Friday, September 9, 2011
Vintage Joe Biker: Ault Park Mary
(Joe Biker Note: I'm taking a hiatus this week. It's my opportunity do whatever I want: like sniff tubular glue. It's your opportunity to read something from this blog that's been around since July 2006. This originally posted November 14th, 2007. Thanks for reading and enjoy.)
When you spend your free time on the couch, you relate with other people who spend thier free time on the couch. That’s my life observation for today. Concurrently, when you get out and enjoy the world around you, you run into others who enjoy that too, people, of all ages, with outgoing outlooks on life, people with a little extra spark in their eye, positive people that don't let themselves get in a rut, people like Ault Park Mary. This is how I met her.
I woke up and got on my bike for a pre-dawn cyclocross ride this morning in Ault Park. I was supposed to meet a teammate or two. They didn’t show. Regardless, their initial commitment motivated me to get my carcass rolling up the long climb to Ault Park while the streets were still wet and the cars had their headlights on. It was in the mid 50’s and just wet enough to remind you it was early morning during cross season. When I got to the park, there were a handful of people walking, running or walking dogs, andof course, one beat up old car passed with a creepy looking person inside. The park was just past the peak of fall colors but still pretty eye popping.
Banking on my teammates affection for electronics, I didn’t bring a watch or cell phone, but managed to figure out about a five minute loop that had a bit of everything, some high speed corners, a steady climb, a patch of gravel road, an steep gut busting off camber climb, stairs to run, a grassy off camber traverse, and a nice no-brake descent back to my starting point. I had ridden about 5 laps when I figured I should probably ask someone for the time to gauge my ride.
As I twisted through the trees and back to the sidewalk, I rolled up on a woman in her 50’s. I based that on her salt and pepper hair and choice of fashion. She was relatively thin, in good shape, and was getting her day started with a walk in through the stunning colors of Ault Park at sunrise. My cantilever brakes sweaked me to a stop. I said, “excuse me, do you have the time.” She looked at me funny and asked, “did you say, how you doing Mary.” “No,” I chucked and paused, “do you have the time?” I quickly added, “and, how you doing Mary?” She laughed and said “it’s 7:35; you got all the time in the world, enjoy it.” I thanked her again and as I clipped in, she surprisingly repeated, “you got all the time in the world, enjoy it, you’re young.” Maybe I am. I turned 40 a week ago.