Dress Rehearsal (3 of 3)

Today was a case of, “Well, get there when you can.”

Gather ’round, boys and girls. ?Time for a Sea Story from your favorite Navy Chief.


The difference between a fairy tale and a sea story? A fairy tale starts out, “Once upon a time.” A sea story begins, “Now this is a no-shitter . . . “

A zillion years ago when I stationed at VP-93?at NAF Detroit, there was a particularly stupid?Ensign?named Hopkins. ?Ensign Hopkins was in charge of the Public Affairs office.

I answered the phone when she called the squadron once, looking for information about this or that. ?I suggested she call . . . the PAO?. . . as they’d have that kind of information handy. ?I gave her the number. ?On my end of the phone I could hear her writing the number down. ?It was the number she was calling from.??I’d bet you she called?for days. ?”Dammit! ?There’s always a busy signal!”

I had the phone duty one night. ?Basically I was the guy to take messages from anyone calling on the official duty number. ?On this evening a young sailor called from Memphis to inform his new duty station — that would be us — that he was supposed to be there the next day. ?But his car was broke down and he had no money to get it fixed. ?I asked the duty officer, Ensign Hopkins, what should this young man do?

She took the phone from me and said to the stranded sailor,?”Well, just get here when you can,” and hung up the phone.

Hell, if I’d been that sailor?I’d have shown up the day before my enlistment was up. ?I’d say, “This is as soon as I could get here. ?Pay me.”

“Getting to the end when I could” was definitely the theme of the ride today. ?On top of the 145 miles ridden over the last two days, ?I wanted to do another 65 miles.

I also had a couple of things to drop off to my two stores. ?I could at least do something useful on the ride for once. ?After I visited the second store, I still needed to ride another 45 miles or so.

I don’t know why I keep bitching about the wind.

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There’s obviously?no where?you can ride in Central Ohio where the wind isn’t trying to knock you on your ass. ?In trying to decide which way to go, I just said, “Fuck it. ?Head into the wind.”

The wind at came out of a consistent direction today. ?That direction was?any direction I was riding. ?I’m not making this up. ?Here’s the chart — from Map My Ride — of where I rode today. ?Notice that I headed every direction of the compass. ?At no time was the wind?not be in my face. ?65 miles of riding against the wind.


Plus, we also had a little heat going on today. ?Three screenshots from my phone. ?First at 1:15. ?Second at 2:33. ?Third was when I finally got home at 6:39.


Wind. ?Check.

High temps. ?Check.

Hilly roads. ?Check check check.

The combination of the three — plus some physical things I’ll get to in a second — made me stop every five to seven miles and get off the bike. ?It took nearly 9 hours to ride just 63 miles. ?Granted, the two stops at my stores ate up an hour of it of that 9. ?Plus time to eat. ?Plus an unexpected stop along the way. ?But, in essence, I was moving forward at a horrible average of 7 miles an hour.

Got to rethink my water situation. ?I drank both bottles dry four times today. ?That’s 21 ounces X 8 = 168 ounces . . . or a gallon + a quarter + an eight ounce glass of water.

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Plus?multiple fill-ups of diet Pepsi / Coke at Taco Bell / McDonald’s.

Rode around in Rich People Land today. ?For example, this is someone’s back yard kiddie pool:

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And this is that same person’s Mother In Law Suite:

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Hundreds and hundreds of million+ dollar houses, yet . . .

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. . . the dumb asses who live in ’em obviously built a see-saw in the middle of the road. ?Watch out!

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Radiant Kids? ?Offspring of those Chernobyl kids? ?Glow in the dark youngins?

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Wouldn’t chopping off your ears drastically reduce ear infections? ?Plus you wouldn’t have to just pretend you’re didn’t hear your significant other.

Not sure why a chiropractor is chopping off ears, though . . .

I beat my Map My Ride app’s battery drain with this handy dandy tool:

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6000 milliamps of power to transfer over to my Note 4. ?When I knew I was going to be stopped for more than 10 or 15 minutes, I’d hook the myCharge to the phone and transfer over some sweet sweet amps. ?Yesterday’s 82 miles sucked the battery on the phone down to 8%. ?Today, even though I used the phone almost as much as yesterday, the charge at the end of the ride was still over 50%. ?And the myCharge battery itself still had over 50% left . . . meaning it could have completely charged my phone again without having to recharge?the myCharge. ?Win win!

Around the 50 mile point today I turned a curve?very?sharply. ?And the front tire?skidded, almost taking me down. ?”Whoa,” I thought. ?”That can’t?ever?happen.”

Fifty years of riding a bicycle paid off at that moment. ?My leg had shot out to keep me from tipping over before?my brain had even registered I was falling.

Less than a quarter mile later I noticed what caused the skid. ?The front tire had lost at least half of its air. ?Somehow I had a flat . . . but it wasn’t completely flat.

In the grand scheme of things, I’ve been pretty lucky with flats. ?I know I didn’t change a single flat in 2014. ?(Though, to be fair, I rode less in 2014 than in any year since 2007.) ?I don’t remember changing any flats in 2013. ?But, here we are:

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Actually, it wasn’t that bad. ?I had all the tools I needed. ?A front tire flat isn’t that hard. ?You don’t have to mess with the gears or the chain as you would on a rear flat. ?It?was?the first time I ever changed a tire that used a disc brake. ?The wheel didn’t seem to want to go back where I wanted it to go after I replaced the tube. ?But a few minutes of jiggling and expletive deleteds?convinced it. ?I was probably back on the road in less than 15 minutes.

The last time I bought biking shorts was before my trip to RAGBRAI in 2013.? Yesterday my butt was feeling particularly raw after 80+ miles. ?I was a little concerned that it’d speak up this morning.

It finally did get around to having a chat with me around mile 25.

My butt sang pretty loudly. ?”I’m going to keep throwing you off your bike if you don’t do something about my pain, fat boy.”

I figured I’d finally compressed the chamois in the padded shorts to the point where I was riding on a rock-hard bicycle seat with no padding between it and my butt-bones.

A stop at Roll Bicycle?sucked $80 out of my wallet, but at least I wore those shorts home. ?(And my butt did quit bitching.) ?When I got home, Amazon got another $80 for two more pair. ?So,?I’m $160 lighter after buying three new sets of shorts. ?(Can I?please?quit spending money, now?)


Does the bulge cost extra? I’d like one of those, please.

Time to scare away small children and large animals:

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Hanging out in the men’s bathroom trying to work off $160 in biker shorts . . .