Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oh my God, what's your name? My name's Lyle.

So I went down for the first time in this great adventure called the commute to Oshawa. But it wasn't entirely my fault - there were lots of things going on, one of them being a Lyle Lovett concert.

I love Lyle Lovett. My girlfriend and I saw him with Joe Ely, John Hiatt and Guy Clark back in the winter (all four of them just sitting with their acoustics on stage, trading songs). Last night we had tickets to "Lyle Lovett and his Large Band" at the Hummingbird Center. The large band means four horns, four powerful, gospel influenced backup singers, two percussion, two keyboards, bass, guitar, mandolin, cello, violin.
Anyway, I could go on and on about Lyle, but I won't. Suffice to say he puts on the best concerts I've ever seen.

To back up a little, I was moderately bored at lunch so I watched a couple cycling videos on You Tube. Notably the one below, where Marco Pantani blows past Jan Ullrich and everyone else on a mountain stage in 1998, and leaves them in his wake like they're a bunch of five year olds.
Then it rains lightly in Oshawa all afternoon.
At 4:30pm when I hit the road on Smut's bike, the Cannondale, I'm all pumped up with tour de france visions, I've got it in my head that I have to make awesome time down to the Whitby Go Station to make sure I get back to Toronto for the Lyle Lovett concert, and... most importantly, I have totally wet and slick streets to deal with.

So I just flew. I barrelled through Oshawa/Whitby like Lance was right in front of me and I was trying to hold onto his wheel. I turned right onto Manning and climbed that hill like I was Pantani - up out of the saddle, in the big chain ring, dancing on the pedals like I was a 125 pound Italian pro.
I zooooommmed down Garden street, turned into Mary street.... and ate pavement.

In fact, it was a pretty darn suave fall. Whenever I go down on a street my first thought is "grab bike and get out of harm's way." The front tire went out from beneath me, I went down, skidded on my right leg a bit over wet pavement, but bounced up again in no time, had the bike in my hands and pulled it over onto the sidewalk. The chain had come off so I bit the bullet and just put it back on with my hand (usually I'd look for a stick to use to save getting grease all over my hand), then I grabbed a fistful of grass, jumped back on the bike, rode the sidewalk a bit until I hit a driveway and got back onto the street, and started picking up speed again while grinding the grass in my hand to get the grease off my fingers.

When I got to the train station and finally gave myself a chance to breathe, I looked at my leg and I didn't even have any scars. AND... even despite the rain and the crash, it only took me 35 minutes to get from UOIT to the Whitby Go Station. Usually I'd say it takes me 37 or 38.



But the road was long and home was far
So I stopped off at this little cowboy-looking bar
I walked on through the door and she just smiled;
In a long pony tail and a pretty white dress
She said "Hi, Bull Riders do it best,"
and I said "Oh my God what's your name, my name's Lyle."
Give Back My Heart - Lyle Lovett - Pontiac, 1987.

7 comments:

Heidi said...

Sweet, a fellow commuter! Sorry to read about the crash but hey, at least you escaped unscathed. Great blog, I'll be reading regulary.

Ride on

Dorothy W. said...

Glad you're okay! If you have to fall, that's the way to do it.

Anna said...

Amazing video, super inspiring - sorry to hear about the crash, but sounds like you escaped relatively unscathed.....

ian said...

Tuco,
Thanks for popping into my blog, I'm paying a return visit :-)
I'm a BIG Lyle fan too and have tickets to see him in the UK on October 5th which I am SO looking forward to.
Take care on the commute!

Ian

"If the King and the Queen stood together then the ace he would not be to blame
And if the cards were all laid on the table then love could be more than a game"

Melissa said...

go you! My book came in the mail, read the first 5 chapters so far, I'm really enjoying it. Thank you.

Adam said...

As much as I seem to catch rainy days on my commutes it's probably only a matter of time before I get mine. I only hope that I can handle it with Tuco style!

ducati said...

Ah, yes, the "I'm honking out of the saddle when it's wet" fall. I nearly (VERY nearly) did this a few weeks ago. I knew better than to honk like I was chasing Lance across a wet wooden bridge (for those that don't ride, wood = ice when wet)... But I, too, was chasing a good time and feeling really good about myself.

I don't know how I escaped unscathed. Even Burt Reynolds was impressed with my mad bike handling skills (errr... Luck).

Glad you ended up unscathed, too!!