Pirate's admonishment, offered at the start of yesterday's heat fest, motivates today's entry. Although, Chris O. has already recounted the highlights of our trip I thought I'd proffer my own view and by doing so find some elusive fulfillment. And I have photos, too.
It was hot. No one with good sense should ride his or her bike in this weather. We lack good sense even the Professor, whose crash was as quick as it was unexpected. But that's mountain biking for you: a reminder of human limits and humility. Here's us reflecting upon the frailty of our shared human condition after the Professor's crash. Oh folly.
This was early in the ride, which picked up speed to match the escalating temperatures. Linus and Dave looked good when I saw them, which was mainly at the rest intervals and as they accelerated away from me. Linus, in particular, was on a banner day. He looked smooth and confident on his bike despite not being able to recall his last mountain bike ride. Pirate was his normal self. As I gasped to Chris before he rode away from me once again, "The game is strong in him." And it is.
As noted earlier, I have been suffering the after effects of injuries sustained during my last two mountain bike rides. The first and perhaps more serious is a very bruised tailbone that I acquired at the end of an otherwise spectacular ride in the Duke Forest during the prior week's thunderstorm. Coming back home through Duke's campus, my back tire slipped on the wet slate walkway as I tried to avoid an errant pedestrian and I fell to the ground. Painfully. I tried to tough in out last Wednesday during my ride with Dave, but only made things worse when I fell over my bars while descending. While Dave judged my fall "graceful" its damage- two slightly sprained wrists- was not. After several days of rest, ibuprofen, and ice, I joined the boys on Sunday hoping to keep up but that was not to be. It's hard to feel comfortable on your bike and turn pedals when your contacts points are ill at ease. My body was capable of producing only a few phrases of the body english required to ride effectively.
But in the end, the heat was an equalizer with all of us rolling the last miles to the car listlessly. Linus' situation was most acute and he availed himself of Pirate's ice packs and cold water in an effort to find relief. What did I say about mountain biking as the teacher of human limits, frailty, and humility?
Edit: Text by Ali, pictures and captions by John. We tag-teamed on this entry.