Magnus Homo Moronic, Media Via;
Big Moronic Man in the Middle of The Road!
For the record, almost any word or phrase can be entered into Google Search and then converted to Latin. It’s not only educational but keeping with the absurdity theme of this blog; SO MUCH FUN!! There is also a Zulu Delta 45 Blog with similar nonsense;
So, riding over the Twin Sisters……..
The Twin Sisters are a “hill” range we cycled over our 4th day. The approximate stats are the following, beginning at mile marker 40 and ending at mile marker 50 in between our total of 73 miles ridden that day. 1400’ of climbing elevation with a max grade of 12.4%. Downhill elevation-1429’.
This was not only one of the most challenging climbs of the week, it was also one of the most remote and spectacular stretches of nature we had the amazing fortunes to bask in……………I mean if you’re into that sort of thing. ; ) Basically, the ride was like this; ” Oh my, I can’t breathe and my legs would be shaking wildly if I wasn’t clipped in, but…..if I fall off my bike and roll off that cliff, It will be the most magnificent view on my way down.” Hahahahah…..it wasn’t that bad.
OK, so now, I have biked over the first hill, flew down the road, and am climbing the second hill. I was just about at the top when I grabbed my water bottle for a swig. I didn’t have a lot of strength in the rest of my body at the time, and when I went to put my bottle back in the cage, it popped out of my hand and began to roll down the hill. Merde!! (French profanity). The idea of actually having to ride down the hill and then back up was too much to take; although there are some riders who cycle over this section several times back to back for the challenge (It might be a good time to try out that Latin translation program because my words in English would not be “Blog-PG Rated.”) Honestly, I knew I could make it to the next rest stop with the water I had onboard and eventually replace the bottle, but I just couldn’t live with the idea that I had littered this beautiful place, so down the hill I went. The bottle was like a 20-dollar bill in the wind; quite elusive. I had one shot before it, and hopefully not I, rolled off the embankment. I grabbed a burst of speed, clipped out, hollered my intentions to a couple biking up to me, cut my bike hard to Port, and was able to have the bottle bounce up against the spokes of my tire. Whew. Now I just needed the energy to dismount, climb back on, and continue riding (OK, that’s a little over dramatic but……..).
Not for the first time, many of you may be asking; “why would you agree to participate in such a cycling event?” Did I mention that this was my job for the week? Riding my bike outside in some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, all the while meeting great people and helping out a phenomenal cause such as the Arthritis Foundation?
So, It took everything I had to make it up and over these two hills. No secret there, but that’s not the real story here. I was just about at the top of the second crest. Most of the time, my head was down grinding out the task at hand, but at this point, I did look up and was spooked to my bones. Up ahead was a large rock. I could see a bicycle propped up against the back of the stone. I didn’t see “anybody” but jetting out from the ground edge of the rock was a pair of feet with a little bit of leg showing. As I got closer, I continued to watch the feet; they never moved. The feet were about 8 inches from the painted line that marked the edge of the road. Practically on the road. That sick feeling inside of me returned.
I have to “go back in time” to tell you about something else. A few years ago, I was riding the Four Bridges Ride in Rhode Island. It was the coolest bike event in the area. It was 26 miles and held on a Sunday morning and fully supported by the local and state police. You literally biked up and over 4 bridges surrounding Narragansett and Mount Hope Bays. The road closures and police support made it a very safe and fun event. About a mile before the end of the ride, I rolled around a corner and heard a woman scream 30 feet in front of me. A man had stopped in his tracks and dropped off his bike to the ground. Myself and 2 other cyclists took turns giving the man CPR until the EMTs arrived. It didn’t help. The man had a massive heart attack and had died before he ever hit the ground.
You might imagine my thoughts as I came riding up to the rock. I still hadn’t seen the shoe-less feet move, and as if I didn’t have enough bizarre thoughts in my head, the feet edging out from behind the large rock only reminded me of the feet of the witch after the house landed on her in The Wizard of Oz.
I said to myself, and any divine entities listening ” Dear God, please don’t let this be another dead cyclist in my path or worse; someone who needs CPR or medical attention.” As you probably can tell from the water bottle story, I had neither the strength nor lung capacity at this moment to administer emergency first aid.
On the count of three, I would reach the rock and look down on the ground to see the body…….Three………Two……..One……….
Yes, it was a body of a large male cyclist…..but not dead! Yeessssssssss!!!!!
In fact, he was very much alive. He was indeed shoeless; laying horizontal on his side, on the ground with his feet still very close to the edge of the road. No, he was not exactly in the “middle of the road” but way too close to say he wasn’t. On top of this, in one hand was a fork while in the other, was a silver pot of tomato Pasta. Yes, I was that close to him.
In the moment of truth when I looked down on him, and he up at me, the following words came out of his mouth first; “Shhhaaaaahhh……. Dude; how’s it going?”
It was at this point when all my mental and physical exhaustion combined with the emotional stress of my previous “medical encounter,” not to mention my annoyance and anger as to why someone would purposely and for all practical sense be laying in the “middle of the road” boiled over.
I let him have it with the last will of my gasping breath! I was definitely gasping! (Fear not; I was nowhere near a heart attack, just short of breath!).
“Don’t……..don’t you ……you….Shah Dude …………Me!!!”
“You moron!” What the hell are you doing laying in the middle of the road? It’s bad enough you don’t have the common sense to protect yourself, but you failed to consider how awful any motorist would feel if they accidentally ran over your feet because they were distracted by the incredible scenery. On top of this, it’s just one more perfect example of why so many motorists have no respect or awareness for cyclists. You make us all look bad you moron!”
I told him……..except……….I didn’t. WHAT??????
It would seem that in my present state of oxygen deprivation and physical exhaustion my brain and verbal motor skills got short-circuited and something completely different came out of my mouth. Something so bizarre and embarrassing that I can’t believe I would ever want to retell this story. What were the words that came out of my mouth?
“Hey……..your pasta smells nice.”
“Zulu…….you said what? Oh my……..you didn’t!!” Yep, apparently, I did.
“Zulu……who’s the big moron now?” “I know, I know, I can’t believe it either!”
Thankfully, I couldn’t see the expression on his face as I had now rolled past him. Then panic and embarrassment set in. “Your pasta smells nice?” What happens if word of this encounter immediately gets back to my family, friends, and co-workers in New England; a place where cutting wit, razor-sharp barbs, and unrelenting come-backs are as crucial to everyday survival as inner frosting is to an Oreo!
I was in trouble here. Even if I wasn’t physically deported to the Mid-West, I would certainly face “sociological exile” to those places at family and friends gatherings such as “that” corner of the living room, or the “far end” of the dinner and restaurant table, or even the “other” ski area chair lift. Yes, I’m talking about those places covertly designated for those who can’t properly tell a funny story, accurately mimic someone’s voice, displays an inability to observe a menial encounter and make it sound interesting, or most of all, lumped together with those who love telling “knock, knock,” jokes.
A truly dark day on the mountain top.
Gradually “something” started to change. My breathing began to slow down and regulate, my legs began to glow with warmth and energy, and the disorientation of my mind started to clear. My tires increased speed and seconds before I took off on the latest incarnation of an Olympic Luge Sled, it hit me. There is bicycle karma, and it is OK to want people to act safely for the benefit of themselves and others, but most importantly, there are consequences if people fail to make the world a better and safer place. I didn’t see this initially, but as the man laying on the ground looked back up at me in disbelief of my insane comments, 5 full colonies of Black Ants were crawling up the side of the beautiful smelling pasta and into his silver pot. Yep, that’s not crushed black pepper in there.
As I was catapulted down the very last backside of the Twin Sisters, I turned my head and yelled out to the man in “the middle of the road,”
“Bon Appetit …………..DUDE!!”
(Editors note; 99% of this story is true; including what a moron Zulu Delta can be, but he laughs every time he tells this story).