I gotta do this . . . 140 times?
Just broke it down: 140 twenty mile rides is all it’ll take to get across the entire country. That’s only 280 hours of riding. Not even two solid weeks. (If one could pedal 24/7, that is.)
Told you my mind wanders when I ride. I’m constantly figuring out shit like that. 2800 miles in 20 mile chunks is 140 chunks.
Except I gotta do those 140 chunks at the rate of 3 chunks a day, every day, non-stop, for nearly two months.
Hey, Fat Boy, you volunteered for this.
Speaking of volunteering, I joined the Navy on June 1, 1977. (Yeah, I’m that fucking old.) Spent eight weeks in Great Lakes, IL
Do you know the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story? A fairy tale starts out, “Once upon a time,” and a sea story starts with, “Now this is a no-shitter . . . ”
This is a no-shitter . . .
In the initial indoctrination part of boot camp, we had to fill out these questionnaires. One of the questions asked if we had any special skills. “Goofing Off” and “Sleeping Until Noon,” weren’t examples, but “Typing” was. I checked the box and noted that I could type 60 words per minute.
Got called down to the Company Commander’s Office. “Understand you can type 60 words a minute, Recruit.”
He handed me a memo. “Go type this up. There’s a typewriter under the ladder.” (A ladder is a stairway, you landlubbers.)
This is what I could type 60 words a minute on:
And this is what greeted me under the ladder:
At one point I literally got a finger stuck between those keys. I’m betting that memo didn’t have 200 words, but it took me a good 20 minutes to type the thing. (That’s about 10 words per minute.) And typos? Aye yi yi. I’m guessing out of those 200 words, 198 of ’em had typos.
I sheepishly brought my results back to the Company Commander. Since I wasn’t asked, I didn’t explain those piss-poor results were the tools. Even back then I knew the old adage about a craftsman not blaming his tools. (But, come on!)
The CC looked at the paper, looked at me, looked back at the paper, shrugged and said, “Well, hell, you’re still the best damned typist we got. You’re now the Batallion Yeoman.”
Though I didn’t know it at that moment, that turned out to be a great job. For example, when we were doing stupid bunk drills (make your bed 50 times in a row). I could say, “The hell with this, I’m going to go sort the mail.” I could go to chow whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to work in the chow hall (as 80% of my company had to) during “Service Week.” (Which actually lasted 2 weeks.) I could write myself “chits” to go any place on the base I wanted to go.
Since I’d spent 3 years in Navy Junior ROTC when I was in high school, I already knew ranks, rates, how to march, the manual of arms, how to salute . . . all that stuff boot camp is designed to teach.
Since I had the “book work” already done — I knew it all — and since I could get out of the bullshit drills at will, boot camp actually wasn’t too bad.
My job in the Navy consisted of pushing paper. I was a Personnelman.
That job and all of my subsequent professions — human resources, computer geek, company management — kept and keep me sitting on my ass all day long. Some 35 years of a sedentary life . . . well, let’s just say that I wished more than once over that time that I could figure out a way to be forced into exercising.
Like I had been in boot camp.
Or, like I’m forcing myself to do on The Ride. Six hours of pedaling a day. For almost as long as boot camp lasted — 8 weeks.
Somehow I doubt I’m going to come out of The Ride being as “in shape” as when I left Great Lakes 38 years ago. But as long as I don’t die of a heart attack, all the exercising surely will do some good, right?