We drove separately to Historic Downtown Hillsborough via I-40 West without incident, and were directed to a church parking lot.
After removing our bikes, reassembling our front tires, and donning our
The K-M line was much shorter than the A-C line, so I finished way before Joe did. I'm not so sure the K-M line was shorter because there were fewer people in it. I suspect it was more because the lady working the A-C, Miss Perky, made a comment about everybody and everything coming through her line.
The guy being helped in her line at the time I was being helped in mine, said, "Blanchard," for his last name. To which Missy Clerk said, "Oh, that's funny my name is Blanche, but I'm guessing we're not related, because..." blah, blah, blah.
I'm thinking, "Shut up bitch, you're wasting time yammering. Just retrieve Mr. Blanchard's envelope and move on to the next person so you can get to my friend Joe before start time arrives for the 31-mile folks." I am so not a morning person, and thanked [insert deity of choice here] that she wasn't working the K-M line.
I opened my envelope to get my rider number out. There were no safety pins included with which to attach it to the back of my shirt.
I went back to the registration booth, where Joe was still in line, and I told a guy back there that I had no pins in my envelope. Missy Clerk heard me, and said, "They're in the envelope."
"There are none in mine," I repeated.
"Well, you'll just have to tuck it in your shirt then," she said a little curtly, to which I made a "yeah, right, bitch," face, but said nothing. The guy who I was originally addressing, watching me, said, "Well, that was an honest answer anyway."
"That it was," I said, and walked away.
This little exchange didn't add to my annoyance at the continuing drizzle, which really did a number on the adhesive strip on the manila envelopes in which they had given us our stuff. Water + glue = sticky.
At the risk of digressing, that reminds me of these math funnies:
Okay, so I did digress...
Joe finally made it up to Missy Clerk, and lo and behold, inside his envelope, he found no less than five safety pins.
Joe asked me, "Do these numbers go on the front or back of our shirt?"
"The back," I replied.
"Well I see some people with them on the front."
"Well, that would be because of the big M that they have on their back, then," I said. "You know, M for moron," I finished.
Did I mention that I'm so not a morning person — especially on a very early morning, of a 31-mile bike ride, in the rain?
Have I mentioned that I'm an "on time" person, and slightly impatient? You know that, when the 8:00 ride-out hadn't happened by 8:10, then, I was more than a little agitated.
The only thing to keep it interesting was the hot men who were flexing and stretching all about us.
Oh yeah, and that loud Pow! — out of nowhere — as we were all just stationary on our bikes waiting for the overdue start. This young kid behind us and to the left — well, his back tire just popped, just like that, out of the blue, for no apparent reason. That sucks.
Then, as he wheeled his bike behind us toward the sidewalk, people were looking at his tire to see if anything visible had caused the blowout, and someone said, "Your wheel is falling off." Not a good start to the boy's day.
I'm not saying this wouldn't have happened had they started on time, but...
At about 8:15, the ride-out started, and I tried to adjust my attitude as we took off on our 31-mile journey in the rain.
At about 3 miles into our first 10 miles before the first pit stop, I went off the side of the road into a little groove of dirt and grass.
Instead of lifting up my front tire to get back on the pavement, I just turned into it, thinking I would gradually go back onto the pavement like a car, and I got to experience a bike going at about 5-7 miles an hour falling immediately to the left onto the pavement without having time to pull your foot out of the foot straps.
My left shoulder, ankle, and the face of my Fossil watch, took the brunt of the fall on that side of my body, and somehow, the thumb on my right hand suffered a scrape about the size of a dime, leaving a little flap of skin hanging by a thread, and a spot in the middle of my thumbnail looking like a nail had been driven into it.
Thank goodness no one was riding right behind me, because they would have run over me. Luckily for Joe, he was in front of me at this point.
Several people, as they passed, asked, "Are you okay? Are you sure?"
One lady said, "Make sure you check your bike. Make sure everything on it is okay."
I just said thanks instead of, "My bike, bitch? What about my body?"
Did I mention that I'm not a morning person?
The remaining seven miles to the first pit stop were uneventful. When we pulled in, I looked for a first aid station, just to wipe off a small bloody spot on my shoulder, and the blood under the flapping skin on my thumb. I had no idea, until I got undressed after the ride, that a spot similar to that on my thumb was also on my left ankle, bleeding into my sock.
To my surprise, there was no first aid station. I saw someone who looked like they were a volunteer, and I asked, "Is there a first aid station here?"
"No, there isn't," she said.
"Well, I've got a little bit of pavement on my shoulder and thumb, and I was wondering if I could get something to wipe it off."
"Oh, I can get you a wet wipe and some hand-sanitizer, at least," she said, and scooted off.
I wiped off the blood, and grabbed the hand-sanitizer.
"I wouldn't put that on there," Joe, the nurse, said. I obeyed, returning the bottle to the woman, and thanking her.
I had a bagel with cream cheese at this pit stop, and had to try something homemade, as that's what this ride is famous for — its homemade goodies at the pit stops.
We did the next 10 miles, still in the rain, and I was cold when we started back up. I had on a sleeveless shirt, I was wet from the first 10 miles, the temperature was still cool with no sun out, and the breeze, when we picked up speed, was cold. And cranky.
At the second pit stop, which is actually the same one as the first pit stop with the way they have the route set up, there were only a few bagels left, and those had peanut butter on them instead of cream cheese, which was fine with me.
I grabbed one before these two women pulled right up to the table on their bikes — and not sideways, but facing the table so that their front wheels were up against the table making them having to bend over their handle bars to grab some goodies. They looked like they were guiding horses up to a trough to eat.
Everyone else put their bikes down somewhere else, and walked up to the refreshment tables.
Not long after we took off for the final 10-mile stretch, the rain stopped, making that last leg reasonably pleasant. Or, perhaps, I was finally getting over my "morningness."
I believe that it was somewhere in this leg that the dreaded "dog chase" happened. We'd been taught when training for our AIDS Ride in 2003 that if a dog starts chasing you, take your water bottle and squirt it at him.
We've never had to do it, but the opportunity presented itself today when a big white, mean-looking, dog started chasing Joe. Joe aimed his bottle back at him, and squeezed the hell out of it, letting out quite a thick stream in the dog's face, which stopped him on a dime. Cool.
Though this ride was advertised as a 31-mile ride, it actually ended up being just a little over 32 miles. Who's counting.
Joe and I said our goodbyes and I took I-85 N to Durham to Robert's place, stopping at the Burger King on Club Boulevard for a quick lunch. They charged me $.52 for a cup of water, which didn't sit well with me. I proceeded to fill my cup, around the corner and out of the sight of the row of cash registers, with Diet Coke.
Not that I felt good about doing that. I'm just saying.
I had a nice shower at Robert's, and he was a sweetheart tending to my "wounds."
I got to relax for about 10 minutes after my shower, and before we left for our 1:00 film at the NCGLFF.
Today we saw a collection of shorts, entitled, "What if he laughs?" The collection included:
Room Service (20 Minutes)
Movie Synopsis: When Ethan was12, he watched---and fantasized about---the young stud Stone, star of the TV series Baja Sunrise, until a tragic event became linked forever in his mind with Stone's sexual aura. Ten years later, Ethan is a documentarian, and Stone is a one-show-wonder turned escort. Thinking he can make his fervent adolescent dreams come true, and make a little art, Ethan arranges a three-way rendezvous in a hotel room with himself, his video camera, and Stone,and discovers that fantasy is sometimes more satisfying than reality.
This short movie started off a little questionably, but ended up being real cute.
The Underminer (6 Minutes)
Movie Synopsis: Todd Downing's film reveals the insidious tactics of the quintessential New York "underminer," a master of passive aggression who throws his victim into a spiral of self-doubt and hopelessness every time he sees him. Mike Albo plays both the role of the Underminer and the Undermined, leaving one to wonder just how much of the Underminer comes from within.
This movie was well done. The character was actually more of a caricature than a character, and it ended before it became overdone. In copying the synopsis here (and actually reading it), I see that the underminer and the undermined were played by the same person. I didn't notice this during the film.
Feltch Sanders (12 Minutes)
Movie Synopsis: Feltch and Blossom, both private detectives and domestic partners, are hired to track down a wealthy man's runaway boyfriend. A gay Starsky and Hutch!
This is the kind of movie I would never go see just from reading the description. I would anticipate it being for too sophomoric for my taste. I must say that I enjoyed it, though. It was campy enough without crossing to ridiculous — in my opinion — and I liked the innuendo, which manifested itself metaphorically to me.
Dinner Conversation (4 Minutes)
Movie Synopsis: The first "I love you" of a new relationship spurs romantically comic dialog.
This was by far the funniest and most clever use of four minutes that I've seen in a long, long time. Loved it.
Man Seeking Man (11 Minutes)
Movie Synopsis: A 50year-old man places a Man Seeking Man personal ad in a newspaper for the first time. His son, whom he has not seen in twenty years, decides to meet his father for the first time.
This was a dark comedy rooted in a mistaken identity. I liked the dark part, and that it was a foreign entry (Finnish, with English subtitles).
Personally, I think this barely, if at all, qualified as a comedy — dark or otherwise. If I were categorizing it, I'd go with a "poignant tragedy." But that's just me, and no one asked me, about which I'm not bitter.
Hitch Cock (10 Minutes)
Movie Synopsis: Susan would like to cordially invite you to a dinner party to help celebrate her perfect, married life with Steve. Unfortunately, it may not be as perfect as she thinks, as Steve realizes he likes the "COCK au Vin" a little too much. A comedy where not everything is as it seems.
This was probably my least favorite piece in the collection. It was okay — but a little overdone.
Sissy Frenchfry (28 Minutes)
Movie Synopsis: The annual student body president election at the wildly eclectic and diverse West Beach High School pits the quirky, much-beloved incumbent Sissy Frenchfry against a handsome, charismatic and socially intolerant transfer student with a devious plan to restore the status quo.
This was my second least favorite piece — too moralistic, unrealistic, and a smirky, sappy, happy ending. I like people to die in the end.
Back home, I had a nap, while Robert ran some errands. He brought back dinner for us.
After dinner consisted of a short start at a NYT crossword puzzle and more napping.
It was "Uniform Night" at Flex, with Early Country Night. Van and Adam were both out of town, so Gary DJed, and did a great job.
We had an okay number dancers, including an "out of town guest" — a real nice guy named Chris from San Francisco, who was trapped here due to all of the flying drama of the past few days with W's made-up code red terrorist alert. But I digress yet again...
We danced until about 10:45, which was enough. It got very crowded in there, and we stayed a little while after we stopped dancing.
All in all, it was a festive night.