Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Ox is slow...

...but the Earth is patient.

Back on the bike again -- the Red Menace to be exact. I've been fighting a chest cold as of late (coughing up bits that look like chewed up candle, if you must...) and lacking the the, ah, testicular fortitude to soldier on like more hearty souls (Ray and Snakebite). But, biking all year means biking in the winter and biking I must. I needed to shake the blahs (Christmas and being sick), so I tagged along with me Mrs as she went to work at the Cedar and had her drop me off at Town Hall. Proceeded to have pints and jolly fellowship with jolly fellows and then pushed on to see me Mrs. Heard Dark Dark Dark play live and then took meself home. I managed to slip while locking up the bike and my body doesn't like the sudden impacts that I enjoyed in earlier years. Just sayin'...

I pedaled on home and I felt better than I have in weeks. I avoided the Greenway (with much regret) and ploughed on home by city streets. The streets and sidewalks were really a mess, but the Nokians stood me in good stead and I had no fear and no slipping at all. Accompanied by the sound of frying bacon, I slowly rode home. Heavy rider, heavy bike and studded tires don't lend themselves to rapid transit, but the sizzling meant that my footing was sure and I wandered the 8 miles home without incident.

The fall on the ice left me with a scuffed left hand and a back twinged nothing like the days of yore when I was a hockey player. Age and years of sedentary desk work have left me less able to take a body shot and I was reminded of it when on my home. But, hell, you play through the pain, yes? Besides, the motion of riding is more therapeutic than drugs or hot tubs or sylph-like waifs massaging me. No, Midwestern grit and misery were enough to drive the pain (or most of it, anyway) from my back. I'm a Minnesotan, there's no other way! I'll be fine, just give me a minute...

Let's see how I feel tomorrow. Me Darlin' Mrs took a couple of spills today too, so it'll be good to see how sprightly we feel on the morrow.

The ride has opened up my spirits again. I've been feeling like Scoogey McGrinchypants throughout Christmas (my Holiday upbringing, yet I claim none of it now). Cloying "Holiday Spirit" shoved up my ass for the last couple of weeks has left me, uh, crabby. That and the cold and the work have drained most of the cheer out of this fellow. I have to say, the ride back from da bar was just the tonic I needed. The rich food, the lack of exercise and nicey-nice has driven me nuts and the slow, grinding ride home tonight really made me feel much better, despite the back pain and the aching elbow and wrist.

Weird. As much as I despise Garrison Keillor, his descriptions of Midwesterners is spot on sometimes. Yes, it hurts and no, it's none of your business. I'll be fine. I'll just have another slice of pie (you were gonna just throw it out anyway) and I'll sleep it off. I got another day off, so's I'll just be fine. Don't you worry about me. Of course, I'll help you shovel your walk...

Oh, by the way, the Red Menace has fenders and will be growing a rack, so it will be a real commuting bike and not just an afterthought that I ride when the roads suck. I have taken apart the Specialized, and I hope to add its cranks and pedals to the Red Menace (if only to rid myself of a the fucking Biopace chainrings, they do tend to throw a chain on a single speed). Wish me luck.

[Edited at the request of Mrs Yam]

Happy New Year.

4 comments:

Jim Thill said...

I keep meaning to do a Biopace fixed-gear. Chain line would be pretty important, I think.

Personally, I think Keillor is a genius.

Bujiatang said...

It is funny you should mention Biopace...

I've been assembling my wife's winter bike as a single speed and it came with Biopace chain rings... I was going crazy trying to get the tension right.

I like Klosterman better. Mostly because he mocks Fargo.

rigtenzin said...

I enjoy Keillor's stories, but I wish he would not sing in public.

I hope the falls on the ice didn't cause long-term problems. Over the past couple years, I've had a few that lasted much longer than they deserved.

bother yam said...

The falls have hurt me in ways more skeletal than muscular and this has me concerned. I seem to be improving, so the ibuprofen is working and it's probably not anything a little more time can't heal.

As far as Keillor goes, I think his writing is good, if he sticks to what he knows. I object to the whole personna he's built around himself. He's a pompous ass and the New York literary world kicked him to the curb, hence his "triumphant" return to be the big fish in the little Minnesota pond. If he stuck to the monologues and wrote the sketches, I could handle that. It's the singing and the Guy Noir crap that drives me nuts on his show.