Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tale of Ticks and The Hair Brained Hooligan

Well, it's that time of year again... for ticks and hair brained bloggers (well, actually, as it happens I'm hair brained all year round.)

Last year I did an update on how to deal with ticks. Yesterday I found out an easier way. If you spot the tick on you early enough, you can simply douse the tick and surrounding area with Tea Tree Oil and the bugger will either die or back out. That's what I did last night when I found a tick attached to my inner thigh (same place I found a tick on me last year....)

One reason I prefer to do things spontaneously rather than planning is that God laughs at those who plan... he certainly is laughing at me! It's cycling and house painting season again. So we started painting a house on a multimillion dollar property up in Monterey. It just so happens the house is right near Del Martin Automotive--a great mechanic but located out in the boonies. So I made an appointment to get my car fixed there since it has an oil leak and I can easily drop the car off and get a ride back with the boss. Well, turns out it's been raining every day (maybe you noticed) so Doug reluctantly decided to pick up some indoor work at the Splendorios. Well, dropping my car off suddenly became complicated as we were no longer going to Monterey to work today. But, then I came up with a workable plan. I'd drive the car up to Del Martin right after work with all my biking gear in the back and catch up with the Tuesday riders. Only problem with this plan is that the route they were doing as per the weekly email was in the opposite direction of where I was dropping my car off to get fixed, making hooking up with the riders difficult. So I sorta forewent that plan and decided I'd just ride the bike home from Del Martin as it is mostly down hill and I've only gone on two short bike rides this summer (one 6 miles and the other 11). Plus, I had forgot to bring my lunch to work, so I would have no energy for the Tuesday ride (did I mention hair-brained? It gets better).

At work the weather service kept repeating all day the threat of severe thunderstorms and small hail and strong winds so I'm thinking.. riding in the rain is one thing, but being pelted by hail is another one entirely. On the way over to the mechanic I saw two girl road riders and thought I recognized one of them as a Tuesday regular and thought it odd they were riding early (4:50pm at this point) so I decided they were just doing their own thing...plus, they were not riding the route outlined in the email. I also realized at this point I brought no backpack to carry my work clothes back with me as I would need them the next morning. I also remembered at this point that there is no service whatsoever in Monterey. I asked Del Martin if I could make one phone call; he said sure, but that he needed to leave in two minutes. So I called Sajad who was to pick me up after dropping Maria off at weaving if I decided to bail out on riding back, but as soon as he answers the line goes dead. I call back and he tells me Gillian has dropped Maria off and that I should call her to get picked up. So I call her and her phone rings and rings but doesn't answer. Del Martin is being relatively understanding for my need to make multiple phone calls.... At this point I don't know what to do and explain to him my plan of riding to G.B. and he advises me against it on account of the imminence of inclement weather and mentions that he needs to get going to close the windows in his house as the wind picks up, but also mentions that the weather probably isn't as bad at his house as it is in Great Barrington (being farther west from where storms come). A light bulb should have gone off in my head at this point but dim witted I remained, perhaps on account of all the paint fumes from painting in doors. I then tell him that he can leave and that I'll figure it out. He offers for me to make one more try on the phone. I try Gillian again but still no answer and no option to leave a voicemail. I think for a bit and then decide to call home. Dad answers and I tell him my predicament and he says the storm is brewing and indicates in so many words that I'd be nuts to set out now. I wait on the phone for another couple minutes for him to find Sajad but the line goes dead again. I call back and he tells me Sajad will pick me up. So I thank Del Martin for his patience and then we get to talking about my car and he mentions that there is ANOTHER Honda Civic VX for sale that runs excellent but the body isn't in great shape. He tells me where the car is and then gets on his merry way. I then pull the car up to the edge of the driveway so that Sajad will not miss me when he is looking for the sign to the shop. So I'm sitting there like a cop waiting for speeders (except that I have paint all over me) and guess what I see coming up the road....

Go on guess.

Seriously, make a guess.

A train of pain!
What is a train of pain you may ask? I'll give you a hint. It involves skinny tires and has no hitches and is legal on roadways (though scorned at by some). I see a train of about 6 cyclists chugging along at a good clip coming up the hill. I'm like... no way that's Berkshire Bike and Board.... I watch them go by, feeling like Tintin with a white puff of hair sticking up from painting sloped ceilings earlier in the day and still in my painters clothes, thinking how odd I must appear to the passerbys. My brother signals to me as the train speeds by and gives me a look. I hear his voice echo in my head: "way to wimp out loser!" I just watch them go by, dumbfounded. I realize then of course they changed their route on account of the weather! I would have considered changing real quick and trying to catch them but of course that would have been futile. I then see another two riders coming... the DeRis brothers go by, both recognize me sitting there in the car, and Mario gives a look like.. what the hell? Then I see another train coming... oh.. of course... there's the B group too.. (the not as fast riders) led by Dick Clark, BBB partner in crime. None of this matters, though, since two minutes later Sajad arrives. If the day hadn't been a string of hair brained absentmindednesses (yes, that's a word, I'm an English major) I would have been on my bike headed home and unexpectedly greeted by the Tuesday riders with "you're going the wrong way!" and.. "get on the train of pain!" instead I was an odd spectacle parked on the side of the road as they rode by. Well, I'll hear all about it next Tuesday of my epic fail. And this time I'll be sure to make it.