Skimping on Details
to go: 798.39
Saturday we rode my
age: forty-four miles altogether, mostly nonstop, on a grueling
combination of the Iron Horse and Canal Trails ... one mile for every
year I've been alive.
was almost the DEATH
then, you've heard
this story already, haven't you? In fact, I'll
bet you can recite it right along with me, can't you? The ride was
tough. It hurt. I cried and cursed. I wanted to quit. But I
didn't: instead, I
sucked it up. I made it over the hill. We finished the ride. We
collapsed, in agony and triumph, and then we went home and celebrated
in our customary Saturday night fashion, with candles and Ibuprofen
and an extra-large Alameda Special, hold the anchovies.
that this isn't
the whole story, actually ... any more than the dust jacket is the
whole novel, or a snippet of lyric is the whole song, or me telling the
waiter "No wine, thanks"
is the whole story of twenty years spent inside a box of Mountain
Chablis. What you've got here is the Reader's Digest Condensed Version
of Saturday's ride -- I rode,
I sobbed, I conquered -- without
any of the unique details that might distinguish it from the other
43,897,621 bike-riding stories I've told you in the past year and a
instance: you didn't
hear about the shape of my legs.
in, I suddenly
noticed over the weekend that I have
some. All of this uphilling
and downhilling and
mileagemileagemileage seems to
be doing interesting things to the shape of my legs: they're leaner,
suddenly, and the skin on them fits a little better than it used to,
and there are curvy places where there weren't curvy places before.
"When did this
happen?" I asked David on Saturday -- feeling a mix of girly
embarrassment and athletic pride -- and he said You
mean you're only noticing it now?
It was a fine moment: maybe one of the finer moments I've enjoyed
lately, mainly because it serves as visible proof that bike-riding is
doing more than eating up all my free time. Even so, this is the sort
of detail that gets overlooked when I'm hurling another abbreviated,
slapdash journal entry off into the cybersphere.
(Which -- basically --
is the only kind of journal entry I seem capable of putting together,
at the moment.)
don't mention that the
only time David and I come close to arguing is when we're on the bike
trail ... and that it's always the same dumb argument, over and over
again ... and that this past Saturday was no exception:
I can't dooooo this anymore.
Fine. Let's pack it up and go home, then.
Secra: (weeping) If you're going to be THAT way
about it, we'll just keep
don't brag about all
the amazingly groovy technical progress I'm making: the fact that I'm
getting better at hills, both the uphill AND the downhill variety ...
the fact that I can ride longer distances with fewer breaks (we blew
off the bakery goods and the hand massages altogether on Saturday: just
a quick bathroom break in Danville, and then a Jamba Juice at forty
miles) ... or even the fact that I haven't had an accident -- not so
much as a weave or a wobble or a near-miss -- since the infamous
Bay Farm Island Bridge Incident.
* of course, having
this ... it's a
pretty sure bet that i'll be broad-sided
by a gaggle of power rangers, next time we're
riding the iron horse trail.
don't tell you what
David and I talked about while we were riding on Saturday: the
difference between short-term capital gains and long-term capital
gains. (*He* did most of the talking, *I* did most of the
pretending-to-listen.) I don't tell you what I was thinking about
during the easy stretches (my upcoming trip to TicTac, mostly, and
whether or not I should attempt to pack four days' worth of clothing
into one carry-on bag) ... or what I was thinking about during the
not-so-easy patches (do they make Icy-Hot in pill form?). I don't
describe the way the eucalyptus grove smelled in San Ramon. I don't
mention the weather that day: uncharacteristically cool and breezy,
perfect Contra Costa County bike-riding weather. I don't discuss the
way bike-riding has become this amazingly apt metaphor for my marriage (Working
together to achieve a common goal)
and my work ethic (Tiny increments add up) and my life
in general (Focus on
directly in front of you, Dumbshidt, and not
what's down the road).
don't even mention
that during the course of all this we managed to break the 1,200 mile
mark: a not-insignificant number that left us insufferably pleased with
ourselves for the rest of the weekend.
don't include any of
these key details in my abbreviated description of Saturday's ride. But
that's OK, because I have a feeling that you *get* the point of the
story anyway, even without me overloading you with minutiae. Plus I
know this is a story I'm likely to tell again. (And again, and again,
I'm going to have plenty of opportunity to bombard you with bike-riding
details: at least another 798.39 miles' worth of opportunity, by my
you're going to have
at least another 798.39 miles' worth of opportunity to recite it along with
throw a rock