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Messy business

June 2, 2011

We were far from the tornados that killed 4 people in Springfield yesterday. Today the H3 weather has cleared away, the temperature is 62, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and a brisk breeze would be blowing on our backs, if we were on the road. Instead I’m sitting on the porch writing, because it’s too early for Suzy to be up, or for Dean to have breakfast ready. We planned for this to be a rest day, but it’s too perfect for cycling to spend the day here.

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday’s ride ended in a mess, the sort of mess you see when the guy who’s juggling 5 chain saws loses control and suddenly everyone’s running for their lives, not so amused any more.

I’ve given a bit of thought about how I can cast this narration so that it’s all Suzy’s fault, but I haven’t come up with any plausible explanation along those lines. I can’t see any way to tell this that is a) at least somewhat truthful, and b) doesn’t cast all the blame on me. I’m suffering a failure of imagination.

It started about 10 miles west of here when Suzy heard a stone in the rear tire. We stopped to extract it, but didn’t notice that the stone had punctured the tire and the tube, and the air pressure had started dropping. Not quickly. That would have been too easy. We would have noticed and repaired the hole. The tire just got soft and softer, meaning that its rolling resistance went way up. So while there was enough heat, humidity, and hill to make us humble, the tire was secretly upping the misery index.

You don’t notice rolling resistance too much when you’re going slowly uphill to the highest elevation town in Connecticut. But when we turned off the main road to head for the Manor House Inn, we descended a bit, picked up speed, & I felt the rear end of the trike sway in a mushy way that meant trouble.

We looked at each other bleakly. As if the heat wasn’t bad enough, the sky was turning black. I decided just to pump up the tire, to see if it would hold up long enough to get us through the next half-mile to the inn. The tire was ok with this, and we were off again. The next half-mile was by far the steepest road we’ve encountered on the trip. I’d estimate that it was a 20% grade at its worst. We were in the lowest of the low granny gear, and were still at maximum effort to maintain positive velocity.

Half way up, Suzy wasn’t sure if we needed to go straight or left. The tone in my voice was, I admit, a bit gruff when I asked her to hand over the bloody GPS and let me have a look, as I glanced again at the darkening sky. We got back on course, conquered the hill, and pulled up at the Manor House, exhausted but relieved.

“I don’t think this is the right place”, says Suzy. I look at the GPS. The way point is clearly marked “Manor House”, and the sign at the road clearly reads “Manor House”. I point this out, definitively. She pulls out our itinerary, which just as clearly states that our reservation is at the Mountain View Inn.

Then something in my brain shifted. There was a soft tinkling sound as the probability field collapsed. All possible explanations resolved into one terrible truth.

While planning the trip, I had first found the Manor House, made it a way point, and included it in our route. Later, I searched around for another place to stay, not especially liking the prices of the rooms, nor its location at the top of a steep hill. That’s when I found the Mountain View, and told Suzy that we wouldn’t be staying at the Manor House after all.

I leave the rest of the solution as an exercise for the reader.

Location:Litchfield Rd,,United States

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Margot Larkin permalink
    June 2, 2011 9:07 am

    Oh. I get it. Definitely Suzy’s fault that you arrived at the Manor instead of the Mountain View Inn. SHE should’ve been NAGGING you for the last 48 hours to make sure you had the correct location on the GPS. That’s her job, isn’t it? Far as I can figure, you’re definitely cleared of any responsibility. Face it, Tim, Suzy’s a mess. Now go get her some ice cream for breakfast and tell her it’s time to hit the road.

  2. Linda permalink
    June 2, 2011 12:43 pm

    But all much better than being in the path of the tornado. Watch the skies carefully, my friends.

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