Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baltimore II: Baltimost 9-30-08

Alright, when last we met I was tired. Now, I am full of Asian cuisine and rested. Two days ago I was couchsurfing and I offered my host (Hereafter referred to as Free) an opportunity to come with me in his car and film for the documentary. Things lined up right for him for a few months and I thought I'd give it a shot.

Yesterday morning I was readying my gear and setting out from his house when he told me he would join me on Thursday. I have a buddy! This is very important, I could explain why, but rather I will just tell you what happened yesterday.

Shortly after I left Free's place I noticed I had a flat tire. After the bridge I had been worried this would happen, I was just happy and amazed that it lasted to get to Free's house in the first place. In spite of the flat, I was so happy that things were coming together, i was so happy to have someone coming along that I couldn't stop singing loudly. Sometimes as I passed by a building both a bystander and I would be startled by each others presence and my songs. It didn't stop me. I checked my navigation stuff, the nearest Bicycle shop was 24 miles ahead of me. I called Free. While I kept moving for about an hour and a half on my flat, it was slow and damaging to my tire I'm sure. Then Free showed up, took the tire and got it fixed. It took a while because of the travel and having to wait for the shop worker to show up, but without him there is no telling how I would have gotten it done. It was like a serendipitous verification of my decision to invite him along.

During this time a policeman came and questioned me about who I was and what I was doing. I told him, he seemed a bit incredulous but friendly, advised me to wait further off the road and left me with a look that said, "Nutty Californian." I got moving but didn't go to far before my cell phone died and I had to stop to charge it for a while. By this time I was 3 hours later than I had wanted to be. I called and let my host know I'd be late, he was very nice and said not to worry what time I showed up.

I tried to pick up my pace anyway. About 20 miles in my leg started hurting. 31 miles in, my front wheel popped off.. with 4.5 miles to go and it being dark out (8 p.m. exactly). I couldn't be mad at Cherry (the Chariot's name) though, she'd been beaten to a pulp on the bridge and still carried me 31 miles into the day. I decided to go on without trying to fix the wheel since I had only 4.5 miles left, which seems very short these days. I was interrupted in my reflection by a man warning me that someone up the street had just had a gun held to their head when they were with their child and to be careful walking or if I was camping around the area. He also told me that a girl had been hit in the back of the head with a 2x4. I assured him that I was on my way to an actual home.

I suppose especially with the broken carrier I looked like I was homeless. Perhaps if the neighborhood was as dangerous as all that, my homeless look was my protection. Nevertheless, I listened for footprints behind me.

4.5 miles isn't bad . . . unless it's filled with hills and you have no front wheel. Let's go to the imagination factory! First, imagine you've walked 31 miles, still with me? Good. Now, hold your arms slightly out in front of your hips. Find a friend to pull up on them and try to keep them in the same spot. Really, you're doing an excellent job, just a little more. Now, walk for an hour and a half up and down hills, and remember, keep your friend pulling on your arms. Congratulations! You just imaginated the end of my day. During the last 15 minutes I got a little light-headed. What surprised me was that I still felt like I could keep going.

I guess my body is adjusting, or I have broken the part of my brain that tells you to stop doing stupid things. Either way, I win!


Anonymous said...

That part of your brain (I believe) is the amygdala. If you have successfully managed to corrupt it in any way ... well, let's just say your arousal center has been compromised as well.

Anonymous said...

The Amygdala processes sensory and emotional perception, memory, and yes, arousal. Though this tends to effect the emotional component of arousal, not the physical. So hopefully, our friend Skip hasn't done any serious damage to his Amygdala or his arousal capabilities.



Kenneth said...

In case any of you think our couch surfing brother has found a buddy from Berkly nicknamed "Free" he is in fact talking about my rugby brother who's given name is Freeland.
Skip take care of my brotha... Freeland take care of Skip. We will see you guys soon. happy walking.