Friday, August 26, 2011

What are the Odds?

So, on my never ending quest to find awful things to eat and later regret, I spotted a White Castle right down the street from my hotel here in Louisville.
Being a California native, it kinda goes without saying that I’ve never had White Castle. Kinda like how Louisvillians have probably never had Taco Bell.

Since I’d just eaten at the Ironman pre-race dinner thing, I wrestled with the decision to go for at least three minutes and of course, my primal need to eat all things crap won. I mean heck, they made a friggin’ movie about it and the Beastie Boys sang about it, so it can’t be that bad, right?
So I head out to make the four block hike to this hip burger joint and about a block away I realize I forgot my wallet, so I turn around and head back. I thought “Maybe this is a sign and I shouldn’t be getting White Castle. The Gods are telling me something, yadda yadda…”
Yeah, screw that, I was just so excited to get these stupid burgers that I’m lucky I remembered my pants, never mind my wallet.
So I get my wallet, head back out the door.

Here where it gets cool.

I‘m crossing the street a couple blocks away and I hear someone yell my name. The first thing I thought was “Who the hell is yelling my name, I don’t know anyone here.”
It turns out I left my sunglasses on the table at the Ironman dinner and the guy who was sitting next to me grabbed them and just happened to be driving down the same street I was crossing at the exact same moment.
He holds my glasses out the window and hands them to me. I thank him, we both freak out for a second and then say our "later dudes."
Had I not forgotten my wallet or had I taken that “sign from the Gods” and decided not to go, I wouldn’t have my Oakleys (that I’ve had for 5 years) nor would I have a jolly ol’ belly full of delicious sliders.

I like when cool stuff happens.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pay it Forward

I’ve always been a believer in karma. Some people say it’s bull, but I figure I’ll take whatever I can get, ya know?

I try to do the right thing as often as I can. Whether it's something as simple as holding a door for someone, letting someone have the parking space I was waiting for or asking a cyclist I see stranded on the side of the road if they have everything they need.
It's the little things that add up. Kinda like that coin jar you toss your spare change into at the end of the day. It may not seem like much, but after a while, it builds up and is worth a lot more than you thought.

I live a pretty blessed life and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I like to think I have a good balance of karma in my cosmic karma account (if only my bank account was as full)

Today, about 30 miles into what was supposed to be a 60-65 mile ride, I was standing up and riding up a slight inline in the road when I heard a fairly loud “ping” and my front wheel went all wonky on me.
My first thought was “Shit, I broke a spoke, I hope I can get a new one ordered before Ironman Louisville" (which is in two weeks.) Then I though "I'm really glad that didn't happen 5 minutes ago when I was doing 35 mph down that hill."
Then I thought “Shit, I’m 30 miles out in the middle of nowhere and I’m f**ked!”
It turned out that my hub broke and while I’m a pretty good mechanic and can usually fix most stuff that happens on the road, but this was a case of “dead bike walkin” and that was that.

Anyhoo…so I call my friend Tammie, she agrees to come get me and I tell the gals I’m riding with (yes, I was riding with four women today. Don’t be j) to go ahead and take off and finish the ride and I would just walk a couple hundred yards down the road to some shade and wait.

As it turns out, I couldn’t push my bike because the front wheel was too out of true, so tossed it on my shoulder and started walking.
It had to have been the most pathetic sight, but for some reason, I felt kind cool. Not sure why…

Suddenly I hear a guy yelling asking if I’m okay and if I need a ride. He was a big, burley bearded guy in a pickup truck that upon first glance, looked a bit shady. He asked where I was going and I said that I’d be happy to just get a lift to the nearest town.
He asked where I came from and I told him I was parked in Davis, but a friend was going to come get me in a while. He dropped his tailgate and said “toss it in there, I’ll give you a lift.”

He said he had to go to the jeweler to drop off a watch to be fixed, but if I wanted to hang out, he’d give me a ride to Davis afterward.

I think his name was Dan. He’s a high school chemistry teacher, was in Vietnam, had an old man that was in WWII, loves his wife (although she nags a lot) and is a Harley rider and has been stranded on more than one occasion.

I didn’t get in the miles on the bike I wanted to today, and I’m a bit bummed about my wheel situation, but I met a super cool guy, had some great conversation and ended up feeling all warm and fuzzy after a day that should have left me cursing the Gods.

 Dan had no reason to do what he did other than he was a believer in karma and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

Sometimes stuff just rings true.