Alone, or Maybe Not

An email had gone from the those of us who give the Thursday ride direction, saying that they would not be there to give it direction. It was requested that the three of us, or one of the three of us give the needed direction. Ed and Barry responded saying that they couldn’t make it. Ed was out of town and Barry was resting ahead of fifty mile mountain bike race. I responded that I was going to get us lost.

I can no longer tell how long I’ve been showing up for the Thursday morning ride, sometime in March I think, but maybe April. In that time I’m sure I’ve run most of the practical loops around the city. But the Seattle streets still feel like those of a labyrinth to me. They intersect at odd angles, and only a small strip of streets that head to the places I find myself when I ride from the norther suburbs into the Emerald City.

I always follow on these rides. I hit the front and take my turn but its is always with two up and with someone who knows the way for whatever loop we happen to be doing that morning. I only feel confident to get us through one of them – West Seattle, and that’s only because there aren’t too many tuns and I don’t need to know the names of the streets, just the landmarks.

I reached out to one other person to see if they were going. A last minute hope that I wouldn’t have to decide where to go, that I wouldn’t have to keep asking “which way do we go?” He said no, and I considered sleeping in, doing a shorter ride by myself, making into work on time like a good employee.

But at 5:45 my alarm went off and I woke up, kitted up and rode the thirteen miles to the shop for the ride. Unsure if anyone else would be there. I don’t know what that means. The fact that I’m willing to wake up early and ride across suburbs to a ride I’m not sure anyone else will be at, but I know it must mean something.

There were four of us. Then one snapped a pulley wheel five minutes in and so we finished with three, and like always – some coffee.


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