I always thought by age fifty I'd stop doing stupid things. But here I am, riding bicycles with Roger in blistering heat, and he says:
"One oh eight."
"This little computer thing. Has a thermometer."
Good grief. We have fourteen miles to go, and it's eleven something- I mean, we are pushing noon, and ninety percent of the ride is uphill.
Welcome to stupid.
We ran out of water once, and met an angel named Rebecca who was finishing her ride. At her car, she gave us each two bottles of water. Roger is almost out again. If we can just climb this hill, there's a convenience store.
Ahh. Popsicles. Ice cold Gatorade. Air conditioning.
I figure it's a couple miles.
We pedal on, slowly, Roger losing steam.
At last we approach a tunnel, the only shade for miles.
"We should have left earlier."
Right. I stopped my bike and stood. Got lightheaded. Wow.
Since my house is the highest point on this ride (the River Mountain Loop), we probably should have turned back sooner. Instead we rode all the way to the bottom, then decided we'd bitten off more than we could chew. We've got thirty miles behind us, and fourteen to go.
The hill loomed.
I bet if we got to the store, Roger would be revived.
We rested a bit and pedaled onward. How long is this hill anyway?
I think Roger needs to stop looking at that thing.
"It must be optimistic, as it's in the sun." But when we pedal up the drainage channels, there isn't a breath of wind.
The only hope is the convenience store. Maybe we'll buy a sack of ice and do...something with it. Shove some down our shirts, our shorts. Play in it. Make a snowman. Chew the ice and get brain freeze.
Another tunnel. We stop once again. Roger waves the white flag, violating the Man Code. "I'm pussing out. Call your wife."
I make the call. Wander around a bit. Look! Up on the horizon! The little sign reads, 'Gas.'
"Roger!" The convenience store! See the sign? Popsicles, A/C, and Gatorade!"
He looks up, haggard. "Yeah."
"Think you can make it? It's only a half mile or something."
"I think so."
You've heard of mirages, right? Where the desert heat radiates off the floor and the exhausted, dusty cowboy just knows its a lake?
The convenience store was a mirage!
Oh, it was there, all right.
Fenced off, boarded up and closed.
Fortunately the Little Woman showed soon, and she was no mirage. Had the A/C blasting. We stopped at an actual convenience store for ice cold liquid. Her thermometer showed the real temperature. I knew Roger's was bogus. Hers read a cool hundred and two.
What a couple of wimps.
Perhaps next time we'll start sooner or ride less. Thirty- three today, a bit long in the heat.
Lesson learned. We'll be smarter next time. Right?
You suppose at 60 I'll stop doing stupid things?