Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Misanthrope – Sunday’s Lighter Side

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or gazelle - when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."
Inspirational sign

L.A. Marathon. Most likely as you read this I will be pedaling my bike around downtown Los Angeles freezing and cursing my tightening muscles and sore knees. Charity events are not cheap. Getting bike rehabbed, purchasing padded bike shorts, borrowing a bike helmet, paying parking to get registered, having to reciprocate with everyone who donated to my ride will cost me throughout the year. Donating more than $1,000 to Inside Out Community Charity to help setup after school arts programs, and realizing friends and co-workers care enough to donate – PRICELESS.

Odious Practice. The greedy oil companies continue to look for ways to stick it to their customers. Just moments ago, I checked out my bike before loading into the car and discovered the tire was low. A quick drive to the Chevron station (which is rolling in cash from the sky high prices it’s charging), wants 50 cents to use their air compressor and 50 cents if you need water for your car. I suppose I should get used to it, since this is the way society is going under Republican management – everything is a cost center.

On Being Sore. I have been hearing all kinds of warnings about how sore and stiff I will upon completion of this bike ride. I don’t think I will be too worse for the wear. I did this ride about seven or eight years ago and it was a piece of cake. It is all flat most the roads are cleared of traffic. I told one friend that I could ride the marathon and come back, and still whip him in tennis. The alarm will be going off at 3:00 Sunday morning. The race starts at 6 a.m. I expect to finish the race in less than 90 minutes, if I don’t have to wait for anyone. I plan to be home by 11 a.m. at the latest and reading my newspapers by noon.

Note from Daughter. "Well everything seems to be picking up for me in school right now...I have three essays due next week, so I am going to be pretty busy over the next couple of days putting the finishing touches on them. I just received a paper that I wrote in the beginning of the term. I was really excited because I received the highest grade in my seminar!" This weekend she is in Belgium, last weekend was Scotland, in two weeks touring Europe. Oh to be young and carefree.

Update. It’s 9:55 a.m. as I write this. I completed the L.A. Marathon ride in approximately 90 minutes or less. It’s a bit hard to tell because of the massive starting line. We were walking our bikes through the first part of the line because of the number of riders. I was with a couple of friends, both personal and from the charity, and we separated rather quickly. After mile two or three, my competitive juices started to flow and I had a ball swerving in and out of the bikes. Overall, it was a blast and I plan to do it next year too.


Attila said...

Sounds like a great ride. It's way too early in the season here for me to ride 20 miles. (We still have snow on the ground, though not too much.) My hometown has a 20-mile ride around Memorial Day. This year there's an optional 50-mile ride, which I'm hoping to be ready for.

Paying for air annoys me, too, but there's a rational reason for it. (I mean, something other than greed, which strikes me as the easy, simplistic explanation.) The reason is that service stations have to monitor their costs, and if they can't charge for things like air, they'll add it into the cost of the gas. I'm generally in favor of "user fees" and a la carte pricing, because there are a lot of things I don't use and don't want to have to pay for. I'm assuming, it goes without saying, that people are operating in good faith, which you don't seem to be assuming.

The Misanthrope said...

Hi Attila, thanks for your comments. I guess I am of the old school where air for bike or car tires were free, or if you needed to put air in a raft the only complication was fitting into your car. I have read that the oil companies are reaping profits like never before, so I would naturally assume supplying air and water would be complimentary.

Good luck on your ride. Fifty miles is not easy. This ride got my juices flowing again to do more bike rides. After weeks of rain, we had a perfect Southern California day. I once did the Rosarito Ensenada 50 mile ride, which was a killer.