Sunday In The Rain With Secra
you sure you guys
don't want a ride home?" Bitter Hag asks us worriedly. "I could load
your bikes into the back of my truck and drive you to your apartment."
Twenty feet from where we sit, outside Noah's Bagels at South Shore
Mall, the typhoon rages on unabated.
look at David. David looks
at me. We could be home -- and in a hot shower -- in five
thanks," I tell The Hag
reluctantly ... casting one last longing glance in the direction of her
think we'll be OK." And as the other BOOBS look on in admiration -- or
is it disbelief? -- David and I wring out our bike gloves, zip up our
sopping-wet jackets and strap into our helmets for the long, cold,
soggy ride home.
a tough job, being a
living legend ... but somebody's got to do it.
bev, secra, bitter hag
first unofficial gathering
of the BOOBs (Babes on Outrageous Bikes) turned out to be a lot
chillier, a lot damper and a lot more abbreviated than any of us
had anticipated, I think.
and I were ten miles
into our Sunday morning ride when the rainstorm blindsided us. We'd
gone three-quarters of the way around Bay Farm Island already
and were exploring the new still unopened stretch of
running next to the Oakland Airport, when the sky simply opened up
and dumped on us. It was incredible. One minute we were riding along,
perfectly dry and warm and happy-go-lucky: the next minute, instant
baptism. By the time we got to the mall, where we were due to meet the
other BOOBs -- Bev,
Bev's friend Olivia, and Bitter
Hag (newest BOOB Mopie
sent a raincheck: no pun intended) -- we were
the skin and freezing our Spandex off.
yellow windbreakers, we have discovered, offer limitless protection
wind, fog, UV rays, insects and unwanted attention from members of the
opposite sex, but are essentially useless in rain.)
it's been very
pleasant sitting here shivering over scones and coffee, chattering with
my fellow BOOBs. (Although most of the 'chattering' coming out of *me*
for the past forty minutes has been the chattering of my teeth.)
We've talked about bicycle seats, and about the current round
Diarist Awards, and about good places in Northern California for two
moderately-experienced/technically-still-newlywed bicyclists to go on
their first romantic overnight ride this summer. After a while,
I've begun to realize that I no longer have any feeling left in my
fingers, in the tip of my nose, in my left buttocks. Under the table, I
surreptitiously nudge David with my foot -- at least, I think
it's David: my foot is so numb that I could be connecting with the
table leg and I'll never know the difference -- to indicate that it's
time to leave. I want to go home and jump into a hot shower, a hot mug
of Fast Lane Tea and a dry pair of Happy Pants, more or less in that
order. So we say our goodbyes, all around, with promises to get
together and do more than TALK about riding, at
the very first
opportunity. Then, as the other BOOBS look on in amazement -- or is it
pity? -- David and I mount our bikes and pedal off into the rainstorm
in a blaze of proud, robust, athletic glory.
course as soon as we are
around the corner -- out of view/out of earshot of the other BOOBs -- I
grind to a halt.
d-d-don't think I can
d-d-do this," I whimper. The wind is slicing through my soaking wet
jacket like a meat cleaver through Cool Whip. Ten more minutes of this
and I'll be fully cryogenic-compliant.
do you want to do?"
stand there at the four-way
stop, momentarily wracked with indecision. I don't knooooow
want to do. Lately it seems as though my life -- not to
journal -- have turned into one epic bike-related struggle after
another. Secra Does Battle With The Moraga Hill. Secra Does Battle With
40 Mile-Per-Hour Winds. Secra Does Battle With The *Good Morning*
People. Secra Does Battle With Bugs/Heatstroke/Helmet Hair/Carpal
Tunnel Syndrome/Her Stoopid Toe-Clips.
it looks like it's going
to be Secra Does Battle With A Typhoon.
way I see it, I have three
choices: I can shelter here in front of the Alameda Post Office for the
next twenty minutes, while David rides home, gets the Subaru and comes
back to rescue me ... which will make me feel like a complete and utter
weenie. Or I can turn around, go back to the mall and take Bitter Hag
up on her offer ... which will make me feel like an even BIGGER
complete and utter weenie.
can suck it up and do
twenty minutes' worth of rain riding.
go," I say to
David. And I wipe the rain off my glasses again, lean forward into the
squall and begin pedalling like mad.
It's a tough job ...
but someone's got to do it.
earns her *stripes*
in 2002 index