We’re 51 miles into a 58 mile ride, on the home stretch. The weather is beautiful, a little hot, but we’ve got a tailwind and I’m having a grand old time.
We’d been in formation for more than 2-1/2 hours and were in the midst of a free for all break. Matt was up a couple of bike lengths sitting bolt upright, no hands. Then me, Mike was next to and behind me, followed by Phill, Adam and Diane on their tandem, and Adam’s son. A couple of decent pedal strokes and I was even with Matt. We talked about…something…
That’s when I saw the dead and bloated, full-grown racoon carcass in the middle of my lane. I hopped out of my saddle and hit the gas. “I’m gonna bunny hop you.”… It wasn’t till I could smell it, and at more than 20 mph, that I realized how big the thing was.
I had just enough time to think, “Go around it”, followed immediately by, “you sissy.” I heaved on the hoods, picking the front wheel six inches off the ground and in one swift move, hopped the back end off the ground…
In the air (isn’t it amazing how short it is but how long it feels?) I had enough time to think, “Sweet, back wheel cleared.” Then I thought, “Uh oh, back wheel is way too high.” A split second later my front wheel touched down first. Technically, “slammed” may be the better word. Yes, that’s the ticket… Then my rear wheel hit and I rolled down the road unscathed. Beautiful. As I was rolling down the road I checked the path of my wheels to make sure they weren’t out of whack… They seemed fine.
Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon. I’m carrying my front wheel, bike in the truck, across the parking lot. I’m walking towards the door of my favorite place to be when I’m not with my wife and kids or on my bike. I’m taking my wheel in to get it relaced because I’d busted a spoke nipple in the middle of the club ride the night before… And that’s when it hit me.
I don’t need new wheels! I need to not bunny hop dead shit in the road on my $5,000 race bike. Dumb ass.
Oh well, the world is best viewed through the eyes of a kid. I just happen to be a 45 year-old kid. Truth be told, that’s why I ride so much in the first place.