Friday, September 14, 2007

Day One, part III: In which I discover I'm just not that into kink

Hey, by the way... new pictures are up! Taken by various team members, so I'm actually in a few of them.

Highpoint Hill is true to its name, although I took to calling it Highlander Hill and muttering threateningly to people, "There can be only one!" for added drama as we drew closer to it.

But hell, it was just another hill. And I had plenty of gears.

By this point I was hitting my stride and was starting to take the route personally. I was going to kill this thing. I started up Highpoint with good momentum and started passing people. I stood up. I climbed. About two-thirds of the way up there was bit of a break before it pitched pretty much straight up, and at that point I knew I was going to make it. There was no question. This hill was mine.

I moved over to the left of the riders in front of me and called out that I was passing, preparing to launch up the side of this hill with everything I had. And then, one of those riders started to weave right into my path. I saw his knee jerk out and his handlebars twist.

I knew what was coming. I'd seen this before. I'd done this before. He couldn't get his shoe unclipped fast enough to catch himself, and he was going down.

His bike collided with my front tire, and we both hit the pavement.

You all know how routine falling over has become for me. It seems to happen in slow motion, in three distinct stages that my brain helpfully narrates for me. "Hey, look!" says my brain. "We're falling over. First we'll unclip." Click-click! go my cleats. "Now, we'll land on our side." Wham! "And now, our head will bounce heavily on the pavement like a bowling ball!" THUNK-thunk-thunk-thunk.

Lots of colorful metaphors exploded like sparklers in my head, and many of them probably escaped without my notice.

And then, the guy riding behind me landed on top of me, too. Frick!

Aside from a few scrapes, Pearl and I were uninjured. I disentangled myself from the carnage and pulled her to the side of the road. Oh man, I was pissed. Pissed! There was no good way up the rest of this hill now. I didn't want to walk. But I couldn't ride. Aside from having no momentum, I was a bit shaky from the crash adrenaline. Rather than be a hazard to the rest of the throng, I reluctantly joined the other walkers plodding miserably up the hill beside their bikes.

Mary from our team rode past me and asked if I was all right. Yes! But pissed! She looked confused, and I realized she probably hadn't seen the crash, she just assumed I'd tanked on the hill like everyone else. The injustice of that made me even more pissed.

By the time I got to the top of the hill, I was fuming. By the time I met up with my husband again at the next rest stop, I gladly let loose of a string of profanities that I believe called into question the parentage, legitimacy, cleanliness, and mating habits of at least three species of mammal.

Mary brought it all into perspective: "So HOW many men ended up on top of you?"

A trip to the medic tent properly fueled my need for drama:

Me at the Med Tent

Up next: The finish line, and other legal intoxicants!

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