Thursday, September 20, 2007


Yesterday. Oh man...

So yesterday starts early. I wake up at 5:55. I didn't mean to. The alarm is set for 6:30. And there's time built in for at least one snooze. But I wake up at 5:55. I decide to go for a run.

I have a sorted relationship with running--more on that later, perhaps--but running has become a fall cross-training tradition of sorts and, with the cyclocross season pending, I figured I ought to start sooner than later. After 20 minutes I'm not tired, but I can tell I'm going to feel the effort in my legs later.

Fast forward half the day. It's 2:45 and I'm out the door for a ride. I haven't been out the prior two days so I'd like to ride long. Something hilly. For three hours. At least.

I can feel the run in my legs. Forty-five minutes in I reach down to feel my calves and they're like rocks. But after about 90 minutes they feel better. Loosened up. The weather is beautiful. It's a good day to be on a bike ride.

Then, disaster. My dérailleur hanger snaps in two.

I'm about a mile southeast of here. No cell phone coverage. A car passes by about every five minutes. I of course don't have any tools so I can't get the dérailleur off the chain. I can't ride, so I start walking. I figured if I went south I wouldn't find a phone until Big Flat. So I went north. Downhill.

But of course I didn't want to have to walk. Walking in cycling shoes is awful, so I took my shoes off and walked in my socks. But on chip-sealed roads that's no picnic either. So I try to thumb a ride. I didn't think it would take long. I've done a bit of hitch-hiking and my experience has been positive. Especially in the mountains, with gear. People see you with gear and figure you're just out recreating, not hoboing, and they give you rides. I've given people rides. But yesterday I WALKED FOR ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES before someone stopped to pick me up. Unbelievable.

Finally, I got to somewhere that I could use my cell phone (Mt. Holly Springs*) and I called a friend (thank you, Lane) to come get me. While I waited, I put down an order of Moo Gai Pan from a Chinese take-out place and called my sister to wish her happy birthday. I finally got home just after 8:00.

*How I ended up in Mt. Holly Springs from where I was is another story. It clearly would have been better to be picked up by someone going the other direction, or someone willing to make the quick jaunt over the hill on 233, but when someone finally stopped, I wasn't going to get particular about where they were going.

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