"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


A Fool in the Rain

It was day full of epic weather.

Chris and I drove to Matteson for the Tuesday night races with fingers crossed, hoping that the band of storms stretching across the Midwest like pulled taffy would hold off long enough for us to squeeze in at least one heat. The nice old man who administrates the races sat there with sort of a nervous grin on his face, wordlessly telling us not to expect too much. Another clue should have been all the A racers waiting it out in their cars.

We did a few laps, and watched as the blue sky fell behind the tumultuous gray cotton blanket, lighting flashing, touching down in the distance. Drops of rain teased us, yet held off. With the heat and humidity beating us all down over the past week, it was almost halfway between torture and foreplay. We saw its dark gossamer feathers to the west us, yet dry we stayed.

Then, in an instant: a wall of water. Like a lukewarm beach shower on a hot day, it didn't chill, didn't warm. We were soaked instantly, and made a beeline for the shelter on the home stretch of the course. In my haste to make it out of the rain, I took the corner too fast and before I knew what had happened, there was sharp pain as my hip struck pavement and my bike was sliding in front of Jared's line. He dodged it safely, and I was up quickly, only my pride hurt. The South Chicago Wheelmen were already gone as we finally realized our race day was over. Our $7 would go towards another evening at Matteson. Chris and I loaded up the car and headed back to town.

The streets were already dry upon returning home, and I immediate re-donned my kit and headed out to the lake front path. Tonight's ride was far more enjoyable than Sunday night, as the recent rain kept most of the clueless and dangerous away. I rode hard, following Chris' advice earlier to hammer when ever possible. No need to get caught up in timing your intervals every time, he reasoned. Slow when you need to, bring the pain when you can.

I reached Northerly Island in just under 30 minutes, not bad for 10 miles in a head wind, and was about to start my sprint drills, but I was stopped cold by the sight that greeted me as I scoped out the traffic and obstacle hazards.

It was about the most beautiful sunset I'd seen in my life. Downtown Chicago at that perfect moment, bathed and drowning in orange light. And I didn't have my camera. So I will close tonight's entry with the next best thing:

The diamonds on your fingers sparkled and snapped,
Gathering and throwing the light of the fire behind you
Like water on your naked body, rolling down your skin.

The flames threw their heat past you, radiating love.
The halo around you aroused a desire in me
I haven't felt in the eons since I first met you.

Your eyes blinked, yet stared confidently,
Knowing that my love for you can hurt til I cry.
And that your kiss, such as tonight, heals my pain.

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