Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chaos and Three Blessings

This was gonna be a busy week anyway - the season's first Twilight Series race on Tuesday, then the Tour of Walla Walla this coming weekend. Which meant already way too much to do. So I dialed it up a notch yesterday with a car wreck.

Most importantly, nobody hurt. Blessing #1.

Exchanging insurance information was extremely inconvenient . . . I needed that time to figure out the logistics of getting to the races as I watched a lake of radiator fluid forming under my truck and realized that it wasn't going anywhere for a while.

I'd been on my way to have dinner with my parents. I called to say that I wasn't gonna make it. My Dad offered to loan me his truck. Blessing #2. (My Dad, not the truck.) And his generosity was why I was able to race in the Twilight Race tonight.

It's also why I was able get to to Joe's Sporting Goods' going-out-of business-sale on my lunch hour to pick up some hardware that I will need to get the bikes to Walla Walla. Sale prices helped a bunch. Blessing #3? Naw, just good luck.

Today was my birthday. After I got home way late tonight after all the craziness of the last coupla days, Patty had a pizza ready for me. Blessing #3. (My wife, not the pizza.)

So many times I wonder about all this bike stuff and the fact that I wouldn't have been in a wreck if I wasn't on my way to get my oil changed and my truck washed so I could drive to WW for a bike race and the crazy passion that makes an old guy like me me go to a big state race where I am so totally gonna get killed but will still be so happy to throw down anyway and how Patty must be so bewildered about my neurosis but will support me anyway when I finish last and how we all live extra dangerous lives because our love of bikes compels us to mix it up with cars and SUVs and how all the money we spend on equipment is way way more than what we save on gas and health clubs and how we spend so much time and energy making it possible to ride and then spending the time and energy that's left over convincing other people that they can experience the great adventure of this simple machine . . .

. . . but I never seriously wonder. I just know.


Hank Greer said...

Bummer, Pat. But the bright side, like you said, is that you've got great support.

"...and how we all live extra dangerous lives because our love of bikes compels us to mix it up with cars and SUVs..."

I struggle with the "extra danger" associated with cycling because I don't believe it to be a valid characterization.

I think many people, my wife included, consider it more dangerous because (1) you have less physical protection on a bike, and (2) we've been raised in a car-centric world and don't expect to see bikes on the road.

Cycling requires the same focus as driving a car. And, as when you're driving, if you "zone out" the consequences can be disastrous--more so if you're the cyclist. Of the many near collisions I've had, I avoided all but one because I was paying attention. Only once was I at the mercy of a driver who saw me at the last second and stopped.

John Speare said...

Great post Pat. Happy B-day to you friend. Good luck in WW this weekend.

Anonymous said...

You've hit the nail on the head. Why do we do this sport?! It's expensive, time consuming, niche, often more physically harmful than helpful, ostracizing, and to top it all of: really addicting.


Pat S said...

Hank, travelling in a car is pretty safe. If you don't think you are at greater risk getting from point A to B on a bike, I think you are deluding yourself, but that's just my opinion. I choose to acknowledge and accept the extra (perceived) risk in exchange for the many benefits. (I hope I can maintain this noble perspective in the event of an accident!)

John, thanks.

Alan, "niche" and "ostracizing" are provoking my thoughts.