Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fasting, Sacrifice and Resolve

Sometimes I get an idea or obsession in my noggin that I cannot remove.  Stay on target, use the Force, Luke.  When I first saw the bike photographed on top of this paragraph, I had to have it.  When I first saw Mary, I had to have her.  Thank God I never lost her.  Right now my obsession is in losing weight.  Carbohydrates are my enemy, my poison.

I agreed to attend Christ Renews His Parish weekend mainly to get people at my Church off my ass about not attending one so far.  Not really a bad thing for it gives me a chance to meet people and better know people at my parish.  Praises about the food have been particularly loud.  A pampered feast I was told.

My mileage goals would have been met and I probably could use a good soul searching weekend off the bike and in an environment without the temptations of those pagans I know and love dearly.  So I agreed to go.

Then I decided to lose weight.  Carbs, booze and soda were declared verboten.  Despite a few cookies during the first week and an occasional soda during a significant bike ride and the 3 beers I had in a period of several hours and 30 miles, I  have remained on this diet with the one minded determination of the terminator.  And I have seen great results.  I have lost over 11 pounds.

Then the reality of this weekend hit me.  Not only will my riding (exercise) will be nil, I will probably be fed everything I have denied myself for three weeks.  I emailed the CHRP Team

"Hate to be a ....female dog, but I was wondering if a carb free meal option would be available.  No big deal I can always have plenty of meat and no carb items prepared for myself.  I do not eat bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and rice.  Basically I eat meat and veggies.  Been avoiding carbs, beer and pop since last Tuesday and plan to break said fast on Thanksgiving.  Then I plan to resume until Christmas.  Lost 7 lbs since last Friday.

Chris Guevara"
He replied
"No problem 

We can do this

Bill "
Cool.  No worries.  I was set.  Not only was the diet issue resolved, I managed to get 700+ miles for October, a new record, 100 miles for the week, my weekly goal that I have met every week since Christmas.  I did need a weekend off the bike because my left quad has been bothering me.  Time to rest, relax, get to know The Lord a bit better and make friends with non-pagans.  Win Win.
Enter the Bicycle Factor
I started the year commuting on my Trek FX 3.5 as seen here
But Red has carried me to and fro work during 4 Iowa winters and has been placed in the "needs repair" stable.  On St Patrick's Day I purchase the Giant Via Raw as a commuter replacement.
Yeah, the rear wheel needs to be pulled back to eliminate chain slack.

I put over 2700 miles on this single speed until it was time to rest it and think about what it will be like for winter.  Thus, the 520 re-entered service.  Sitting in the basement all year waiting for me to put new tires on it.
I did that for my BirthDay Ride north toward the Trestle.  And after that weekend I used the 520 for commuting.  I took the bags off the Giant. Thank God I did.
Today I woke up about dawn.  I wanted up early so I could hit Tacoapocalpse at Farmers Market.  But it was after 7am and I had to be at Church by 8am.  I showered, dress and grabbed the Giant.  No time for tacos. 
Half way through taking the long way to Church I realized that I left my lock at home.  I thought it would be safe on Holy Ground.  I parked the bike inside a court yard between the school and the old convent.  The bike was invisiible from the road and parking lot.  The place was a beehive of activity.
Once inside I saw that they did not understand my diet demands.  No problem.  I have plenty of stored energy to burn.  I drank about 10 cups of coffee and 6 bottles of water. 
About noon I stepped outside with the smokers and chatted with them.  It was time for lunch anyway.  I walked past the court yard and peeked in.  My bike was gone!  I walked around the school.  No where was my steed.  I walked into Parish Hall and told those in charge of the weekend.  I alos glanced at the lunch they had prepared.  Sandwiches.
Now I was double pissed.  Stolen bike and poisen food.  "Aren't you going to eat?" someone asked.  Someone who spent time preparing the meal.  Fuck no was my first thought but I kept cool and said that I could not eat that and that I needed back in the school to get my cellphone.  I obeyed the rquest to shut the bastard down and left it in my jacket pocket.  I needed it now.  I had to get someone to unlock the door.  Someone said they'd call the police.  I asked about the cameras and who had access to the computers so I could watch my bike get stolen.  They said they'd call.
My stupid assumption was that a homeless vagarant walked through and ripped off my bike.  I made calls and texted photos.  People finished lunch and went back inside.  I stayed outside torn between going through the homeless camps and returning to the retreat.  I called the police and was transfered to a machine where I left a message.
Reporting a stolen bike to the cops is almost worthless.  They will not look for it.  The only way a stolen bike is ever returned to its owner is if it is abandoned, the rightful owner finds the bike at the thief's house or buys it at a pawn shop.  I am fucked.
Someone eventually came out to see me.  We discussed the cameras and he was able to call Dr Cordaro, the principal of St Anthony's School.  the Good Doc came over and we viewed the video.  Got great shots of the theif walking into the building and using the side door to the court yard and riding off on my bike.
Sounds good.  Right.  Unless the cops recognize his face no arrest and return of my bike will be made.  At least I can post his ugly mug all over the neighborhood.
We drove around up and down alleys, no joy, no bike.
I returned to the retreat, no anger anymore.  Drank more coffee and water and hoped that dinner would be edible to me.
I was the first to confession.  Usually I pick a priest that does not know me so he won't recognize me afterwards.  I went straight to Msgr Chido, Pasot of St A's.  This was the first opportunity to talk to the person in charge of the Church.  Weird, "please forgive me for x y and z and by the way someone walked through the school doors and stoled my bike"  He said the Church's insurance may pay for it and wants to talk to me about it.  I told him everything.  If someone is so brazen to walk right in and steal a bike maybe this person has been here before.
Dinner was fajitas, rice and beans and cake.  But someone said they had a plain piece of chicken for me. it was a breast and a wing.  The celery I refused earlier was also on the plate.  Damn, I lived on coffee all day.  I poured salsa on the bird, extra flavor.
Lost a bike but maintained my diet, perhaps saved my soul.  The dud that called Cordaro and drove me around was interesting.  A normal guy with all the weaknesses of life, booze, drugs sex.  He said maybe an evil spirit sent the theif there to distract me or prevent me from attending the retreat.  Things happen for a reason he said.  Maybe. 
That or a thieving shithead looked for easy pickings and my stupidity (leaving the bike unlocked) did it.  Not an expensive bike.  $400 with another $150 invested.  I could turn to anger and hatred, the thief is of different origin than I am.  I just want my bike back.
Nothing is safe.  Nowhere is sacred or safe.  Criminals are everywhere.  No one is immune. 
Except for the few swear words here in blogland I am in a State of Grace, forgiven of my sins.  I heard some testimonies from people today that make me look like a saint and my life like a holiday.  I am not nor is my life,  just down a replaceable bike, nothing more nothing less.  I have my wife, children, job, health and the passion to avoid carbs.

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