Not to turn this into a bike log, but it’s better than bitching about work. So I leave my laptop in my bag, blow off my work, and hop on the bike this weekend. About 1/8 of a mile into the ride, I nearly run into the side of a minivan. Normally I don’t have to worry about traffic on that cul de sac, but today’s garage sale was attracting a steady flow of 1989 Dodge Caravans all looking for a deals on 8-track tapes and broken lawn chairs.
[Side note: While going through all our crap and prepping for our own garage sale a couple months ago, we found something they call a unity candle from our wedding. You do your vows and then jointly light a candle that’s supposed to represent the Second Circle of Hell. Well, we found our hell candle and the following conversation ensued:
Mrs. F’er: You want this?
Sid: Not really, do you?
Mrs. F’er: No.
Mrs. F’er: No. Is that bad?
Sid: No. Garage sale it is.
A week later, a strange woman in a Dodge Caravan paid us $1 for an official “Mr. & Mrs. F’er, May 17, 1998” candle.]
But I digress. At mile 3, I cut through a local park and was going to photograph the place for the blog but I didn’t think that standing in a park wearing spandex and sporting a homeless guy beard while taking pictures of teen girls on the playground would endear me to the local residents of Flower Mound, recently voted a top ten place to raise a family. So I pedaled onward.
Mile 5 presents the busiest intersection – FM 2499, which requires Frogger-like skills to cross without becoming roadkill. I pass Flower Mound High School and arrive at Peter’s Colony Road. I envision Peter Griffin from Family Guy standing naked in a nudist colony and laugh. Sometimes I picture a bunch of cartoon penises wearing powdered wigs and those 18th century colonial hats. There are a few churches in this area, so on Sundays I have to be extra careful to dodge all the cars filled with the Lord’s love racing to get to church on time (and then subsequently motoring home to catch the Cowboy’s kickoff in the fall). I get to mile 7 and get the ride the fastest downhill on my route. Although unlikely, a crash here would turn my supple skin into ground beef, so I try to focus and avoid thinking about cartoon penises and whether Betty was really hotter than Veronica in those Archie comic books.
After a few turns at mile 8 I hit the steepest climb on the route, a short uphill through the exclusive River Oaks Estates subdivision, where it looks like they negotiate group discounts on Hummers, sporty convertibles, and illegal immigrants to handle their landscaping needs. When I’m in shape, I only require one finger to discretely nudge a lung out of my throat and back into its proper position. When I’m not in shape (like now), I usually fall over onto a lush lawn and have to use both hands to violently restore them to their internal organ status. I guess the Tour de France will have to wait this year. Hell, I guess the local Kiwanis bicycle rodeo might have to wait. Luckily, a long rambling slight downhill run that follows gives my cardio system a chance to recover. Unluckily, what goes down must go back up and I begin the long rambling uphill on Shiloh Road into an uncooperative headwind. I get passed by a fellow cyclist (slightly more fit than I) and decide to jump on his wheel and draft for a bit. I’m able to hang at his pace for about a minute, but my cardio system isn’t onboard with the idea anymore and insists that we go it alone. Bastard cardio system. Finally I approach Hawks Road around mile 12 and enter the gateway to my little cycling nirvana. The next 18 miles I pedal through Bartonville, Argyle and Double Oak and will probably only pass a dozen cars, and the cars will be far outnumbered by the horses that hangout on the various ranches, estates, and horse properties. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words and I’m too tired to type that much, so join the ride and enjoy the scenery. Click on the pictures if you need to see the full size version.
We really do have Longhorns in Texas. I want those for the front of my truck.
Eventually, I make my way back to civilization and I’m welcomed back to McMansionville, where the homeowner’s association fines you if your farts don’t smell right.
I don’t live there. I couldn’t afford the fines. All the homes have pools, but nobody is ever in them. The kids are in their rooms playing Xbox on their plasma televisions, while their parents are in the study filling out their college applications. This is also the point where I need to start paying attention again and start hip checking the soccer moms in their Excursions, Tahoes, Yukons and Suburbans for a little room on the road as they race to pick up Jacob and Emily from gymnastics class.
Back through Peter’s Colony Road and the images of patriotic genitalia, past the high school, Frogger past 2499, through another few neighborhoods and I’m back in the park. This time there are other people out there, so I snap a shot.
How much more family friendly can you get than flying a freaking kite in the park on a Sunday afternoon? Where’s Norman Rockwell?
Three more miles and I’m home. I stink, but I feel good. I take a self-portrait.
You remember the Donny & Marie Show? She’s a little bit country, he’s a little bit rock n’ roll. Me and the wife are like that with bikes. I lean more to the roadie side and she’s more a mountain biker, but we do both. I prefer to zone out, clear my head, sing some Neil Diamond tunes, and knock out some miles. Mrs. F’er prefers to get dirty, jump rocks, fall down, and get bruised up so that I look like a wife beater. When our schedules coincide, I’ll jump some rocks with her and she’ll take the occasional ride to smell the cow shit with me. Life is good. So in compliance with the Equal Opportunity Biking Act, here’s a photo from her ride on Friday with her boyfriend.
Thanks for coming along. Next time you might want to try pedaling a little harder.