Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Flat & Kindness In the Dark

Greetings Readers

"What does she mean? Dreams are complicated Doug." The Riches

There are days, perhaps every day that I may be tested by god, the biking gods or something/someone else about my reactions to kindness.

And I have to say that I pulled off a test last night - with flying colors I might add.

The back-story – it was about 8:00 PM last night and I was riding home from work. The sun had gone down and there was just barely a dark blue color visible in the sky amongst the black night. Though, not enough light to through any light on the road to see where I was riding.

I was basically riding the dark. When I apparently ran over something and had a blowout. I cannot even guess what it was nor could I guess how it happened. I found no thorn, nor did my bike feel like I ran over a rock. It felt and made a sound like that I ran over some broken glass, but when I pulled the tube out of the tire the tube showed an indication of me running over a rock and the tube being forced into the inner rim of the rim.

I know that sentence may not make sense, but whenever I run over something, such as a rock, the tube gets two slits in the tube that was made against the inner rim. I don’t know why, but when I see those two slits I know that I either ran over a rock or some object, which forced the tire/tube against the inner rim and that in turn causes the immediate blow out of my bike tube.

I was cruising. I was feeling the rush of night riding and not knowing what is on the road before me. I was riding in one of the many suburban communities in Arapahoe County, when I ran over something then I heard the familiar blow out and the rush of air leaving my tire. Man. I was about ¾ of a mile home and I had this blow out. Fuck me.

I did not cuss out loud at all. I was not mad (as usually as I am when I get a flat tire). I was indifferent. I was hoping that the bike tube would hold after I heard the familiar blow out, but 10 yards later my tire was flat as a young girl’s chest.

I pulled over immediately and shook my head in an “I can not believe this” attitude. I actually smiled and knew that this flat tire was due. I immediately thought that I could either walk my bike home or repair the flat tire.

Well, I pulled out the bike pump, bike kit and bike levers and proceeded to change the tire.

Meanwhile, a few vehicles did pass by me while I was fixing my flat tire. I was not mad. I was fixing and changing the flat tire without any thought what so ever. The only thing going on in my head was to change the tire or walk the bike ¾ of a mile home.

Anyway, I heard some footsteps across the street coming toward my direction. I looked up at the person’s direction to acknowledge that I saw him/her. Then, I immediately look from him/her to indicate, I hope, that I do not want to talk to him/her nor need any sort of help.

I could still hear his/her footsteps coming while I was fixing my flat tire. Then, I heard the footsteps coming towards me. I did not look up since I do not want to engage in any conversation with anyone.

Now. I am not being rude from my standpoint. If this person was a walker and he/she was out walking I am sure that he/she would not want to be bothered by me or anyone else that evening.

I hear a lady’s voice - “Excuse me?”

Oh by the way readers, this was one of the times that I did not want to listen to my Ipod nor did I have my earphones in my ears. I was just enjoying the bike ride home listening to the world around me. I did not look up since I did not think she was talking to me.

“Excuse me?”

I looked up and said “Yes?”

“Are you okay?”

“Uh yes.”

“My son just said that he saw a bike rider and said that person looked like that he needed some help.”

“Oh. No, I am okay, though I have no light to work from in the dark.”

“Do you need some help?”

“No. I am fine. Thank you.”

“You sure?”

“Yes. Thank you. At least it is not cold.”

“Yes. Well… if you are okay then I will be going.”

“Thank you. And thank your son for being so kind to mention to you that I might need help.”

“That’s okay,” she said.

“Again. Thank you” and I added “I just hope that your son did not hear me cuss” Which of course was a lie, but I wanted to make sure that she was okay with talking to a stranger in the dark. Getting a laugh or smile sometimes makes people feel more comfortable.

I felt that I had to add that since she had no clue who she was going to help out with her son telling her a biker, me, might need help down the street. I had to make sure that I was not my typical self in the dark. Especially, with my sarcastic side, low tolerance level for “ignorance” and me being a man. Also, I wanted to make sure that I was giving the impression that I was just a neighborhood neighbor and not a man looking to take advantage of a woman.

Perhaps I was being tested by someone. Perhaps not. Yet, I am proud to write to you readers that I was on my best, best behavior and said thank you so many times that I almost felt fake. Hell. I was being fake within my character and that is the truth. But in the scenario last night I was very honest on giving the Thank you’s to her. I wanted her to leave ASAP, but I wanted her to feel that she could leave me ASAP without any help or guilt for not helping.

Readers – I am not asking for praise or a “fuck you” remark, but I want to tell you and the rest of the world that I am capable of being nice when I need to. Being nice is not an effort for me, but most of the time it is hard for me to be nice and not sarcastic at the same time. I am a smart ass by nature, but only when asked questions which are “dumb” in my personal view.

Oh, I guess I better add that this picture is the first picture of the year in my Southpark bike Jersey I decided today a day to wear this bike jersey. I have to admit I feel like Cartman looks today.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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