Where to begin...
Let's start with the first intimation of serious gravity issues with respect to the chair. On Tuesday night when Seb and I cycled to the hostel in San Diego, there was a short, mildly steep ramp leading up to a gate through which we were to bring our bikes. Remember the fantasy you had as a kid where the meanest dog on the block was tied to a rope and he'd come tearing at you at a million miles an hour, slavering and snarling, and suddenly reach the end of the rope - WHAM! - and perform a spectacular backwards somersault, making the dog-sound equivalent of "OOOF!!"? Well, Tuesday night I started to walk my bike up the ramp. The moment the trailer hit the slope, I went "OOOF!" Unbelievable. Gravity is definitely not my friend.
So let's fast forward to yesterday, our launch day. Launch is a good word for our beginning. While we didn't actually smash champagne on our bikes, we glided away from the Pacific at the same smooth, stately pace as the Titanic. Heads turned as the band played us off down the bike path, and within several minutes it became apparent that the band had decided to hitch a ride. On the trailer.
Still, for the first few hours, enthusiasm and plucky Canadian spirit allowed us to sandbag the rising waters of doubt. But about 25 miles into the ride, we began a 10-mile climb. Turns out, we're in for a 30-mile climb, but you can only go "OOOF" for so long before the contents of your stomach want to go "POOF!"
We were spent. Done. Exhausted. On the bright side, never let it be said that I don't own my own stupidity. No leveraged stupidity here - it's all mine. Dark thoughts about the idiocy of the project reached their apex in beautiful Alpine, California, where I checked us into a hotel, pulled the covers over my head, assumed the fetal position, and rocked myself to sleep.
Morning brought enlightenment, in all it's meanings. With an 8200' pass awaiting us in New Mexico, I considered the following
- the chair in it's current incarnation (true weight: 85 lbs), is gravitationally problematic.
- The Barc's Chair tagline "Just for Fun" was, yesterday, hideously ironic.
- we averaged 9 miles an hour on the flats, 2 miles an hour on the hills.
- at this rate, we'd be in Florida by September.
May I present to you...
Yes that's right! Barc's Bench! Same great taste and flavour, but 45 lbs fewer calories!!
The show carries on: leaner, sleeker, and more fun than ever! With the bench format, now even once-happy couples will be encouraged to sit together and bare their souls to feed a voracious viewing public. Everyone gains except the chair, which underwent an emergency, epic liposuction.
So tomorrow morning we continue on, starting with the last 20 miles of the climb. If the misery continues, Barc's Chair may well become a talking stick with a photo of the original chair scotch-taped to the top. Surely not...