Another ride down country roads today around the outskirts of Springfield. While riding my mind is devoid of all the crap that's usually floating around up there...so riding is good. There's so much effort that goes into being a single parent (of a dog) that I find myself running around nonstop, picking up tennis balls, throwing them, doing endless loads of laundry (towels from wiping her feet and blankets from the couch where she spends every second when I'm not home), and deboning chickens (to put on her dog food). I just don't know how I manage. It's a terribly rough life that you probably can't relate to. I mean, just the other day I was trapped under her for almost two hours while we (okay, I) watched a movie, listening to her snore and watching her drool on my blanket. Seriously, I put up with SO much. But I digress.
Riding is a release from my hectic life. But, this time, while I was riding, I was thinking about how sometimes riding makes you feel like whatever you do isn't good enough. At least to me. It feels like I should be smarter, faster, smoother, cornering better, leaning more, that my bike should be bigger, that my clothes should be matching (and maybe not as baggy), and for the love of all that is holy, I should be fricking more confident! Why is it that I can pack up and ride thousands of miles by myself, with a direction but no plan, and yet, when I'm with other riders (and sometimes by myself) I turn into a blubbering idiot?
Think I jest?
- How many times has someone yelled at you, "Kickstand!" Me? Many many. Too many to count.
- Ever tried to check your oil while the bike was running? Me? Yep. Once. Never again. I'm still wiping oil off my pants.
- Ever gotten on your bike and spent 10 minutes trying to get it to start then you realize it's in gear?? Yep. The MOST humiliating time I was with some FBI agents...who were waiting for me to start my bike and finally one of them asked if it was in gear. Ooops, my bad. I'd probably still be sitting in that parking lot if it weren't for his quick thinking.
- Ever jumped off your bike at a stop light to check the tires? I have. Yep, seriously. Then I forgot the kickstand was down (see item one) and four cars drove past before some helpful dude yelled, "Kickstand!" I have never been so thankful for a helmet.
- Ever checked your tire pressure at the gas station and thought, "I should be careful or I will melt my jacket" about two seconds too late? I have. Yep. Seriously. Maybe it was the smell of my jacket melting that gave me a clue.
- Ever rode down a gravel road at a fast speed just to see how fast you could go...and then crash because you were going too fast? Yep. That's me again.
- Ever have a helpful rider point with his foot that there's a big rock in the road...and he's so HOT that instead of paying attention to the ROCK you end up watching his leg and HIT THE HUGE ROCK? Yep. Me again. Of course later he was "glad no one hit that rock!" Ummm....Yeah, about that....
The more I think about it, there are only two options for what is happening when I ride. Maybe this single (dog) parent stuff is just too difficult and it's affecting my thinking. Or, maybe, just maybe, RIDING makes me stupid. Joyously stupid.
What I want to know is if this happens to anyone else? Please say someone has done at least ONE stupid thing in their riding life...please!!!!