A Note from Fatty: This is the fifth part in the “Actions and Consequences” story. But hey, at least the parts are of reasonable length. To go back and read this in sequence, here’s what’s led up to this installment:
“I don’t think your wheel’s going to hold for another hundred miles,” I told The Hammer. “And I don’t want to risk it blowing on you during a fast descent.”
I am so chivalrous.
Although I must admit that the more chivalrous action would have been to trade her front wheel for mine, which did not even occur to me until this very second.
Chivalry isn’t dead; it’s just not that bright.
The Hammer agreed (about the tire, I mean, not the chivalry). As unhappy as we were to admit it, this ride was going to need to be shortened.
OK, I’m going to be honest here: I was kind of torn between being sad about abandoning a ride…and being happy to suddenly discover my next six-plus hours no longer consisted exclusively of riding a time trial bike.
But I did my best to appear straight-up sad, as a solidarity play.
“So who should we call?” I asked. Which led to some back-and-forth, because we were about to ask someone to drive around 160-200 miles for us as a favor. We quickly narrowed the options down to two:
- The Hammer’s second-born son, The IT Guy, who lives in Orem, is in his early twenties, and knows his way around everywhere — including the backroads we were on — pretty well. There was a good chance, though, he’d be busy.
- My second-born son, who lives in Alpine, which is around 20 miles further away from where we were than The IT Guy was. He’s seventeen years old and and is not super-familiar with the area, but pretty good with the “Find My Friends” feature and mapping software on iPhones. Very likely to be available.
Either one, we reasoned, would be able to find us…but the IT Guy was twenty minutes closer, so we called him. Could he come pick us up?
Yes, he said, he could.
With the IT Guy on his 80-mile way to pick us up for our Ride of Shame, we had about an hour and a half of time to kill.
“Let’s see how far we can get before the tire blows or he picks us up,” The Hammer suggested. Which sounded good to me.
We talked as we rode about the decisions we had made, and how they had affected us.
“If we had turned around when your computer said 100 instead of mine [Note from Fatty: My computer hitting 100 first was due at least partially to me doubling back to pick up the wrapper I had dropped], we wouldn’t be in this predicament,” The Hammer observed.
That was true; we had hit the patch of glass almost immediately upon turning around. ”But it isn’t that simple,” I replied. “If we had stuck to the original riding plan and ridden out past Cedar Fort toward Toole and then doubled back before heading out this way, we would have turned around long before you hit this patch of glass.”
“So,” I said, “It’s every bit as much because of me as you that this happened.”
“And I guess something else could have happened on the way to Cedar Fort,” The Hammer mused.
Reversing a Decision
It had started raining, but not really badly. And The Hammer’s tire seemed to be holding out fine. And the idea of ending a 200 mile ride at mile hundred-and-something seemed kind of like walking out of a movie partway through.
“Why don’t you call The IT Guy back?” I asked. “Your tire seems to be holding up. I think we should keep going.”
Clearly, The Hammer had been thinking the same thing, because she didn’t even reply. She just hit the speed-dial button on her phone.
“We think we’re going to keep going,” she told him.
“Well, I’m already a good chunk of the way there,” the IT Guy said. “I’ll just come by anyway and bring you a drink or something.”
“No, really, you don’t need to come.”
“Well too bad. I’m coming.”
That kid’s so stubborn.
Which, as it turns out, was very lucky for us.
And you’ll find out why when I pick this story up Monday.
PS: Really, it was unrealistic of me to think I’d finish this story today. Here’s why. Before beginning this story, I made a list of the important events that happened in it. Generally, I’m getting through 5-8 of those bullets per installment. At the beginning of today’s post, I still had 15. Now there are 8. So I’ll probably finish either Monday or Tuesday.
PPS: Have a good weekend!