Last weekend I went to Chicago to visit Royce, the guy I’ve been seeing recently—err…my boyfriend?? In addition to a laundry list of other coincidentals, he and I are both doing the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon in a few short weeks, and thought it would be nice to get together for some final training (and make-out) sessions over the weekend.
I arrived at his place in Uptown late on Friday night, and on Saturday morning we drove to Barrington, from which we ventured out on a 100-mile bike ride to Lake Geneva and back. The first thirty-miles were challenging with many rolling hills. Royce is a better cyclist than me, so the pace was fast. After fifty-miles, we arrived in Lake Geneva, and that’s when it began to pour. Hard. We were drenched. The temperature was also quickly cooling.
We rode into downtown Lake Geneva, and despite the weather, throngs of people were out enjoying Venetian Fest. That’s when Royce suggested that we stop at a bar called Champ’s on Main Street to grab a beer, which was music to my ears. We chatted over a Heineken and Miller Light in the beer garden, and then warmed up in the bar for a few minutes. I was dreading the fifty-miles back to Barrington. I was so cold. Eventually, we sucked it up and got back on our bikes.
The ride back was challenging in every possible way. We made the most of it, however, by learning more about each other and asking every question we could think of: What’s your favorite song? Gatorade flavor? Most embarrassing moment? We also kept ourselves entertained by singing songs: Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels” and Counting Crows’ “A Long December,” which I didn’t realize at the time, were extremely appropriate. About fifteen-miles from the end of our ride, Royce got a flat tire. While he was fixing it, the mosquitoes–literally hundreds of them–were eating us alive. Not to mention the rain and cold. It was awful. He quickly fixed the flat, and we were on our way again. Five minutes later, he had another flat. And we were no longer singing. We didn’t have any more tubes (my bike has different sized tires, we came to find out.) At that point, we realized we needed a ride back to the car. Fortunately, the second driver we attempted to flag down was a nice old man who told us that he had a soft spot for bikers. He kindly drove us and our bikes back to Royce’s car, where we promptly changed and blasted the heat.
Although the weather was awful, we both had an incredible time getting to know each other better. Royce said it was the best date ever. I don’t know if I would have called it a date, but the fact that we could still laugh, smile, and sing, despite the rain, cold, flats, and mosquitoes, seems like a good thing to me :)