This is an unsupported ride, so if you stop, you will fall over

Raymond Chen

Well, at least I only passed out once.

To recap, The E’s goaded me into joining them on a ride up Zoo Hill. I’m really not a climber. I’m taxed by the hill on the southbound 520 Trail leading to NE 51st St., so much so that I commute to work along a different route (taking 156th Ave. NE instead) just so I can avoid it. But I accepted their challenge anyway.

I didn’t literally pass out, but I did run out of steam at 173rd Ave SE and had to stop for a nap. Well, okay not really a nap, just a sit-down break, but I really could’ve used a nap right then. Maybe if I had remembered to bring an inflatable pillow.

And then I missed the turn onto SE Cougar Mountain Dr. The instructions said to turn left at the stop sign, but I didn’t realize that it was a stop sign for another road that I was to be on the lookout for. It wasn’t until I took the turn onto 168th Pl NE that I realized I missed it, at which point I turned around and found the early finishers who had descended from the top, gathered at the stop sign. (I’m guessing that it was while I was on this unexpected detour that the Fat Cyclist went past on his way down searching for me. Sorry. Don’t worry about the cake; I wasn’t going to have any anyway.)

Aside: There seems to be some sort of psychology that says that if you’ve exercised a lot, then you’ve “earned” some sort of bad behavior. Fortunately, my brain doesn’t fall for that trick. After a hard ride, I don’t say, “Whoo, let’s have some cake!” I just say, “Whoo, that was a hard ride.” If I even think about what I’ve “earned”, my attitude is to “bank it for the future”; i.e., maybe next week I can eat something decadent. Eventually, next week comes, and I say, “Eh, I don’t really need cake that bad. I should stick to my diet.” Result: No cake pig-out. Weight under control.

Here’s a tip to cyclists: Remember which lever shifts to a higher gear and which shifts to a lower one. As I was being passed by Simeon, I felt the need to downshift, but in my delirium, I upshifted. My legs told me, “Nope, gear still too high, try some more,” and my hand once again reached for the upshift lever. Only after the third iteration of this communications failure did my brain step in and say, “No no, you’re doing this all wrong,” and convince my hand to push the other lever. But by then it was too late; my legs were saying, “You moron! Look what you did to me!”

It was shortly after this mental lapse that I had to stop for a nap.

(Oh, and I over-estimated how long it would take me to get to the starting point from my house. It was only an hour’s ride. Afterwards, I joined a colleague in a descent down the other side of the hill and cycled into the more densely-populated parts of Issaquah, eventually converging later that evening on a Battlestar Galactica-watching party we had been invited to.)


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