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Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Few Bumps In the Birthday Road

I turned 41 today against the advice of counsel. To celebrate, I wanted to follow last year's precedent and ride 41 miles followed by Five Guys with my kids, Mom, bro and his family.

This all went well enough at first. It was absolutely beautiful weather, perfect this morning as I loaded up the bike and got the girls out the door for church. Even got out with enough time to grab a donut and soda on the way to church and still be on time for the 11:15.*

Mo had been up in the night some, mainly on YouTube, but I could tell she was thinking about getting into trouble and loving it. I kept hearing her say her whole name followed by 'No No!' — a mock scolding. Between one of the times running her back to bed, I asked her if she was thinking about doing something that would get her in trouble and she just giggled. It was kind of cute, at the time.

On the way out the door, I realized what it was she'd been thinking about. She had found some stickers I'd made to label tomatoes, and decided to make a project out of them. The project was, she took framed photos off the wall and bookshelf, removed them from the frames, affixed stickers to the pictures, then re-framed them and put them back.

At first I thought the decals were on the glass, annoying but fixable, but no, every one was on the picture itself. Eight pictures total.

As we were trying to get out the door, I decided the computer was the punishment that fit, it's the only thing she cares to do at my house, so when we got home I'd take the mouse pad and keyboard and lock them up.

After church, we went to my Mom's and she watched the girls while I did my ride. I thought I'd be back by 4:30, leaving at 1:15. 5:00 at the latest.

There were stiff southerly winds, so I rode south first to get the tailwind coming back. I didn't really have a route mapped out, just a vague idea that I'd head down to maybe 143rd and come over to pick up the frontage roads back or maybe go further west and take on the hills of Pflumn to get back north.

Then, going down Lamar, I got a flat tire. It appeared to be a shard of fractured ceramic that did the deed. While changing it, I found another issue with the tire, which is it appears to be suffering some tread separation. It's only a year old, but I've put a couple thousand miles on it in that year. Not sure how long bike tires are supposed to last, but I'd thought surely longer than that.

I have a little hand pump my brother gave me, I keep it in the webbing on my Camelbak for just such occasions. This is the first time I've really used it for the job it's supposedly made for. Really, that little Cannondale pump is an isometric exercise device designed to give you Popeye arms.

I did find a tree that made a good third hand for holding the wheel while I jacked with the pump.

Getting it to fit on the stem was the first challenge. Then I got the tire on and partway inflated when I remembered I'd forgotten to check the liner that protects the tube from the spokes. So I had to deflate the tube again and check to find out there was nothing to worry about. Then I kept hearing hissing and feared I'd punctured the new tube, but it turned out to be the thing wasn't sealing.

I think it took me somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 minutes to change the flat and get the replacement tube up to 80 psi.

On the return ride, I hit a bump on Kansas City Road crossing one of the railroad spurs that I feared would give me another flat. I heard something clatter, which turned out to be my headlight, which came clean out of its mount.

I got my miles in, I was pretty far south when I realized how much time I'd lost, and making as direct a return as practical, I still ended up over the target mileage, call it 41 and not quite two to grow on.

Five Guys was excellent, bacon cheeseburger with mayo, grilled onions, mushrooms and jalapeƱos. Cajun fries, yummy. A meal that could not be spoiled even by my nephew refusing to smile at me no matter how hard I worked for it.

I haven't spent that much time with him, but he seems like one serious little dude.

After, while I was showing my brother the tire and pondering its replacement, Mo got curious about my bicycle chain and got her hand completely black with chain oil and dirt. Nice, and though I roamed Wal-Mart extensively on the way home, I could not find a can of Goop or even some Lava soap (do they not make that stuff anymore)?

Then got home and had to deal with Mo's grief over the loss of the computer. Found she'd compounded the problem by throwing the dish washing detergent from the pantry in the trash. Then, after I put her to bed, she came out and tried to get into the lockup on her own, there was another time out for that, and the wailing and crying continued unabated for another half hour until she finally went to sleep.

It gets tiresome explaining over and over, I still love you, but you did horrible, mean things, destroyed Daddy's pictures and you knew it was wrong. You made the bad choices, and you knew it would be trouble and thought that was funny. Now it doesn't seem funny, but it's all on you.

This is up there with the time Em brought me an F in Language Arts for my birthday. Maybe worse because I can never tell if I'm getting through to Mo.

Gawd but I hope she sleeps through the night. Is that too much to ask? For my birthday maybe?

*Heartland has services at 9:00 and 11:00, but we're rarely there before a quarter after the hour.


PlazaJen said...

I have only admiration for your persistence, consistency and love for your daughters. I hope you got enough rest, at least, for your birthday! We missed you at the Bhut Jolokia tasting, but it sounds like you'd already had enough on your plate for one day. :)

Chixulub said...

Yeah, I was near the Bhut tasting when I was making my pecs sore with an epic flat repair. On the other, I'm not that patient a father, I just try to pretend and hope I can skate by on charm and good looks. Mo got up in the the night and tried to repair the damage. Did a good job apart from breaking a pane of glass in the process (and making holes in some of the prints). What can a Daddy do?