An Allegory, Which I Will Eventually Wrench Toward Writing

I’m taking a brief break from documenting the life of the mind to talk about a bike race I rode this past weekend.  I discovered just before the race that one of my race wheels was out of true to the point where it rubbed the brake pads on every revolution (Naturally, I had not looked at the wheels since putting them away after my last race, and I’m going to chalk up my miserable performance in that race to their condition).  I decided that this did not signify, and I’d just go ahead and use my training wheels (note that “training wheels” mean something a bit different to bicycle racers than most people), since after all, the race was fairly flat and my feather-light race wheels wouldn’t provide much advantage.  So I threw the training wheels back on the bike, again without looking at them, and packed up the truck.

I got moving a bit late in the morning, which meant I was slightly rushed in my preparations.  One result of this was that I managed to forget that the race uses chip timing (a little RF transmitter attached to the bike that records when you cross the finish line) until I was approaching the start line minutes before the race started.  Recalling that the chip was back in my truck, I turned and rode hell-bent for leather back to get it.  The quickest path to the truck was over a little nature path, so this meant I was tearing along, throwing rocks and twigs around as I went, looking like I was in a cyclocross race.  I stuffed the chip and zip tie into my pocket and rode back to the line (my thinking being that if I got back as the race started I could just ride with the thing in my pocket and hope it registered.  The race hadn’t started yet, though, so I immediately whipped out the chip, and with a few quick motions, lashed it, as well as one of my spokes, securely to my fork.  Fortunately, I have a Leatherman (TM) mini-knife on my keychain, so I was able to cut the zip tie and ride back across the lawn to the registration desk to get a new tie.

Somehow, I managed to get back to the start line and get everything set up before the race went off.  I did end up starting far back in the field, which made things tricky.  Still, I managed to find a little gruppeto to ride with and had a respectable (for me) finish.  Then, after a leisurely cooldown, I looked at my tire and saw this:

For those of you not very familiar with bike tires, what you’re seeing is a good chunk of tire casing peeking out past quite a bit of missing tread, and this is only one of the places where it was happening.  Meaning that all the time I was merrily riding over rocks and branches, and racing over potholes, the casing was all that was holding 110 psi of air where it belonged.  Sometimes it is better to be lucky than prepared, is what I’m saying.  Which makes me wonder if I should spend less time cultivating beta readers and doing rewrites, and more time eating nachos and waiting to blunder into a publishing contract through sheer good fortune.

~ by smwilliams on August 21, 2012.

One Response to “An Allegory, Which I Will Eventually Wrench Toward Writing”

  1. Ha! If you had won the race and lottery at the same time, maybe that allegory would fly, but…I wouldn’t stop rewriting just yet! 😉

    Congrats on the good finish.

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