Oh dear God...I talked myself into riding on the back of Mostly Naked's bike tomorrow (at his suggestion, obviously) as we travel to Whitehall to hang some posters for our big ride/party coming up on August 9th. I've dubbed myself the Club Hind Tit because I am the rear-most rider in the group rides. Mostly Naked usually leads the rides. Please note, it's now 10:30pm on Friday, and I'm already amped...maybe it's scared. Probably both.
Funny enough, we spent most of the time this evening hanging out at The Joynt on Water Street discussing how I must be broken inside because I've gone skydiving, crashed a motorcycle twice, and done a track day...all of which were without the usual human surge of adrenaline. Now, I'm wide awake...and what's this? Adrenaline? Think I'm gonna wear that hotbox leather suit tomorrow? HELLS YEAH.
I was just wondering if I should bring my camera and take some video from the back seat, but I think this first time I should just concern myself with that silly hanging on and concentrating on being a non-entity on the back.
What started the whole thing is that I don't feel like I'm improving fast enough and I'm getting frustrated at being in the back all the time. However, whenever I'm out on a ride I consciously tell myself to ride at my own pace...which I do...and enjoy even. Mostly Naked pointed out that I'm only in my 1st/2nd season of really riding and I just plain won't be fast for some time...at least not fast AND in control. Coming from a guy who's been on a motorcycle for...what did he say...maybe 15 years already? That doesn't make it any more soothing for an instant-gratification junkie.
So, as I'm sitting here, all a-quiver, I'm mulling over the possible blocks to my improvement. And yeah, they're all in my head. Stupid head.
1) I don't trust my tires or my bike and just how much they can do (Mostly Naked pointed that one out).
2) I don't trust me to handle whatever happens unexpectedly with clear thinking and graceful, quick reaction.
3) I frickin HATE gravel, ergo it spooks me. How come it's always in the corners??
4) Blind turns and blind hills are creepy if there's no one in front of you to follow.
5) I'm afraid if I unass my seat I won't be able to get back on (picture one of those people bouncing along the side of a horse when they lose their balance, but can't get out of the stirrup...and try not to laugh).
I ask myself, how come all these people in front of me can get through all these issues and I still don't see them until they stop to wait for me at the next change in route? How come I get to be so mental? It occurs to me, the reason for the lack of excitement in response to how I'm currently riding? I don't test myself. Yes, I'm really REALLY new compared to most of the riders in the group, but jeez...how long do I have to be the hind tit? One guy joined up this year and rode behind me because he was all panicky in turns...but one day, not too long after, he passed me and I never saw him in the back again.
No, I'm not going to go out and try to kill myself. I have a fairly strong sense of self-preservation. I'm not...brave. At least not to my satisfaction. Darn me. I am however rambling on hurriedly because I'm as excited as a 7-year-old at Christmas at the prospect of riding behind Mostly Naked tomorrow. I hope I don't throw up in my helmet. Also, he won't be mostly naked. He'll be mostly armored.
In other news, The Joynt is a bar I lovingly refer to as "The Place Where the Pot Smokers Congregate." It's very nearly a guarantee that anytime you walk in there, you will spot a tie-dye t-shirt or pony-tail accompanied by full beard. They have a neon sign over the bar that READS (not "says"...Mostly Naked has taken to correcting my grammar (if you can believe that)) "No Light Beer." Happy Hour? Of course! This is Wisconsin, after all. What? $.40 taps? YES. I walked in with FOUR DOLLARS and walked out with empty pockets and a sturdy buzz. This place is a study in eccentricities. Initially, my dad took me there for a drink and, coming from a sheltered, over-franchised Chicago suburb, I thought this place was a total hole. Now, it's grown on me...it's like visiting with an old war veteran; it's crusty, worn and dusty on the outside, but there's inherent charm, history, and stories if you sit still and observe long enough. With one exception; the war vet likely won't have the finest beer in all the land (Point, Grain Belt, Leinie's, Berghoff).
I'm going to try to go to bed now...and in the spirit of over-exaggerated, adolescent reactions, "OH MY GOD! He TOTALLY touched my arm in gym class today! WEEEEE! D.K. & Z.D. 4 EVER!"