Remember that dance from the 60’s called the Limbo? That’s not what I’m talking about with that headline. I’m talking about the fact that after reading my last post, you people are probably thinking, well, he can’t go much lower than that. Ohhhh, how wrong you all are.
Yesterday started out like a lot of other days. Up early, check the weather app, if it’s decent, get the bike clothes on and head out. Damn, it was cold. It was supposed to be 41 degrees, but even with gloves on, my fingers were so cold it was hard to shift. The sun was out though and after about the 10 mile mark I came out of the shade and things were better. I remember even singing to myself, “I’m riding in sunshine,” to the tune of “I’m walkin in sunshine, and don’t it feel good!” How dumb, right, from the Claritin commercial?
I arrived at my usual half-way break spot, the Cup 22 Coffee Shop and as I’d hoped they had some of their homemade donuts. Man, they’re good; they’re so good that after the first one, I went for a second and topped that off with my second banana of the morning. I felt really full, but figured I’d work it all off on the inbound leg of the ride.
The trouble started maybe 5 minutes out from the coffee shop. I thought, “Hey, what’s that twinge in my stomach, ah nothin, it’ll probably go away as I ride. No, the aching over the next few miles turned into that unmistakable cramping that signals TROUBLE DOWN BELOW!
Some years ago, The Princess and I noticed that whenever someone important, like say the President, gets diarrhea, it is referred to as “intestinal distress,” or worse “severe intestinal distress.” So, The Princess (being someone important) no longer gets diarrhea, she gets severe intestinal distress. I, on the other hand, still get diarrhea, and by the way, you’re going to remember how to spell it after reading this post, I promise.
But back to the ride. Always the Pollyanna, I thought, well, maybe I can make it home. I was also kicking myself for wolfing down that second donut. Ride through the pain baby. Mmmm, no, as the pain increased, I also felt nauseous and light-headed too. Not so good for a guy trying to keep his balance on a bike. I was now on the long 12 mile stretch of road that makes up the final leg of the ride. I started watching for construction sites that might have a portapot, ‘cus I knew there were no gas stations or the like. Nuthin.
I started getting desperate, but finally conceded that I was going to have to do it the way God always intended… in the woods. You know, there are just too dang many people in this world. When a guy can’t even find a solitary place in the woods to poop, the world is way to crowded. There are woods all along that road, but every time I thought I saw a good spot, there was some old, decrepit house tucked in there. And shoot, most of the leaves are down that help add “cover.”
Even with a skinny bike seat wedged firmly, well you know, I couldn’t go any further. I was off the bike, heading into the woods, and I mean in a hurry. I’d gotten to the point where I just didn’t care who saw what. As I crashed through the brush I saw I hadn’t picked my spot too well, not just one house but two! I kind of maneuvered around and found a spot behind a bush that still had its leaves, which I hoped would serve as a shield from anyone looking out the windows of the two houses. But there was no more time for reconnoitering. I dropped em right there. Lower than this I don’t go, but I’ll just say a YouTube video of that trip into the woods could have made a lot of folks sick. I’ll also say that following a similar experience a couple of years ago, I always carry a small, mostly used-up role of toilet paper in my fanny (hmmm, interesting word) pack, so I did have that going in my favor.
I was thinking, well that could have been worse, when I realized that there was a third house across the highway that had had a clear view of the whole “business” right along…and from behind! Aw, jeez. I stumbled out of the woods, sweating profusely, but feeling momentarily better. The key word there being momentarily. I got on the bike with maybe 7 or 8 miles to go thinking surely I can make it back now without further misadventure.
I sincerely wish that had been the case. My second time into the woods was different in a couple of ways. First, and this is a good thing, no houses. But that’s where the good stops, because I had to fight my way through some serious brambles just to get in there. But, worst was the fact that during my first little trip into the woods, I’d accidentally left behind (hmm, another interesting word) the remaining toilet paper.
Ok, picking the story back up out on the road. I’m now only about four miles from home and feeling pretty good. I was climbing the biggest hill of the ride when three guys about half my age cruised by me fairly easily. I thought, well by God if I could only tell them to try doing this hill after spending the last half an hour trekking in and out of the woods…but of course I couldn’t, so that’s just one more humiliation I suffered.
The Princess always asks as soon as I’m in the door, “How was the ride?” I said, “Oh man, it was really cold out there at the start,” and went up to take my shower. The truth eventually came out, ah umm, like everything else. But you know The Princess, well she’s THE Princess, and its hard for her to let me win at anything. And this time she caught up and passed me at about 9:30 last night when she had not only diarrhea, but vomiting too. As the Idiotic Brother said after hearing this, “Ya know, sometimes it’s nice to come in second.”
What, all this and Pony news too? I’ll just include a little slide show here of the work I’ve been doing to get the clutch fixed.
You can click on each of the photos and make them larger. Don’t know what happened to the typical slide show format. Anyway, this sequence just shows how I’ve scootched the engine forward about 3 inches so that we can see what’s up with the clutch. The photo of the little round shiny thing is the clutch throw-out bearing and the surrounding area. Although Gene and I had suspected this area as being the problem, it all looks “ok.” I may be on to something though in that it appears the clutch release levers (circled in the next photo appear to be way out of adjustment. We’ll be going in there in the next few days to see if I’m right. It would be great if doing this adjustment could get the clutch working without pulling the engine totally out of there.
People say never apologize for your work, but I truely feel I must. If anyone has been offended by this post, that wasn’t the Idiotic Author’s intent. It was just another one of those things where as I described it to the IB, we both laughed our butts (oops) off, so I had to share it with you. Thanks for reading.