Pedal-problems plagued my most recent and most ambitious victory lap yet. I decided, however ill planned, to ride out to Columbus Saturday, the day of Athens’ eighth annual C.H.U.D-Zombie-Mud-Fest (8Fest).
My legs were vexed by mile 65, and I didn’t think I would persevere. My body decided to shut down, and I passed out in someone’s front lawn, temporarily turning into a lawn gnome for an hour or so until I was awakened by a concerned passerby asking if I were “alive.” Alive I was, albeit barely.
Nightfall was nearing and I had to pedal persistently if I expected to make it to my final destination and avoid death by a headlight-illuminated, insect-laden bumper.
As usual, my pedal-playlist motivated me to continue. But Pearl Jam and Ghostface Killah could only do so much to infuse my spirit with winning will.
By mile 90, after numerous wrong turns and crap directions, I thought for sure victory had finally turned defeat.
I was resigned to the thought that I would have to become one with nature for the night and start looking for a grassy knoll to cuddle up on.
But pedal-providence was just around the next bend in the form of a carpenter — not Jesus but close. I pedaled upon Darryl, who was putting oil in his truck. I asked him how far to Ohio State University’s campus; he told me about 10 more miles and offered me a ride since he was headed that way.
Like Wayne and Garth to Alice Cooper, I got on my knees and hailed him as my savior, “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy,” then threw my bike in the back and hopped in the front.
Luckily for me, he didn’t kill me and throw me to the various roadside scavengers.
However, once he started the car, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye started playing.
I was concerned that I got myself into something bad — very, very bad. I slowly turned my head toward him, fully expecting to be bludgeoned unconscious by one of those thick tire pressure clubs but was soon put at ease once we started talking.
My dude Darryl dropped me off on Broad Street, and I headed to The Summit, a bar where my friend was playing that night (check out the Shivering Timbers).
While I waited for their set to start, I went next door to the Cafe Bourbon St. cafe, “Redundantly Good,” on the prowl for the greasiest burger on the planet and a fat stack of fries.
I told the jack-of-all-trades working behind the bar that I wanted some greasy, unhealthy food, and if he couldn’t supply that, then I was in the wrong place. He was fairly certain his food would clog at least a few of my heart’s terminals, so I ordered and took a seat.
Pure glory, I tell ya. I put some tunes on the jukebox, bought a few tall-boys, and maoed-out. I sat in deep pedal-pensiveness, pondering the ride and feeling accomplished.
After my exercise in gluttony, I went next-door and rocked out until about midnight. I was too tired to continue, however, and I left to find some digs for the night.
I cycled through my Columbus contacts, but no one I knew was available, but it was warm out and a party-house, porch-couch sufficed.
I awoke realizing graduation was only two weeks away and wondered whether I should probably pick up the proverbial pieces of my life or procrastinate just one more week, ya know, for old times’ sake.
Brian Bors is a senior studying social work and a columnist for The Post. Where to next? Parkersburg? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.