Lately, I’ve been doing my hard long rides with Steve. It’s been good because it’s HARD and because Steve and I talk about stuff — mostly about Tupac the Cat. And when I’m not talking I’m mostly thinking: ‘This is way too hard. I’m not going to make it.’ Over and over. Doing my hard long ride by myself today left me a lot of time for thinking. This is pretty much what I thought:
1. I am so good at riding my bike.
2. Oh no. Does my knee hurt? My knee hurts.
3. Stupid fast guys passing me. I hate people.
4. Oh, hey, I know them. Hey! I don’t hate you.
5. I am so good at riding my bike.
6. What if I crash?! I’m totally going to crash. That car pulling out doesn’t see me. And I’m going to flip over my bike and break my temporary teeth. Maybe I can get my hand up in time.
7. Did I just actually put my hand up to practice? I did.
8. Why is that guy staring at me?
9. Oh, I know him. Hey! I don’t hate you.
10. Yeah, he definitely hates me now.
11. Shit, this did not seem that steep the last time I went down it. Maybe it’s steeper when you’re going up. Maybe I went the wrong way? Could I have gotten lost on a route I’ve done dozens of times? Probably.
12. Shit, I was supposed to email that guy who hates me now and tell him if I was going to do the race this weekend. Hmm. I guess he figured out I wasn’t racing. And, he definitely hates me.
13. This is really far up.
14. So far up.
15. Shit, when was the last time I biked up this far? 2011?
16. No cars. Noooo cars. Nocar. NOkaaaar. Nokarnokarnokar.
17. That’s a lot of bikes coming this way though. A lot of bikes. What if they’re fleeing something? Like a giant mountain lion or a murderer? Oh, shit, shit. Didn’t that girl disappear somewhere around here. There’s probably a mountain lion on the loose. Or the Mt. Tam killer. Fuck fuck fuck.
18. Oh, it’s probably just a group ride.
19. Hey, I made it to the top!
20. It’s kind of cold descending. So cold. I’m freezing. Why didn’t I bring a jacket? I hope I can hold onto my brakes all the way down. My fingers shouldn’t hurt in April. Stupid mountain. Stupid microclimates. Stupid tourists.
21. Man, I hate tourists.
22. I wonder if there’d be a way to ban anyone not from Marin from coming to Marin on weekends. But, then, it’d totally disproportionately affect people who couldn’t afford to take off days during the week. It does offer a nice cheapish way to go somewhere for people in the Bay Area. Maybe we could just ban rich San Franciscans on second dates.
23. I am soooo good at riding my bike.
24. I’m totally feeling those sea lions sunning. If I did that right now, though, it might be weird. And also I wouldn’t get faster.
25. I need to get faster. Ahhhhhh. Freak out!
26. Climbing. Climbing. I am climbing. Climb climb climb.
27. No one is ever on this narrow road. They never expect bikes. What if I get hit by a car that’s too far over the line as they come around a turn. I’m totally going to get hit by a car. Fuck. That would not be good.
28. I think that pickup driver looked at me funny.
29. What if he came back and tries to kill me. Because he hates bikes or women or, really, himself.
30. I could totally get away though by going downhill. I’d just descend so fast and weave so he probably would miss when he tries to shoot me.
31. But, what if he turns his truck sideways to block the road, so I can’t go down. It is a really narrow road. And then he’d probably be able to grab me when I tried to get around the truck. Shit.
32. Oh fuck, fuck. Is that the truck coming back to kill me?? It totally is. I’m going to die. I hope someone comes along and I’ll yell.
33. Nope, just a tourist. Stupid tourists.
34. Go go go. Just push the last mile to the top. So fast! I am the fastest.
35. Shit, that pickup truck really did almost hit me.
36. Ride ride ride. I am so good at riding my bike.
37. Only 1:15 to go. I’m basically done.
38. Ooooh, I think the secret bakery that’s only open Fridays and Saturdays when it doesn’t rain might be open now. Let’s just coast over there and get some end-of-ride nutrition….