No Achievements

Blog buddy, Tim, has a clever way with words and a blog I enjoy immensely. Occasionally, he includes a Strava window as a part of his posts showing his latest ride route. Strava is an ingenius and handy tool that records all manner of cycling route/speed/climbing, and distance statistics. I can understand why it is so popular. Not being a Strava user myself, however, I noticed an interesting note at the bottom of the Strava window of Tim’s recent post. What it said amused me almost as much as Tim’s always clever words.

QB 5-8-14“There are no achievements on this ride”

Ha ha ha…oh yes there are, Strava. There are achievements even you can not quantify.

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A Little Less Lollygagging

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In which I do a little less lollygagging…but not a lot less.

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It’s seems I’ve become a fan of using the bicycle for a micro-tour, or coffee outside, or hammock hanging, or snapping photos, or just a plain ol’ picnic. I’ve enjoyed using the bicycle to acheive some purpose for being outside besides pedaling. That means that it is common for my outings to involve as much time doing other things as pedaling a bicycle. That also means the fitness has eroded a bit.

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So today’s purpose was to spend more time pedaling and less time lollygagging. Judging by the number of photos in this post, it should be obvious that there were still plenty of stops. The difference between today and most of the winter is that these stops didn’t take long.

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No photos of camping, coffee brewing, bean grinding, or water boiling. No photo set-ups of me riding in some pleasant place or snoozing in a hammock. Just a quick stop, lean the bike, snap a photo, and roll on.

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So mostly these photos show what a rural north Texas metric century looks like on gravel and a few paved county roads. Not much to report, really.

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Temps ranged from 50 to 85, light south breeze, and lots of green. It was long enough to point out in no uncertain terms that I lost some fitness. It was a typical spring ride. There was no drama, but there was one interesting encounter. No wait, there were two interesting encounters.

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The first encounter occurred right here in front of the donut shop as I was taking the courthouse photo. A mountain of a man pulls up with his two kids. Before even getting out of the vehicle the children are greeting me. Friendly folks, I think.

Then they get out and walk toward the donut shop. The man is about twice my size, his daughter looks to be about 11 and the son maybe about 8. The children walk up and enthusiastically (more than typical enthusiasm) ask how I’m doing.

“I’m very good!” I say, “How are you?”

The girl’s next question caught me completely off guard.

“I’m good too, can I have a hug?”

In a split second, I try to recover, glance at the giant father for a reaction, glance back at the smiling girl, and find myself saying…

“Of course you can!”, and proceed to lightly hug the stranger child. And that’s when the boy asks…

“Can I have a hug too?”

“Absolutely!” I say, and give my second hug to the second stranger child.

Then the girl asks me if I’m going to the donut shop, and answer that I might be. That’s when the boy invites me to join them for donuts, and says that they will buy. So I smile, and say that I appreciate the offer and that I’ll think about it.

By that time, they are at the door. The giant man opens the door for the children, we exchange cordial smiles, and he walks in.

That’s a first for me.

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The second encounter happened shortly after this photo was taken. By now it was getting rather warm outside. I had a lot of miles in my fitness deficient legs and was slowly making my way up a hill. I see a man standing in the middle of the road. I pedal and and glance, pedal and glance. For awhile he is stationary, but as I get closer, he begins to move/walk/stagger. He is shirtless and has a beer can in his hand.

Then he faces the right side of the road and takes a step, so I swerve left to go around (with a healthy distance) him. After his step, staggering takes over and he begins to lose his balance and begins staggering backwards toward me. As I drift to the edge of the pavement, he catches himself and begins slur shouting, “You get back to the house!”

When I look over to see who he is shouting to, I see no one. Only a tiny white dog who doesn’t seem to have a clue what he’s talking about.

My evasive manueuver was successful.

IMG_4567So I had two interesting encounters in sharp contrast, but not much lollygagging. Friendly children are more pleasant than a drunk man in the road.