I wrote this thing about 2 years ago in my notebook journally thing (whatever you wanna call it). I figure, with the story that's up on MI now, it'd be kinda fun to put it up. It's crap, but it's my crap, and since this is my crappy online journal, it just seems appropriate. So, here ya go.

The Road

zzz... zzz... zzz...

zzz... BZZZZ! BZZZZ! BZZ-*

6:00AM again.
Time to hit the road.

The road.
That most evil of all pathways.
I traverse many throughout my day
Hallways lead to bathrooms
Foyers lead to kitchens
Stairways lead to gamerooms
And somehow, I don't mind travelling on any of those.
That's because none of them are a direct pathway to pain
and suffering
and dispair
like the road is.

My feet hit the floor
and before I even wipe the sleep from my eyes
I reach out to the dresser
I grab and put on my shorts in one well practiced motion
I slide the jersey over my head and pull it down over my waist
I unroll my socks and slide them over my feet
Within two minutes of being up, I'm dressed and moving
I have but one goal:
To actually get out the door.
Because if I pause for even one moment -
To check the weather
Or my email
Or even pet the cat
I'll find some reason not to hit the road.
"Oh, look," I'll say.
"It seems that there is an issue with a server at work. I'd best handle that instead of working out this morning."
The funny thing is,
There's ALWAYS an "issue" with the servers at work.
It can always be optimized, or reorganized, or updated.
It's a sure bet.
One I know I'll take if given the chance to.
And no matter what I do or when I do it, there will be more "issues" with the server.

I know myself too well.
"No distractions," I tell myself as I pull on my shoes and latch them tight.
"No excuses," I say as I grab my helmet and gloves.
I lean over and kiss my still sleeping wife...
Oh, man, I should just take all this stuff off and curl back up with her... Look at her. She's an angel. But I know her. I know she wouldn't be proud of me, even though it's a nice thing to do.
"I'm going out," I announce.
"Mmm, okay baby," she mumbles. "Be careful. I love you."
"I love you, too," I reply, walking out the bedroom door.
Careful, she says.
I do need to be careful, huh...
There's MANIACS out there.
Trucks refuse to give way.
Cars honk and flip me off for not going fast enough
Or not riding in the gutter
Or not riding on the sidewalk
It's just too dangerous.
I'd better not go.
... Right.
It happens every day.
Without fail.
Honking, speeding, passing, flipping off - it's all part of being on the road.
It didn't kill you yesterday.
It won't kill you today.
Don't be such a baby.
Finish your granola bar and fill your water bottle and get into that garage to prep your bike.

Yes, prepping my bike...
I need to replace that tube I blew out yesterday
What if that happens again today?
What if it happens six miles out instead of only one?
What if I have to walk back all that distance?
What if I hit a pothole and break another wheel?
I guess that's why I carry spare tubes and a cellphone.
Any other excuses?
Before the sun comes up and I lose the freedom of having no traffic on the road?
Yeah... This jersey shrunk in the wash.
Passing motorists will see my fat parts as I ride.
They'll laugh at the stupid colors and tight shorts.
I should save face and turn around and go back to bed.

That's pathetic. Open the garage door. We're going.

And like that
I'm in the driveway
And I'm in the saddle
And I'm getting my hands in the right position
And I'm pushing the pedals
And I'm off.

Last chance.
Last chance for what?
Last chance to turn around before we leave the neighborhood and crawl back into bed.

And before I can even dismiss that notion
I'm on my way
Before too long
The humid Georgia summer begins to go to work on me
I begin to sweat early into the workout
My legs begin to burn from initial exertion
My butt and back cramps a little
My neck cracks as I roll it around a little
And I begin to climb the first hill out of my neighborhood
People are getting into their cars
Waving like they do every morning
Dogs are taken for walks
The powerwalking couple from down the street is at the intersection of the main street I ride
They say hi
I say howdy
And it all begins again.
As I get started on my morning ride, I greet the road as I always do.

"Hello, road.
We meet again.
I don't expect you to make this easy on me.
In fact, I already know you won't.
You're going to twist and turn sharply in parts
Forcing me to stay balanced and watch my speed.
You're going to rise sharply and suddenly at times
Forcing me to stay strong.
You're going to send a few sloppy or rude motorists my way
Forcing me to stay sharp.
And in the end
I'll thank you.
You see
The truth is
I don't WANT you to take it easy on me.
I can't wait to bank those turns at high speeds
And climb your hills with burning legs
And stay steady and aware as cars pass.
I'm ready for you, road.
So show me what you got."

And with that, we go.