Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
On Saturday Ian and I had a walking adventure, rather than my usual venturing off on two wheels at ungodly hours for outrageously long periods of time. In our adventure, we walked to Callahan State Park, which we just realized had a border just two miles from our apartment. Then we walked around in the park, randomly choosing turns but counting on my trusty GPS unit to guide us back at some point:
Eventually we came to a marker warning us that we had crossed into private property. At first this private property looked like an empty field, but as we walked along the path, we saw corn occupying one field and some out-buildings starting to appear. First we saw a ramshackle old barn; then a tiny, thatched wattle-and-daub looking building with a cross on top. It even had leaded-glass windows. For the only time on the walk, I wished I had brought my camera. As we trespassed, we joked about how we would ward off the vicious pack of guard-dogs we imagined up. Ian explained that he would use his right arm as a shield, and then when a dog bit him there, Ian would punch the dog in the face with his left hand. To my mind, that plan left some gaping holes — namely, what if there were more than one guard dogs? In any case, we encountered no danger of the canine variety, but as we left the property we did see this alarming sign:
BEWARE OF DOG
Yikes. We hastened off that property and down the apparently endless dirt road that served as its long driveway. Fortunately for us, that road actually turned into the road we had walked in on, and we made our way home without mishap.
Oh, I almost forgot the bugs. Pretty much the instant we entered the forest, an uncountable number of mosquitoes found and followed us. Although we tried to walk briskly, and although we both spent a remarkable percentage of our time in the park swatting at our faces or flailing our hands around, the mosquitoes seemed completely undeterred. Yet despite having approximately half of Massachusetts’ mosquito population follow us for three or more miles, I escaped unscathed. I guess Ian, who came out with four bites, was tastier than me — thank goodness!
Today instead of watching the Marlborough Labor Day Parade, I went for the bike ride I intended to do last Saturday on the Amazing Bike (but which came to a very sudden disappointing halt when, on a fast downhill in Clinton*, I hit a criminally exposed storm-drain edge, obtained a dazzling pinch-flat specimen, and failed to use my CO2 cartridge with any success). I completed my planned ride today with no biking disasters — never even got lost. Turns out riding on Labor Day, especially starting at 6:30 am, means that you share the road with orders of magnitude fewer people than usual. Also the day started cool, around 55°F, and remained quite pleasant through my entire four-hour excursion.
Alas, however, the single defining feature of this ride has to be repaving. Long portions of Route 31 between Princeton and Holden had been ripped up in preparation for repaving. Although I have full confidence that the repaving will improve the road, for this ride, I underwent the most bone-jarring riding experience of my life. It felt like my skin would shake right off my bones; like my teeth would chatter right out of my mouth; like trying to use a jackhammer as a pogo stick (“Last year it was the scooter – this year the pogo stick!”); like my elbows and knees aged ten years in those few miles. I doubt even a full carbon fiber bike could have absorbed the jackhammer-like vibrations traveling through my bike frame and my body on that agonizing surface. Partway through I was reduced to just praying for it to end soon. I suffered two long patches of that before I turned off Route 31, and that was more than enough for a lifetime, thank you very much. My elbow still hurts.
Oh, a couple other things that have happened:
Colleen has promoted Jordan from boyfriend to fiance. This engendered the first ever phone call Colleen has made me in the entire six years I’ve lived in New England. I profusely congratulated them both, even though this hardly came as a surprise (the only real question was when, not if). I look forward to getting to know Jordan; from my two conversations with him, and from what my family members have said, he seems like a really excellent addition to our family. Welcome, Jordan! Nothing like adding another strain of eccentricity to the gene pool.
I am buying the Alaris, that custom titanium Seven I mentioned last weekend. On Wednesday I underwent a series of thorough and thoroughly invasive measurements, made an astounding number of decisions, and paid $1,000 down on the bike. Now I have up to six weeks’ wait until I actually get it.
*I think of Clinton as a small Worcester-away-from-Worcester. I have had no love for it since I ended up there in February after my icy crash. I also have gotten lost, or almost lost, there more times than I like to think about. Plus their roads primarily consist of patches atop older patches. This pinch-flat episode has only reinforced my already deep and abiding dislike of Clinton.