Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Riding Bitch And Other Weekend Highlights

I really wasn't looking forward to last weekend; with so much chaos going on right now, organizing a weekend up North with other couples did not immediately sound like a great idea. It turned out pretty gosh darn perfect. They were all couples that Cin and I enjoy hanging out with independently but we never had them all together. Everyone got together great. These are pictures from my BlackBerry, better pictures to follow. Maybe.

We just finished the campfire Friday night when we left Saturday morning for the race in Grayling. None of us where feeling all that well when we showed up to the Hatwick Pines parking lot. In the pre-race meeting, Eric, the race director, rambled off so many directions so quickly that Evelin Woods couldn't have comprehended it ("take the trail to mile marker 5 then veer off to your left until you come to this road, take it to that trail, stay to the left where it splits off, bla bla bla"). I figured I would just follow the guys in front of me which turned out to be a silly plan, as if they paid attention. We would charge down a trail and dead end into some DNR storage sheds, look around and say: "this can't be right?" Go back and look for mile marker 5, or did he say 6? I finished down near last place but can't quite figure out what to make of that. There is no such thing as a bad race so I guess this wasn't a bad race.

Sunday Barb wasn't in the mood to ride so I rode the tandem with Denny. I have never felt so out of control in my life. Den is an excellent captain but still, I couldn't see where we were going and had no say in the matter even if I could.
I rode tandems before but never as the stoker; it was much more exciting than I would have guessed but it led to many off-color comments shrouded in innocent amusement ("so, Neil is riding 'bitch', correct?" or "who would be considered the catcher and who is the pitcher?"). Paul, Mike, Rene, Denny, and I rode the Vasa mountain bike trail and then Lake Ann.

Monday morning no one was in the mood to ride except Rene, who had just come back from a 6 mile run. Whatever. She and I rode the Vasa cross country ski trail which will be used in the Iceman. It is very sandy. I tried to teach her my technique for going through sand, it involves clenching the seat between your legs and steering the back of the bike like a rudder, and making yourself lite like the elephant in Dr. Seuss's book: Horton Hears a Who. Hum, that doesn't make sense when I read what I wrote. It works.

Paul's cooking was amazing. I do not appreciate good food. Actually I appreciate it, I just don't care. I like grandma's lasagna recipe she brought over from the old country (Canada) but I am perfectly happy with the frozen kind you microwave. Paul's cooking is an art form. He doesn't use a garlic press because it doesn't have the same flavor as when you peal and roast the garlic, and so on. I would lay in bed at night just thinking about the dinner earlier in the day.

The highlight of the weekend was a text I got as we were packing to go home on Monday. Tom (Sally and Daisy's new owner) said he was having issues with Sally and asked me to call him. Sally wasn't adjusting to her new home and was being aggressive. She is a sweet dog and had never shown any aggression before. Tom asked if I would take her back but leave Daisy. I agreed. I was sick after letting Sally go on Thursday. I knew, in my head, it was the right thing to do but I really cared for her. I am not exactly a warm person so I was surprised by how much I missed her. It was too late when I realized this, the dog was gone and there was nothing I could do. Sally is back and I appreciate her more than ever. I am sure there is some obvious universal truth to this but I won't dwell; sometimes my mistakes have consequences and I'm not always given a do-over.


  1. "Sally's Back." I think there's a 60's pop song in there somewhere.