"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The soundtrack within

Perhaps others experience this: your brain picks a song to match whatever the pace of your run or bikeride. Sometimes when I want to maintain or increase my pace, I try to pick the song myself, but it takes some concentration to maintain it.

Tonight I attempted a group ride known as the "Fast 50" referring to kilometers (I think). Happens every Wednesday night in Chico and the departure point is across the street from my house. I went because my co-worker (who is training for her second triathlon) said she did it last week because her coach told her there was a slow contingent. She said she got dropped in the dust by this alleged "slow" group, so I thought, hey, why don't I ride too and we can be THE slow group. Sometime over the past week it seems her cycling vastly improved. Either that or the slow group didn't show up the first time she did the ride. So tonight, as the "slow" group which now included my co-worker, vanished into the distance about half an hour into the ride, I realized I am not really a real cyclist just yet.

The soundtrack happened like this: pumping away, determined to keep the slow group in sight if not catch them, my head was singing the Eurythmics. "Run run run run--to run away from you--is all that I could do--run run run..." Awhile down the road, when I could no longer see anyone ahead of me, I woke up and realized that my head had started singing Goodnight Irene. Much better. Much more comfortable. My brain is a sensible DJ. "Stop your ramblin', stop your gamblin', stop staying out late at night / Go home to your wife and family, sit down by the fireside bright."

That lasted until I got a flat tire about 5 miles away from home. I had changed a couple tires in the comfort of my living room with hours to devote to the project, but not yet on the road. Some real cyclists passed and asked if I was OK, and I said "yes, I have a tube." Which I did, and tire levers, and a mini pump. So in a record 25 minutes I in fact changed the tube and rode triumphantly (though in the dark) home. "We are the Champions, my friend...'cause we went on fighting to the end...we are the champions, we are the champions, no time for losers 'cause we are the champions...of the WORLD!"

Maybe some day soon I will be a really real cyclist.

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