on Friday the 13th

This is in reference to the date, not the movie, which wasn’t really a date movie,  now that it occurs to me to mention it. Just, you know, fyi to the younger generation.

Anyway, this particular Friday the 13th hasn’t been particularly lucky. Michelle and I set out to ride 55 miles as part of getting ready for a century ride in Las Vegas. (You can learn about that at Michelle’s blog.) Just south of Interstate 80,  maybe 4 miles out, my rear tire went flat. So I had to replace a tube on the side of the road for the first time. I’m not very good at it, so by the time the CO2 cartridge was empty I had maybe 75psi in the tire, which should be closer to 115-120. Well, the morning was young and the conditions were perfect, so off we went.

I’m taking it easy, planning to be able to finish 55 miles, when I feel a rustle and tapping on my helmet, which is odd out in the open on Highway 50. I glance over my shoulder to see the crow that had hit me. My first thought was how distracted a bird must be to hit a bicyclist. Then I realized it was keeping pace with me, and starting to get closer, and squawking. The violins from Hitchcock’s movie, “Psycho”, start playing in my head, along with a vision of Suzanne Pleshette on the ground in front of her house. I stopped taking it easy for the next few hundred yards.

After that the next 20 miles were sweet. I don’t think Michelle was exciting trying to stay in front of traffic on a one lane bridge (she went around it on the return), but we rode past Springfield and Louisville and headed west on Hwy 66 (not Route 66, unfortunately).

Just past South Bend (I love the sign that says “Next 4 exits. Population 93), my rear tire was getting squirrelly again, a sure sign of lack of pressure. Popped in the backup CO2 canister, pressured it up, but it won’t hold the gas for more than a few hundred feet. Nuts! Not my day, apparently.

But as I walked back to South Bend, an older man out for a walk struck up a conversation with me about tires, and road hazards, and desert plants with spikes (he’s from New Mexico, we moved here from San Bernardino). And as I waited for Heather to pick me up, I got more than one offer of help. Heather didn’t have any trouble finding me, we got home, Michelle rode over 58 miles, and I took a nap. Not such a bad day.

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