I woke up this morning sound of mind, but less sound of body. My throat was sore. And I needed to help family members get going and yada, yada, yada I didn't make it to the start of this morning's race in Cheney.
So after lunch, when I felt better, I decided to stave off the self-pity by going for a bike ride. I put on stretchy shorts and clippy shoes and a styrofoam helmet and filled three water bottles. Did I mention I took Thin Mints? (that's right. And I capitalized their name on purpose)
I took Thin Mints. They happen to be my favorite cookie made by our favorite all-female paramilitary child army (was that redundant?), and they appear mysteriously in our house this time of year. But even though Girl Scout cookies are no longer the trans-fat laced nightmare they once were, they're still pretty bad. Not the best choice. So I made a deal with myself that I could have a cookie every 30 minutes of my ride. I can usually cover around fifty miles in three hours, so that equalled six cookies (including my celebratory ride-is-over cookie). Because sugary minty serendipity, that's the number of cookies left in the sleeve I was holding in my sweaty little hand.
So off I went.
The slight wind was out of the east and slightly south, so I headed west so I could have the wind at my sort-of back on the way home. I got a slight puncture to my rear tire around ten miles in, and it sprayed my left calf with a worrisome amount of sealant, but then the leak stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief. Around fifteen miles in, the pavement changed to pea gravel.
And a few miles after that, the pea gravel got pretty thick. My teeth got rattled a little by the washboard.
I got my teeth back in their rightful places and took attendance with my tongue. Then, having no real destination, I pedaled by the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon, known for singing cowboys and paper plates buckling under the weight of barbecue and coleslaw. This was accidental, which made it cool.
Actually, that's not fair. These guys are pretty cool with or without the element of surprise:
As I rode by the 'Chuckwagon, the road turned from pea gravel to chert (you'd know what that meant if you read PrairyErth, you philistine).
Energized by the sight of Thomas Etheredge's former lair, I cranked on.
When I turned north, the prairie grass had been burned along the west side of the road for a couple miles.
And when I turned back west a couple miles later, new wheat (aka futurebread) was growing on land that had probably been burnt in the last couple years.
It was unseasonably warm out, so I had to turn on the A/C.
Four Thin Mints in, I saw this tiny house I'd never noticed before.
The road turned gradually back to pavement.
And I dove back into the suburbs and made my way back home.
At the end of the ride, my bike, like a good horse, looked like it was ready to do it all over again.
A little under three hours, and my self-pity had been stopped before it got a chance to start.
I thought about taking a picture of the Thin Mint wrapper, now empty. But that seemed gross.