Not Today

Some days are not the day. Today was not the day. I’d volunteered my house as the start for our weekend group ride. But I tweaked my back yesterday. I hoped that a good night’s sleep would take care of it, but waking at 5:30, it was as bad as when I went to bed. Plus, I had a sore throat. Allergies, I hoped. Still, I got up and threw on a cycling base jersey. Sometimes my body throws halfhearted roadblocks in my way first thing in the morning, and being upright for a couple of minutes puts them aside. I let out the dogs after their daily Oh-my-God-he’s-awake-oh-my-God-he’s-awake-oh-my-God-he’s-awake greeting, got my oatmeal cooking, made the coffee, let the dogs in, and fed said dogs. And I felt no better. Worse, maybe. Which really sucked because it meant I shouldn’t ride, and I’m the only guy who knows the route from my house. I debated printing cue sheets, but in the end, just texted everyone and cancelled. I hate being that guy, but today, I’m him. With time on my hands, I’ll go downstairs and begin a task I’ve been avoiding – Stripping the components off my Orbea, whose carbon fiber frame is cracked and which I’m sending out for an expensive repair.

On the plus side, my back was worse ten years ago, and the reason it’s better today has nothing to do with osteopathic surgeons or chiropractors. It’s that I weigh less and am in better shape than I was a decade ago. How many 52 year old guys can say that? In a couple of days, my back won’t hurt at all. And while I hate having let my friends down, I’m lucky to have friends I can let down, who’ll wish me better and who’ll find some other productive use for this morning. As to the cracked carbon frame, well, I’ve got a wife who loves me enough to have bought me that expensive bike in the first place, even though having it means I spend 300 or so hours a year riding it and not working on the house or being with her. And, I’m fortunate that the money it’s going to cost to fix the bike is an inconvenience and not an impossibility.

Today may not be the day, but honestly, things are just fine.

About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
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