Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Swanny To Goodness--Tennessee

Kirk and I had a high-end breakfast buffet at Gaylord's Opryland before he headed by air north toward home, and I, I resumed pedaling south to GA. (Remember Willie Morris's book, North Toward Home in which Morris, Harper Magazine's controversial editor in the 60's, chronicles his memoir of our country in transition and his coming of age in a period of tumultuous cultural, social, and political change?)

My confidence had been shaken in KY. I needed to get back in the saddle, if you can call a recumbent seat a saddle and "just do it".

I'm fascinated by language of minimization. I seem to encounter two distinct ways folks tend to think about their world of experiences. There are the minimizers and maximizers. Maybe all of us do both just depending... Cyclists can be great minimizers when talking about their untoward events. We talk about road rash, leaving skin on the road, and coming off the bike when referencing our crashes. Two terms I heard a lot down here, south of the Mason-Dixon Line, were 'bumps' and 'sloping grades'. Bumps are those short, 1-2 block-long, 18-24% grade hills. Sloping grades are the 2-10% grades that go on for 1-6 miles. I found never-ending bumps and sloping grades from Vincennes to Columbus, GA. I found myself needing to walk the bumps but being quite comfortable on the sloping grades. Don't know if I had bumps bigger than boat ramps and interstate overpasses to train on in Chicago if I'd scamper up these bumps on my recumbent hauling 40# of gear or if that's a skill I'll leave to the young bucks riding uprights. Guess that means I'm an old buck-ette. And, for the record, I do have a number of cycling events on my Bucket List.

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