Posted by: wheelywonka | July 18, 2010

Back in da’ Saddle Again (aka, Cheesiest Headline Ever)

It’s 6:15 am.  The room is dark.  My wife snores next to me, and Hannah, our faithful dog, snores next to her.  The alarm clock goes off, playing the Texas Public Radio station that I wake to each day of the work week.   The only difference is that it’s the weekend, and I really want to just turn it off and go back to sleep.   Deep, wondrous sleep, with no boss yelling at me, and no teenage kids bedeviling me with their constant lapses in common sense.  But, I have something to do today.  I promised the amazing Megan Lehnhoff that I would join her and the Bike MS Club 100 for a ride on the east side of town.    As I watch the clock advance, I begin thinking of all the reasons I shouldn’t get up:

  • I’m still sore from the crash on my mountain bike earlier this week (more on this later)
  • I really do need my beauty rest
  • My dog ate my bike

…It gets later and later.   I furiously calculate and recalculate how late I can stay in bed, yet still have enough time to leap out at the last possible moment, jump into the car, roar the 23 miles across town to Cibolo City Hall, where I can join the rest of the Club 100 right as they are leaving for the 25 mile social ride planned for the day.    Well, that deadline passes, and I’m still lying there like a corpse.  My wonderful wife (with whom I just celebrated 25 years of marriage) has an acute telepathic bond with me.  Even in her comatose state she can sense my agitation.   She breaks the silence in the darkness by uttering in a dry but devastating tone, “You can’t write a blog about cycling if you don’t get out of bed and ride.”     Shamed by the irrefutable wisdom of this comment, I finally do leap out of bed and make it to Cibolo City Hall – unfortunately, right as the first group of riders is leaving.  I gear up, chat a bit with C-Rod from Bike MS, and then start pedaling down Main Street, winding my way through town until I’m finally on Green Valley Rd.  

And folks, it is wonderful.

All of us who live in South Texas know these are the dog days of summer where we can begin to really loathe the heat, and any time outdoors can feel like you are a being pummeled constantly by a red, hot poker.   Well, during these early Saturday mornings over the last 11 years as I’ve trained for Bike MS rides, I’ve developed a coping mechanism that helps me survive that painful stretch between the fun and pyrotechnics of the 4th of July and the first cool fall day.  Get up early, join up with some good friends, and ride the rolling countryside around our fair city during the breezy early hours before the sun kicks up it up a notch and it gets really HOT. 

Although it was only 25 miles, it was my first time in the saddle of my roadie since the San Antonio Tour de Cure in late May, and it felt good.  The route (once we got into the countryside) was smooth, with a few rollers on Green Valley Rd, but pretty flat after that.  The big thing you have to worry about on the east  side are the dogs, but fortunately I only came across a pair of spirited but underfed terriers who produced a lot of sound and fury, but didn’t have the legs to catch me.   After waiting for a train to pass, I got to ride through the quaint town of Marion, home of the incredible Penshorn Meat Market   (luv me some buck stick from there!)   All in all, a good ride, and I can’t wait to do it again.   

In the next blog I’ll tell you about my unfortunate encounter with a stump at McAllister Park that caused me to fly off my Trek 4300 and land within inches of a huge cactus plant.  That’s a whole ‘nother story!



  1. Teenagers lack of common sense?I believe having a name like wheely wonka is a lack of common sense.

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