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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fool In The Rain

The story, repeated countless times, begins:

"OK, little one, I have to get used to you. But you're going to have to get used to me, too."

This is immediately followed by the clunk and thunk of a heavy automatic turntable, the kind with the thick spindle and arm that let a stack of 45s drop one at a time. The stack is populated with RCA Elvis, Bobby Vinton, Little Richard, Kitty Wells, etc. It's loud. That's the point.

It's the story of my first day at home, as told by my mom. It's a black and white world, and JFK has less than 60 days left to live.

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It's sort of that way with this bike of mine. While I'm getting used to it, it's going to have to get used to me, especially my fits of irrational behavior. Last night is a case in point.

The energy-sapping humidity had me emerging from an afternoon nap in a drool pool that would have made John Merrick envious. I had one thing in mind, and that was to ride, with zero wait, zero prep, and zero fucking around. A quick weather check revealed a line of storms well above M-59, but close enough to maybe catch a fireworks display.

The plan was to drive west, dare Mother Nature to step across M-59, enjoy the cool breeze, and Michigan U at the slightest hint of precip. I made it maybe 20 miles, just short of the M-23 split, before the wind became unbearable. I flipped around and came east about 5 miles before getting pummeled by a blinding rain. I could manage 30 mph, tops. Someone, no doubt a fellow biker, had the grace to escort me through it, minding my backside but never tailgating.

The attack from the west was merely a feint. She had played a Schwarzkopfian mind game and attacked from the north, cutting off my supply lines and leaving me stranded at a Quickie Mart. I had to work my way back a block at a time, and I admit being scared to death. The rain I could handle. The rain combined with supergusts was another story. It was like bringing roller skates to an ice rink.

I made my last stop at around midnight, ducking into a Mobil station close to home. A very dry customer remarked "Fun ride, huh?" Which reminded me of the day before, when someone remarked "Hot enough for you?" Where does one begin...

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