Friday, July 25, 2008

Lesson Learned: Never ride farther than you can ride back.

I left my apartment right as it was getting dark last night, so a few blocks later dusk was gone and it was night in every way. I rode down main and peeked in the church's new possible future home, then headed down my usual route downtown.

I'd been a bum all day, and lost count after 5 Dr Pepper, so I decided I needed a real ride. I decided to head towards the Big Dam Bridge and depending on how I felt when I got there, I might go to Ellen's. I knew if I made it that far I'd have to have her drive me back, but she's me what so I went for it.

The only other time I'd ridden down Cantrell I missed the bike trail and ended up wearing myself out too early on this one bridge, so I carefully followed the signs this time. . . This may or may not have been the smartest thing to do.

Suddenly I was off the main road riding over what felt like 37 train tracks in the pitch black night. When I reached a spot with light I saw trees to my left and scary looking buildings to my right. I didn't look too long though, because a strange noise sent me speeding away faster than a Summit couple getting engaged.

Back on the road, I laughed at myself, but my amusement was short-lived. I had a decision to make: take the killer bridge and risk not being able to finish my ride, or venture down another dark, mysterious bike path. I took the path, and immediately noticed a horrible stench. "Ew, that smells like...a dead body," I said to myself. Then the thought struck me that it could very well be a dead body...

"A-a-amazing grace, how sweet the sound. . ." I sang shakily into the night. The path was taking me underneath the bridge where it was even darker than before, if possible. I sang for a few reasons: for one, it never hurts to be singing about Jesus when you die. I also wanted to make my presence known, just in case there was anyone under the bridge that might be startled when I came whizzing through. It was my way of saying "I come in peace." I thought Amazing Grace was the best choice since its so universal. Everybody loves Amazing Grace. Its interdenominational, intergenerational, interracial. . . I was covering all my bases.

I was on the road again in just a few moments, and this time really laughed at myself. About half a mile later I decided to head home, thinking this was my last chance for a somewhat clear route. I knew I'd have to walk the crazy uphill park of Cedar Hill, but I didn't count on it being such a challenging climb.

Luckily I made a friend, another , who provided company and lots of reflection to the oncoming traffic. We eventually parted ways and I rode the rest of the way home without any other major adventures (except for awhile when I wasn't quite sure where I was).

In the end I rode a little over 9 miles, which is crazy for a lazy bum like me.

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