Sunday, September 02, 2007

Do You Have Anything Swollen

"Do you have anything swollen?" This was the very uncomfortable question Ming asked me, sort of out of the blue, during our bike ride on the Luce Line Trail today. I don't think that's a question you should ask a friend, not without a lot of ground work. Of course, if Lance Armstrong's friends had asked him that question more often, he might still have two testicles.

Still...perhaps that's a less embarrassing question than the idea of trying to explain to your wife that you and your friends are just going out for a bike ride. A ride you like to call Spokeback Mountain. "Really honey, it's nothing. It's just a ride we do every year. Just us guys. We bike to the most remote parts of the trail and bond. What? No, I don't know why he keeps calling and reminding me to bring my spoke protector and chain tool."

So here's Kyle, at about mile 37 of our approximately 52-mile journey, looking all Spokeback. You can't see them, but there are a million immature box elder bugs in the grass and rocks and leaf litter and bench and on us in this picture. I'm not sure if it was them biting, or something else - but it was really annoying. I got some bug down my shirt later that stung me three times. I checked for welts when I got home because I was paranoid it was some wasp-related insect that was going to put me into anaphylactic shock.

A close up of the picture - carefully rendered so you know where Columbus, Ohio is in relation to the bench, and you can appreciate the riderless bicycles crossing the American alps to reach whatever is represented by a question mark and a rusty bolt.

Ming and Kyle. The Luce Line isn't as nice as some of the other trails we've been on. Gravel, for starters. And it looks more like a road than a trail in parts, particularly once you get past Watertown and head toward Winstead. The loose gravel makes for a much more tiring ride. I don't usually ache at all from a 50 mile ride, and I was feeling this one when I got home.

We had a very nice lunch at R&B in Watertown. They serve breakfast all day long on weekends, and it was very tasty and not too far off the trail (if you see the Watertown town hall, get off there and bike down main street a bit. That's also where you'll find the grocery store if you need water or snacks). Eating a three-egg ham and cheese omelet with hash browns and toast with coffee may have been overdoing it a bit. My stomach was rumbling for hours. I do think I fared better than Kyle who ate chicken-fried steak. That seemed like some serious food to digest during a long ride.

There are a few more pictures out on Flickr.


Anonymous said...

Do we need to buy Kyle a Dora bike helmet for xmas? He's not being a very good rolemodel for any children who may be viewing this blog!

Anonymous said...

What you didn't see in the photos was the fact that Scott wasn't wearing a helmet either. He said they cramp his style and that they are waaaay uncool.

When Ming asked him why he didn't have a helmet, I think he replied with something along the lines of "What? Do you want to live forever?," before laughing maniacally in Ming's face. Now that's hardcore :)

Anonymous said...

Hopefully he has a large life insurance policy for the day that comment comes back to bite him!

Anonymous said...

I was paraphrasing, so he might not have made those exact commments....

However, I'm quite sure that he did say he was having a really hard time shaming Eryn into not wearing her bike helmet when they go on rides ;)