In the dream, I was early for the race. I leaned my bike against a wall with the other racers’ bikes and went upstairs, no up the escalator, to registration. I put my gear in a pile in a wide lobby and then stood in the line to get my bib. It took a while, as it does, and I was nervous.
This was a dream, by the way, last night.
The race turned out to be in Vegas. I didn’t know this until part way through the dream, until the race had actually started.
I raced the first lap, not very fast, still trying to get my gloves on. Homeless people heckled us, threw things. A Russian guy who owned a shoe store across from the race start through a barrel full of garbage in the road. He ranted.
I got off my bike and went back up to the lobby to ask what was going on. No one knew. I went back down and my bike was gone. I spent the rest of the dream going up and down the escalator, searching in the bathrooms and the weird shoe store, for my missing bike. The race went on and on without me.
My bike was gone, and I was sad and confused, angry and helpless. And then I woke up, went down to the couch and waited for the coffee maker to finish spluttering.
Tonight, we drive to Vermont for the Rasputitsa Gravel Road Race. Apparently, I’m nervous. I don’t want to be. I can’t rationalize nervousness. It’s just there both consciously and subconsciously. There is nothing to worry about, just a day on the bike, possibly a hard one, but just a day on the bike.
Rationality and anxiety live in non-overlapping spheres on my personal Venn diagram. I am not by nature a nervous person, I don’t think, but sometimes the bike makes me nervous. Maybe if I keep riding, this will end. Probably not.
This week’s Group Ride asks, when are you nervous on or about the bike? Is competition the source? Is it fear of the unknown? Or are you cool as a summer cuke in the vegetable crisper? If so, I hate you, but only a little.
Image: Rasputitsa Gravel Road Race