Over the last ten years of riding my bicycle I have created a variety of different routes to choose from. I program them in my Garmin GPS which mounts on the handlebars of my bike and displays a map I can follow in case I get lost. I don’t have many characters to use to describe the routes so I have created abbreviated names like Happy Cow-50, Scenic-40, Lumpy-45 or Goats-60.
Now based on these names I know the Scenic and Lumpy are rides in the northern part of the county, in the hills and mountains. Happy Cow and Goats are rides in the southern part of the county among the pastures of cows, goats and this time of year feed corn. The number represents the mileage.
Saturday I decided to do the Happy Cow ride which is basically 50 miles of pedaling through rolling terrain over quiet country roads. The view is simple, grass, cows, horses, chickens, a few goats and corn. The roads are what we call here in the South chip and seal, a dump truck full of gravel (chips) is spread on the road and a thin layer of liquid asphalt is sprayed (seal) on top of the gravel. Smooth is not a word one would use to describe a chip and seal road, it is a rough and bumpy ride and creates a tremendous amount of rolling resistance which means you do a lot of pedaling and very little coasting.
When we started Saturday morning it was very foggy, crisp and relatively cool but within ten miles that all changed. The clouds burned off, the sun shone bright, the temperature rose and the humidity increased dramatically. In short, it got miserable quickly with only 40 miles left to go.
I no longer power through rides like I used too. We take breaks at stop signs to drink water, clean our sunglasses and wipe our faces off. Riding time is about three and a half hours but our total time out is closer to four because of the “breaks”.
In those four hours you have a lot of time to think. I try to stay focus on the road in front of me looking out for potholes which will flatten a tire, dead squirrels which just smell bad and are slippery, and dogs which will put you on the ground. But between all the hazards on and around these chip and seal roads you do ponder otherwise you would focus on hot it is, or how much your legs hurt.
Saturday I contemplated how nice it would be if Trump took a real vacation, away from Fox & Friends, away from Twitter and Facebook. Honestly, a Trump vacation would be a Trumpcation for the rest of us and at this point, sadly just seven months in, I could use a vacation from all things Trump.
We have all seen the images of newly elected Presidents and then the picture of them when they leave office after four or eight years. I am of the firm belief that one year of being President equals seven dog years. George Bush and Barack Obama’s eight years in office appeared to have aged both of them 25 or 30 years. I think that is what Trump is going to do to the rest of us. Over the next four years (or shorter) he will have hair weaves, plastic surgery and spray tans while the rest of us age in dog years. While he takes us back to the stone age, burning coal, running pipelines that leak on our land and in our oceans I will worry about what kind of country he will leave my children. How long will it take them to undo all of the shit that he destroyed?
I need a Trumpcation. So while he begins his “working vacation” with his “smart-phone” super glued to his freakishly small orange hands I am not going to read any of his self-important, boastful, egocentric tweets. For two weeks I am not going to let Trump make himself important to me. I am though going to keep pressing my representatives to not enable this sad excuse for a President. To keep the path clear and the people in place as they continue their investigate into his collusion with the Russians. I won’t be able to avoid the news about him or what he is tweeting about but I won’t and don’t need to read all of the blubbering bullshit from the horse’s mouth. Have a happy Trumpcation everyone!