I stole the title from my friend Amy, proprietor and Chief Saponifier at Foam on the Range. It's an apt description of a thunderstorm, which is what part of today's ride ended up being in.
So, 35.75 miles today. Our goal was 50 miles, but Thor realized his britches were missing at around mile 22-ish, and it all went to Hell from there! And, in spite of the Vita Guru's intermittent fussing that I was going too slow, I'm quite pleased with my 9.5mph pace.
We got a later start than VG had planned, which didn't bother me in the slightest, since I haven't any care for some training "schedule" to adhere to. I'm supposed to plop my fat can in the saddle and go, not worry about what time it is! We parked at the Lakeside development and started on the South Fork of the Wabash Cannonball Trail. The weather was cool and delightful, and except for the cloud of tiny little bugs that endeavored to fly up my nose ALL AT ONCE, it was a great start to the ride. The South Fork is kind of "middle of nowhere" territory, so any bit of wind whistling across the fields reaches you unbroken. I had to pop an earbud out so I could hear VG, elsewise all I heard with my tunes was "WHOOOOOOOOOOSH".
You see some neat things on the South Fork:
Wildlife what I saw on the South Fork:
Wabbits: I lost count after 20. My darlings, it was well and truly wabbit o'clock!
Cardinals: Flocks and herds! They were really cheerful this morning.
Field mice: 3
Butterflies: 16, no Karner Blues, though. They aren't morning people.
Well, I dunno, Chef Michael DuShane could probably be considered wildlife! He not only does triathalons and marathons, he's also just out of his mind enough to teach the Culinary Arts to high school students, and somehow manages not to kill them. Chef is, as far as I'm concerned, a Rock Star - he's the ONLY instructor Alexander has ever taken seriously, the only instructor whose opinion Alex has ever really valued. That's...pretty damned special, if you ask me, which you didn't, but it's my blog and I can opine if I want to.
It was a delightful surprise to find Chef and his adorable family out near the trail on the first ride back to the car. He, his gorgeous wife Jodi, and their two ANGELIC little Monsters, Raleigh and Zeke, were playing in the sprinklers. Turns out, they're just a few houses off the trail. Chef had already been out running, and had been thinking about a ride as well, but it seemed his Monsters had other plans for him. It was nice to stop and chat with him for a bit, and I got my Mike Hug(TM), which I've been sorely deprived of for months! I tried to convince Zeke to come over for a snuggle, but he was too busy pretending to be shy. Oh well. Eventually he'll be my friend, this I foretell!
We continued on to the car to grab bananas, a bit more Amino Vital, and a stretch/rest break. While there, we met a cute-as-hell Boykin Spaniel named Rudy. His person apologized for Rudy's lack of manners about 4 seconds before Rudy leapt up to lick my face off. PUPPY KISSES, YAY! He was very sweet, and I always appreciate a Puppy Break!
After about 10 minutes, we hit the North Fork. While there, we met Bruce Kulik, and his daughter, Katherine. Seventeen days ago, they lit out from Boston on a cross-country trip to San Francisco! How cool is that?? Their gear setup was pretty impressive, and so was their pace, and they were super sweet. Of course, now I'll be watching their blog obsessively to make sure that they make it to the City OK. I'm sure they will be fine, they seem to be old pros at this sort of thing. Also, it's really adorable that Katherine and her Dad are so tight that they'll spend 70 days cycling together.
I noted that it looked like we had a little weather moving in, and tried to keep a decent pace. The new seat is incredibly helpful, but I still had some residual pain from the other day's injuries, so I wasn't pushing too hard. It started to sprinkle, VG asked how I was doing, and I grumbled that my ass hurt. He suggested turning around, but by then, we were further from the car than we were from the restrooms, and I had to PEE. I said as much, noted that we were only about 3.5 miles from a real toilet, and kept going.
Then Thor noticed that he was wandering about with no pants on, and with an impressive crack of thunder, set about summoning a torrential downpour. We were drenched in mere seconds, and eventually, I had to take my sunglasses off so I could see through all the water dumping down. We made it to the restrooms safely and took shelter in the alcove of the building. I was grateful for the chance to pee, wring out my gloves, and make an effort to dry off a little. For a while, it looked like this:
...so we waited until the rain died down enough that we could at least see decently, and headed back to the car. All told, we ended up riding a bit over 11 miles in the rain, and 3.5 of those were in rain so heavy, visibility could be measured in inches. VG says this officially makes me hardcore.
I'm pretty sure all it made me was cold, wet, and surly.
Wildlife what I saw on the way back:
Chipmunks: about a dozen
Wabbits: It was STILL wabbit o'clock!
OWL!!!: 1 Pretty sure it was a Barn Owl. It was way too huge to be a Screech.
We briefly considered waiting to see if the sun would show up, and decided that even if it did, it wouldn't be a good idea to continue. The pavement was wet, our handlebar wraps were soaked, and our brakes were pretty well useless, what with everything being wet. And we were cold, which is a BAD idea for me, cold being the major trigger for my RA. So we took stock of our energy levels, determined that if it were still dry, the final 15-ish miles would be no issue, and called it done. We loaded Shuri up, and cranked the heat.
I have never been so grateful for a hot shower, I'll tell ya. Hot hot hot, just to get the chill out of my bones, then just a smidge cooler than boiling so I could enjoy Amy's lovely soap. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating - I am grateful for Foam on the Range soaps, because they soothe the chafed bits instead of stinging and making me cry from the pain. Sweet relief!
VG promptly scarfed down a cheeseburger after we got warmed up and got our disgusting and soggy gear tended to. Me, I crawled into bed and died for a couple hours with Bailey-cat, who was a perfectly serviceable ass-warmer.
Since it's Father's Day, Alex and I cooked VG a nice steak dinner, complete with wine, grilled zucchini, twice baked potatoes, and a salate caprese. And we've been making cocktails with rum, lavender soda, and rose essence, which cure all manner of ills:
*2 shots rum
*1/4 teaspoon rose essence
*1/3 bottle lavender soda
Pour over ice, stir.
This will probably be delicious with vodka, too.
I am now on the verge of drifting off to sleep the sleep of the just. Or perhaps of the dead. Or the drunk. Or the just dead drunk. Whichever, all I know is I pedaled my ass off today, deserved my rum, and now I want to sleep!
Tell me about your favorite booze!
--Missy, the Fat Bottomed Girl