We pulled out my dad's dusty bike that he only managed to ride once before giving it up. I never quite understood why it was so hard for my parents to ride a bike, and while we were riding down our first flat stretch of road, I was even more confused. Riding a bike was easy! Why had I been avoiding it for so long?
It was when we started going up our first hill (actually, the whole bike ride was basically one big, long hill) when I realized something that I had overlooked: I was going a bike ride with Tyrel. There was NO way I could have prepared myself for that. To make matters worse, I haven't even touched a bike in over a decade. In fact, the last time I rode a bike, I was still half convinced that it was a horse, I had enough energy to run it up Cortez Drive while talking to it, and it had a life history a lot like Black Beauty's.
So there I was, puffing like crazy but trying to breathe quietly (didn't really work) while Tyrel was talking up a storm about golf courses, fires, houses he's delivered to, dirt trails he has tried to take his go-cart on, and the 7 bikes that he has had in his lifetime. And I was stupid enough to try to respond every now and then, just to prove that I wasn't dying. However, I don't think my attentiveness (or lack of it) would have affected his enthusiasm one bit.
I think the biggest problem for me was not so much the bike ride itself, but trying to keep up with Tyrel's endless energy. If I had taken the ride by myself, it would have taken about twice as long, but the walk up wouldn't have been nearly as miserable. Oh well.
My pain and fatigue disappeared when we started the downward descent, though. The rush of wind on my now-purple face felt exquisitely wonderful and the speed was exhilarating. It was the closest I'll ever get to flying. So while Tyrel was pointing out landmarks, barking at passing dogs, and trying to keep up a conversation, I was enjoying the view and the wind, thinking about all of the similar rides down Elk Ridge I experienced when I was younger and a lot more carefree.
And so, I thus survived an hour-long bike ride with Tyrel, the sucker of all energy. And I think I might do it again, though not after working out on the elliptical.
On second thought, I'd rather ride a motorcycle.