He actually stopped to run with his bicycle several times to stay warm. This is my future roommate--the organizer of the Icicle Bicycle Festival and the Frozen Snot Century. Obviously he knows how to stay warm biking in the winter. Were it not for the fact that I am more opposed to running than beating an old woman with my U-lock I would have joined him.

Anyway--I ended up getting home and experienced that horrible feeling of too cold, when curling up into a whimpering ball seems like the only thing I am capable of doing. My feet hurt to walk on them they were so cold and my hands kept getting icy from unsuccessfully trying to rub heat into my ass and hips. The only thing warm was my blood boiling with rage for this selfish, selfish, selfish woman. How fucking dare she go on a relatively long, cold ride (probably about 30 miles round trip) and not have the right equipment for keeping up with the ride? How dare she ignore the hints (John running w/ his bike and my repeated requests that she might want to take the train) that she was hindering us and making us cold?

Just to be clear, I was wearing basically the same gear that I wore on the Vampire Ride--which was much colder and at night--without being too cold. I would have been fine today were it not for her god-damned slow pace. She was so clueless that she thanked me profusely for organizing the ride and can't wait until I organize another one.

I really don't know why, but I also just feel like shit. My shoulders, arms, back, ass, quads and knees feel weak, sore and wobbly. Basically, I feel like someone beat me up and now owes me a massage--plus my ass is still cold!. The Vampire Ride left me sleepy-tired, but didn't seem to effect my body at all. I totally blame the slow pace, and the corresponding extra time in the saddle on the slow pace I was forced to ride.

[OK, I know I am being a horrible person, and that no permanent damage was done. I will feel completely fine tomorrow, and it was good of me to accomodate this woman, who has done some wonderful things for the biking community, on a ride that seemed to make her happy. I may rot in hell for it, but that woman rubbed me the wrong way before and now I feel completely intolerable towards her--and her little dog, too!]

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