Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"A quiet sense of manliness washed" over the author

A true story of treacherous, cowardly, and premeditated snubbery…

Yesterday was a glorious fall day in Duluth. The trees are in full fiery color to the point that even my kid was moved enough to look up from her texting to declare, ”Wow the leaves are like so like brilliant in like a really like cool like really red like, weird neon-red way!” I raced home and jumped on me trusty Pugsley and headed for the trails up at Lester Park…a few miles up the road from me house.

The single-track is in pristine shape and I was loving life as I expertly craved-out the turns until I screwed up on shifting to an easier gear and snapped the chain. I wasn’t worried cuz I figured that a biker would be along any minute to loan me a chain tool. But alas no one showed and so I hiked-a-bike up to an exit path that puts one out midway up the Seven Bridges Road. Just as I pulled onto the asphalt I spied a group of six roadies heading up the hill coming towards me. “Sweet Salvation” was my first thought. I readied myself to look presentable and rehearsed a few salutations, settling on either, “You guyz are life savers,” or “Thanks a lot you guyz!” I even considered offering, “You guyz don’t need to wait, I’ll just get the chain fixed and then I’ll drop the chain tool off at your house,” but decided that that approach would seem to forward...

By this time they were nearly up to me, so I put on my happy face and sought sincere eye-contact with the lead rider. It was an impressively well dressed group of three males and three females, all festooned in beautiful ensembles covered in various brand names atop beautifully svelte carbon machines. Their leader was an amazing specimen that resembled a well-packed sausage as his skin suit was so tight it looked to be painted on…I remember thinking that he must at least be a Category 3 racer! My heart raced in anticipation of our meeting….They came closer still and yet their majestic leader had still NOT made eye contact me…I knew now for sure that he must see me…but still I moved more to the middle of the road so as to force the issue.

Suddenly, but as if choreographed, in unison that stood and pedaled hard past me as if I were an invisible ghost…Stunned… I was speechless. It was not until they were well past me that I was able to muster a lily-livered, “Thanks a lot!”

Hurting and forlorn, I decided to head down the road a bit and then cut back onto the trail in hopes of finding a mountain biker to assist me. I was heading down the ski trail when I saw two college-aged guyz heading up on mountain bikes. One was on a plastic throw-way G.F. but the other was on a steel single speed, so I felt that I had a chance with him. As they approach I noticed that they purposefully looked away from me. It was if they had encountered the hideous Elephant-man in their wake. Initially I hid my face in shame, but necessity will ultimately trump embarrassment, so I demanded (in the voice I usually reserve just for the man-dog), “Hey do you guyz have a chain tool?” They stopped and slowly looked at me…I repeated the demand as I approached them with willful steps. “No,” the single-speeder quietly uttered, eyes cast downward. Sensing my dominance, I told them in no uncertain terms, “alright then, you may continue on.” As they road away from me…A quiet sense of manliness washed over my psyche!

Dean G. of the Ski Hut saved me from a long walk home for I encountered him as I was walking home on the asphalt…When I told him of the snubs…he gravely shook his head and said, “triathletes…more than likely they were triathletes!”

1 comment:

  1. Next time you're in this sort of bind, lay in road like you've been hit by a car. Someone will stop, if only to see if you're still alive, or your bike is salvageable. I'm with Dean, had to be tri's.