This is my sexy new shirt.
I love you Goodwill Bins!
On Memorial Day weekend I went to Pendleton for a three day bike ride with my Dad.
Saturday, Day 1: 101 miles in the hot, dry, hilly, windless, waterless, coffee-less, art-less, shade-free desert of wheat that is Eastern Oregon.
7:00 am - The ride kicks off. Hmmm, seems a little hilly. Heart-rate leaps up to 168 within a half an hour. Stays there for the next 8 hours.
10:30 am - I am getting chills. I have not been in heat like this for over a year.
10:45 am - Chain has jumped the chain-ring twice and has become bound in the fucking pieces of whatever you call it and my hands are black with grease.
11:30 am - Psst..Psst...psst.....psst.... Flat tire. Dad doesn't even notice that I have stopped and is quickly out of sight. Every fat fucker has one-by-one passed me and left me in the dirty field. I stick my hand into what looks like a snake hole cause it seems to be radiating cool air. I fix my flat.
11:45 am - Dad comes back. As I ride the tenth of a mile toward him my tire goes flat again. Pssssssssssssssssssssssssstttttttttt....
12:53 pm - Roll into lunch stop. All the tomatoes are gone and so is the juice. I am covered in dirt and grease and sweat and spirits are soaring. Tired though, really tired.
2:00 pm - Salted nut. I take pictures and make an MPEG movie with my camera while riding. Chain drops off the chain-ring two more times.
2:37 pm - Break my 7 year standing, all-time record for top speed and clock in at 50MPH. (old record was 49.9 on the Teton Pass in the Wyoming Rockies)
3:40 pm - Am very weak. Muscles cramping and Dad is kicking my ass. Have no power. Killer headache. Vultures circling. Still chipper cause I am too dehydrated to cry.
ShouldBeDone pm - Find civilization and a three-foot circle of shade.
FinallyDone pm - Zoom Zoom across the finish line. Am a pillar of salt. Am electrolyte-less. Water bottle in car 102 degrees, seems cool compared to the heat in my head. Dads odometer says we have climbed an accumulated 5800+ feet of up-and-upness.
(crappy finish line)
5:15 pm - The flashing marquee at the bank says it is 91 degrees still. I swear there is no good food in this town. My legs break out in a SUN RASH.
Sunday, Day 2: We have the choice of 62 miles or 31 miles. The metric century ride (62 miles) is UPUPUP hill with some downhill, and the 31 mile ride is almost entirely uphill.
The bottom part of this map is the elevation profile.
Toldya, uphill alla way.
6:30 am - Cant eat breakfast. Am still feeling sick, but am trying to be a trooper.
7:00 am - Back in the hotel room I lay down on the bed and choose to not get up. CANT... DO... IT... DAD.... Fall into deep sleep.
We miss the rest of the ride. The Sunday ride, Sunday night camping at the Bar M ranch and hot springs, and the Monday ride which is a 31 mile downhill coast back to Pendleton.
A little research on the internet confirms my suspicions that I suffered from heat exhaustion and electrolyte imbalance. I NEARLY DIED. I COULDA DIED. I knew there had to be something... I know I am not that wimpy.
We lounge at the hotel pool, lose 10 bucks at the craps table, try to find a decent cup of coffee, fight about who has to drive, hike Multnomah falls to the top, pretend to be in the gentle flow of water as it slips over the 620 foot drop, eat lotsa pasta, sleep like a log... at home a whole day and a half early.
Never one to let an opportunity like this slip by, I log in enough mileage off the weekend of suffering and near-death to skip me out of class on Tuesday, leave my socks where they lay and watch tabloid TV.
And finally... you know I love to post pictures of my wounds and since you cant photograph heat exhaustion... I bring you this: Friday night, trying to bring my bike into the hotel loaded with all my bags, the bike slips out and away from me sideways on a small gravel incline and slides towards me. The spikes on the large chain-ring jab me about a quarter of an inch deep on the side of my foot. I shouldnta wiped the blood away.
Later: Civilian life. Too much time on my hands. The bathroom floor. Weddings. Conventions. The STP. StoryCorp with my new friend Brandon. DSPS flares up. Heart flutters. The Lawsuit. How many books can I read at once. Whatever you want to know.
A man is never sexier then when he is working with tools in a serious manner, and a knowledgeable way.
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