Laughing Right Out Loud

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Murphy Visited Me Today

We've all heard the saying, "If something can go wrong, it usually will". Today was that day for me.

Last night, Felicia and I planned to go for an early morning ride today. When the alarm on my BlackBerry went off at 4:45, she told me she wanted to sleep in. I, as a result decided to sleep a little longer and then get up around 5:30 to prepare for my ride alone. When the alarm went off a second time, she asked me to reset the alarm to 6:45 and then leave it on my pillow. I did so, but then before I left I swapped her phone with mine and took mine with me just in case I needed to make an emergency call while out on my ride.

When I left the house, I went out through the garage and did not have a key to get back in. No big deal since everyone would be up when I returned. It was 27-degrees when I hopped on my road bike and departed for my short, but hilly route. About a half mile from the house, my rear shifter went out leaving me stuck in a gear not conducive to a hilly ride. I could downshift, but not upshift, so I left it alone. I turned around and headed back home, but realized I would have to knock on the door or call ahead so someone could let me in to swap bikes. I didn't want to do that, so I turned back around and headed back out planning to change my route to a less hilly alternative.

The new route was one that I had mapped out on mapmyride.com but had not driven to check it out. About 2 miles into the route, I realized I made a wrong turn which put me on Lincoln Street with all the traffic coming into Tullahoma from Moore County. No big deal. I mashed through it and got to Turkey Creek Drive and quickly as I could. A couple of turns later, I began looking for a road that the mapmyride site had shown, but not named (that should have been a big clue). Turns out, that "road" was a dirt path through someone's pasture and it was gated closed. At this point I was on State Highway 130 which is ahilly and curvy two-lane. This is not the best place for a cyclist to be competing for road space with people applying makeup, texting, etc on their daily commute. Nevertheless, I continued on for a little bit, still miffed by the fact that my route was not going as planned. After a few more minutes, I decided to just turn around and follow my tracks back home.

Around this time, 6:45 rolled around and the alarm on my BlackBerry started going off. As with most alarms, annoying is what really gets you going in the morning, and this alarm was no exception. Normally, I would just tap the touch screen to turn it off, but with gloves on this wouldn't work. I thought I could wait the alarm out, but it never stopped. I pulled over, removed my glove and liner and found my phone. I tapped the screen (multiple times), but nothing happened. I assume it was too cold to function properly. I removed and replaced the battery and zipped the phone back up in my jacket pocket. Silence, finally. I continued toward home, but apparently after my phone had time to reboot, the alarm started sounding again. With nothing left to try, I just tried to tune it out and eventually made it back home.

The lessons I carry away from this ride are as follows:
  • 27-degrees is cold and I need wool socks.
  • Turn off alarms, obviously.
  • Single-speed riding can be fun and challenging.
  • Carry a house key in my flat kit.
  • When you carry a bike to the shop to fix the shifter, make sure it is fixed before going on a ride.

2 Comments:

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    By Blogger steven, At 8:29 AM  

  • Hey Jason:

    Great story! Thanks for sharing. I've discovered that each and every bike ride offers some valuable lessons. In the beginning, the lessons are big and frequent. The lessons taper off a bit, but never stop coming.

    Congratulations on jumping right in to cycling. Getting an early start in the winters will assure you are in great shape when the spring and summer months come, allowing you to enjoy the rides much sooner than if you had waited.

    Keep it it, bro.

    By Blogger Scott Redd, At 7:45 PM  

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