Hot, hot, hot and a stiff headwind. WINDY. By the time we were near mile 65, I knew I was in trouble. I was drinking gallons of fluid but hadn't gone to the bathroom in 4 hours. When we started climbing Tramway the thousand feet back up to home, I was drowsy. Really drowsy. My eyes kept closing while I was on the bike. My right hand and foot were numb, too, and so finally I pulled over and decided to walk a bit.
Baboo had other ideas - he deposited me in the shade at a mini-mart with lots of ice cold gatorade and a frozen fruit bar, and headed home to get the car. He returned an hour later with ice and cold drink. I'm less drowsy now. Oddly enough, though, I felt a bit like a failure for not finishing the climb up Tramway in what was probably nearly 100 degree heat there on the blacktop.
Such is the life that we live now - I am surrounded by tiny, lithe bird people who train far more rigorously than I. So that, when I have to stop after 63 miles into a ride from heat sickness, I feel like a deadbeat.
Of course, when I sit an observe people, such as I did while waiting
for Sweet Baboo to come pick me up, I realize that I am part of a very small group. I watched people argue and honk at each other over who got to get to the gas pump first. On a Sunday. I watched a fairly well-dressed man pull a half-smoked cigarette out of the ashtray, brush it off, and ask someone for a light. I saw very heavy parents offer their children chocolate bars "since we didn't have time for lunch today".
The more time I spend out observing the masses or watching popular TV, the more real life is starting to remind me, frighteningly, of the movies Idiocracy and Wall-E. Don't laugh. When's the last time you went to a large discount store and saw perfectly able-bodied people driving those motorized carts around? And how much more can Discovery and The Learning Channel dumb-down their content? Pretty soon, there will be a new, educational show on about the adventures of a Pawn Shop owner.* Yee.
So today, we were sitting in the shade for a bit at San Felipe pueblo, and a woman came in with her daughter. The daughter, perhaps 6 or 7 years of age, could clearly walk, and so could the woman. But not finding a parking space to her liking, (there were many empty spaces about 100 feet away) she simply parked next to a gas pump. Nobody could use it to get gas because she had decided to simply park there.
Meanwhile, while she was in the mini-mart, her passenger flicked cigarette ashes out the car window toward the gas pump. yes, you read that right: lit cigarette ashes. gas pump about 2 feet away, as I looked around cautiously for the big red button you push to shut off the gas in an emergency.
Earlier last week, I observed a man with his 8- or 9-year-old son at a mini-mart. The son was looking longingly at fruit juices, but Dad then asked him if he wanted a RedBull. He then reached for a large RedBull. "You want one of these?" and and then handed it to him. I leaned over to Baboo and whispered, "2 hours from now he's going to scream at or smack him because he won't settle down."
A family come out of the mini-mart; one of the children carrying a large cappacino drink. We talked about that: I remember asking my mom for a sip of her "Suisse Mocha" coffee drink, and she would give me one, but I wasn't allowed to have my own because "Coffee stunts your growth." Sweet Baboo, meanwhile, shared with me that he was told that coffee was a grown-up drink, and he could have some when you're grown-up. Now drink your milk.
As a teacher, I had assumed that kids bought their own energy drinks that they brought to school. Clearly, it's likely that their parents bought them in bulk and gave them to them every day. Where I got a thermos of milk, today's child gets a Monster drink.
Yikes. No wonder people are on meth. By the time they're in their late teens, caffeine no longer has any kick. Not that they'll need it, with their floating mobility chairs.
Just my two cents, as usual.
*Not kidding. Check your local listings.