The pleasure of a good bonk.

That is not a sexual innuendo of any kind.  For this blog.

Today is a great day.  It is beautiful and the fresh feeling of crispy autumn is out there.  We did go on our bike ride.  I took my single speed, David took his regular road bike.  The sun is bright.  We know we are in for a great ride.  But!  Be still my heart!  We get there and a new part of the trail has been added and paved.  OMGolly!  What a great moment.  To go somewhere to do something you have done many a time to find out it has been made better is as good as no calorie but all the flavor ice cream.  So we started our ride going from Harvard on the Hocking back in to Nelsonville.  What a pretty little addition.  Grant it, some of it was prettier than other parts, but it’s still in development stage.  But in that 1.5 miles you get to pass the “campus” and see how they are developing.  Kudos Hocking!  And you get to cross an old bridge made new again for us bikers.  We got to pass old trains set up so people can appreciate a time gone by that hopefully will come back again.  And you get to be a little bit giddy because communities are adding this to their development to make life a little more simple and a little more enjoyable.  That little 1.5 mile addition, and then back again to go the other direction was a little thrill of exploration.  “The first time” as it was, and it was wonderful.

As was the ride towards Athens.  I am peddling along “hallo-ing” and “hey-ing” other riders.  Some of whom are quite pleasant -some of whom I want to know why they are out there if it makes them feel as miserable as they look.  But anyway I have to say here, at about 5 miles in to my ride today…I do not like snakes.  I do not, not, not, in any form, care for the creatures.  That being said, I don’t like running over them either.  I had little notice that  the foolish creature was going to slither right in front of me and I refused to wipe out trying to avoid him.  But every fear of ever running over a snake made me convulse and moan “ohwagonawha” very loudly and shiver as my bike “thump whumped” over it.  I just involuntarily shuddered writing that.  I followed that with quite a few shivers and repeats of the above phrase.  I couldn’t help it.  I don’t like the creature but I didn’t want to hurt it either.  I did not go back to see if it was okay.  What would I have done if it was still there?  Screaming while I made myself go look would not have helped either of us.  THe guy in the 20 year old bike jacket standing on the other side of the bridge (I wonder what he was doing) had to of heard me.  I think he was stoned.    Then, not a mile later, another of the slithering things was right in front me again!  I became paranoid.  They are, after all, conspiring to take me out.  The next five miles I was a jittery mess.  My eyes were glued to the pavement in front of me.  Until I convinced myself if I did not look down, and instead looked back out at the scenery I had anticipated seeing, I could convince myself that every “thump whump” was a stick, as there were many tossed among the falling leaves.

So I looked up and about.  What a glorious day.

David and I had arranged to meet at the coffee shop.  I have to admit that I have this little thrill when I am riding my single speed and I am smoking every one on the trail (serves me right to have this attitude as you will see).   It is a little empowering.  Pitiful, but empowering anyway.  I get to the coffee shop.  It is closed on Sundays.  When David arrived we shared our utter disappointment at not getting the scones we had been thinking of for 16 miles.  To further our disappointment I did not have my bike cooler with me because I do not have a rack on this bike.  So for once in 10 years I did not have ANY food with me.  So we ride back.  It wasn’t long before we both realized we had BONKED.  For those of you who do not know what this means…. we had absolutely no energy left in us to pedal back.  But at the same time, it is October, it is sunny, we are on our bikes.  It is worth the suffering to be out there.

Until those 3 guys pass us and I was furious.  First of all, if I hadn’t of bonked they never would have caught us.  Second of all, if I hadn’t of bonked and was just casually pedaling, I would have let them know they were not as awesome as they thought.  Third, they only went past us a little ways and turned around.   David pointed out I must not feel well to just let them go like that.  It had nothing to do with feeling well, I had bonked but good.   One sneered when he passed me on the way back.  I say it was a sneer.    But then I realized that I had no reason to be mad at them.  Or more accurately, mad about telling myself to just let them go.   Or mad about bonking.  Spending the day with David, experiencing a few “new” sights on a familiar but beautiful trail, going out full blast on a single speed on the way there, not having enough food, heading back and being glad that I was out there riding despite having bonked made it a great ride .  It was only the second serious bonk I have really experienced.   But the best part of the bonk and the 3 guys passing me was making thedecision that hey…. it doesn’t matter.  That competitive fire inside of me does not have to be lit every moment of every day.  It felt good to tell David, hey, I bonked and I just don’t have it in me….this time.  And not worry about it.  It made me feel almost….mature.  Yeah, I chuckle at that too, but real close to mature anyway.  Today was a pleasure, bonk and all.