So I go visit my dad. He’s doing okay relatively speaking. He’s lost his mind but gained mobility. Not sure this is a good combo but whatever. I’m not in control of the situation.
Lunchtime is approaching. He sleeps after lunch. In my selfish little head I’m already plotting my advantage in his demise. I’m hauling ass down the trail. I kiss my dad goodbye. Signal my son that it's time to skate. Step outside. The gray overcast sky has turned to rain. Punishment I’m sure for not wanting to be in that hospital room.
The focus switches reluctantly to lunch. We stop at Meijer and buy tasty morsels. Step outside. The heavens have opened and the sun beams down. Proof once again that God loves me. I wait for a dove to descend upon me and a voice saying, "this is my daughter, with whom I am well pleased". Or a herald angel harking but all I see are seagulls combing the parking lot. I guess you can't have everything huh?
So I inhale a sandwich on really dry gluten free bread, and I am off to the Fort. At this point in the story I would be whistling if I knew how so instead I sing off key to really loud rock music. The clouds are dissolving with each mile that closes the gap between my first love and me.
Not too many people there. I guess some people don't believe that mud wrestling is a component of mountain biking. Everything checks out. I hammer out that red green combo just like Dave showed me last weekend. All muscles are on fire from the minor adjustments to my seat. Handlebars are lower w/ the new headset. 33/31 psi. Never ran that low before (oops, read on!) Love it. All things are new. Feeling alive, more power, more control, better cornering. Big ring all the way baby (okay, mostly!) and I’m riding the wave. I get back to the trailhead. Light up a cliff bar. Drink an industrial sized drum of water and I am off to see the crazy beaver. He’s still the same. Rabid.
Feeling the pull back to the hospital so.... I decide to ride yellow instead. Haven’t ridden it since last year. It’s easy, flowie. I can jam it out and be back by 5:00 right?
Wrong! About three miles into it I hear this hissing like a snake is chasing me. I’m looking around and my front tire goes completely flat before I figure out what the noise is. I’m a little slow sometimes!
I’ve got nothing. Scratch that. Nothing but mosquitoes. No patch kit, no pump. Water is low and obviously no brain. Bug spray is a distant memory as I am soaking wet from head to toe with mud and sweat.
At this point in the story I start singing off key again hoping to scare off the dive-bombing bastards. I heard somewhere if you raise your arm they go to the highest point. Total crap. I sing about Jesus. Wait a minute... They seem to just hover around me in a black fog. The miracle only last a moment.
I make it to the two track by the red to green connector. I can't take it anymore. I stop the flailing/singing gospel combo and start running in my clip clop shoes (not as comfortable as my Asics gel fortitudes, but they work in a pinch) praying that the tire doesn't fall off the rim. I ran all the way back. No pump. No one at the trailhead. My ride is over. Recompense I’m sure.
I get back to the house. Shower my bike, shower myself. Pack, and pry my son away from the God-awful x- box. Arrive at the hospital @ 6:45. Just a few hours late. Poke my head in the door. He’s sound asleep. I wonder for the first time what it may have been like to gaze at him in his sleep as a child.
I stand in the doorway trying to figure out at what point did I make a wrong decision. I shrug my shoulders and decide it was in the bug spray isle at the grocery store.
My dad would understand.