Column: Nice ride, worms and allI had a worm stuck to my forehead Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t for long. And it wasn’t on purpose. I haven’t joined a strange new worm-face cult. Although, maybe that’s not a bad idea. We could wear pink jumpsuits and roll around in the dirt. But, I digress.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
I had a worm stuck to my forehead Sunday afternoon.
It wasn’t for long. And it wasn’t on purpose. I haven’t joined a strange new worm-face cult. Although, maybe that’s not a bad idea. We could wear pink jumpsuits and roll around in the dirt.
But, I digress.
The worm was kicked up by the tire of another biker as we rolled north on one of the last legs of the annual Ironman bike ride.
Maybe you saw me, or others like me. I was part of a large crowd of bikers -- or, as they’re known to many motorists, #*@%#!& bikers -- that spilled out onto the roads south and west of here.
If you’re not familiar, the Ironman is an annual cycling event that somehow manages to almost always take place on the spring day with the worst weather. It didn’t matter how many sunny, beautiful days we had earlier in the year. Anyone who has ever ridden an Ironman knew to expect rain or snow or fog or maybe even frogs falling from the sky as a sign that either the end times are near or the Vikings aren’t going to get the publicly funded stadium they’ve been asking for.
The bad weather never stops the bikers, though. At least, not all of them. Even this year’s forecast of a day full of thunderstorms wasn’t enough to keep every rider away. Crowds were down at least a little, but riders were still there wearing rain jackets and waterproof caps on their helmets. They rode skinny-tired road bikes and fat-tired bikes that are better suited to riding on the snow. There were unicycles and even a three-wheeled, bullet-shaped contraption that looked like it might have escaped from a bumper car ride.
We showed up and we rode and, despite gray skies that threatened rain at any minute, we never got wet.
Weather is a funny thing.
Not literally, obviously. Weather can’t tell a joke. It keeps stepping on the punchline. And it’s really hard to get laughs with a tornado.
Maybe unpredictable is a better word. Which makes it all the more unfortunate when you try to make plans based on predictions about whether it will be sunny or stormy.
Ironman or not, you come to appreciate that fact when you spend a lot of time on a bicycle. I’ve canceled rides when forecasts called rain a near certainty only to see the skies clear up. I’ve ended up hiding under a bridge when clear skies suddenly turned to storms.
And, I’ll admit, I was ready to back out of this year’s Ironman. I would have been all too happy to call the ride on account of rain. I just wasn’t prepared to listen to my dad and my brother give me a hard time about it until next year’s ride.
In the end, of course, riding was the right call. Aside from the gloom, the weather was nearly perfect for riding.
As long as you don’t mind a worm in the face.