An old joke; renewed vigor

1 08 2011

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Why did the slug cross the road?

Seriously, why does the slug cross the road?

Because every dewy morning, or after a rain shower, they’re out there, gamely abandoning the shelter of the woods and grassy shoulder alongside the road up Burnaby Mountain to try and slowly slime their way to the other side.

A slug begins its ill-fated journey

There’s other creatures on the edge of the roadway as well, a mouse, a mole; but they’re already dead, flattened road kill.

The slugs soldier on. Crossing that four lane highway must be like their Tour de France, an epic journey to an unknown world. What can the allure be? Glory amongst their slug peers? New sliming opportunities? A cornucopia of babe slugs (an oxymoron if ever there was one)?

There’s no doubt it’s an ill-fated journey. If they’re not squished by passing car or bike tires, they can be picked off by hungry crows. And the odds are, the road will dry up in the middle of their adventure, turning their traverse into a sandpaper test of fortitude that will likely leave them in a shriveled, pebble-encrusted state of demise.

The slugs were out in force on Sunday, like little dark comas on the quickly-drying pavement after an unexpected, and unforecast squall rolled through, delaying my ride at first, then drenching it as I caught up to the isolated storm cell.

As Katie’s parents were hosting a big family barbecue, I was en route to my second encounter with Killer Hill in a week. But with only one easy ride in my legs since my previous ascent, I was feeling fresh, invigorated by the challenge. Although that might have had something to do with the drenching I received when I caught up to the rain and then sheltered under a tree for about 20 minutes.

I hit Burnaby Mountain with fire in my legs; dodging those slugs along the way, I pounded my way to the top in the Big Ring, the first time I’d been able to do that in almost two years.

In Port Moody, I achieved another first; my first flat on the Lapierre. A staple was the culprit, piercing a tiny hold in my back tire.

In your face Lance; most cyclists can change their own flat

After swapping out the tube, reinflating and then a quick pitstop at a nearby bike shop to get a new backup tube, the rest of the ride was uneventful. Even Killer Hill seemed more like Mortally Wounded Mound. The (mostly) week off the bike seems to have done me some good.