Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Southern discomfort

Okay, sure, I realize I am biking through The South in The Summer. Thunderstorms. Spandex that never quite dries out. Unrelenting heat. Fire ants. Aggressive truck drivers with partially consumed six-packs in the passenger seat. But seriously, with temps in the 90s and 95% humidity (and that's when it's not torrentially raining on me) every day, how do folks survive here? Southern Comfort and lime on ice is sounding pretty good right about now, climbing hill #78 (give or take 20 hills) since crossing over into Alabama. I'm having flashbacks to Pittsburgh or San Francisco or, heck, Big Sur as by the end of yesterday's ride I pushed my bike uphill and rolled it downhill (after deathgripping the brakes and squeaking down a series of screaming descents) the final leg to Seth's apartment.

And if the weather and hills weren't enough, Birmingham officially gave Aaron the middle finger yesterday: 2 wipe-outs, a murderous flat tire (with 4 separate slashes), a cracked iPhone, broken bike chain, and mangled derailleur. All unrelated incidents. Yeah, I know. Ridiculous. Thankfully none of these events involved an automobile (though not for lack of garbage trucks trying to run us off the road along Hwy 78). And thankfully my brother pulled through with a little tech support, giving me the number for a local bike shop after I frantically called him from the side of the road. An hour later, Roger had transported me, Aaron, the two bikes, and our gear (which completely filled his truck bed) over to Bob's Bikes, where the friendly mechanics not only fixed up Aaron's bike but also gave me a screw to replace the stick I'd been using to hold my rear fender in place. Now *that's* service.

At least the evenings have been nice and cool. And we've been spared serious attacks from the Mississippi state bird (aka the mosquito). I wonder, though, if the decline in bug bites is due to a lower resistance to OFF or an increase in my personal disgustingness since leaving Tupelo, MS....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. Ouch! Hopefully Aaron isn't too discouraged. Keep on plugging. It's only 75F up here in the hills today. Can't say you'd get much relief from the storms here though.

    Sing a happy tune. :^)


  2. I'm from the south, and the way we deal with sweating and being dehydrated...but it's home.

  3. How do we survive down here? It's called AIR CONDITIONING.

  4. I love all the Ortleib panniers in the photo. I've been happy with mine for 9 years now--perfectly waterproof and lifetime warrantied.

    But it pains me to see a bike lying drive train side down. That's like coming across a squirrel on the road lying face up.


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