In the Saddle: Actually wish I had a ‘clown’ suit | AspenTimes.com
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In the Saddle: Actually wish I had a ‘clown’ suit

Michael Wall

After working in the newsroom last night until 1 a.m. and falling asleep much later, I was wrenched from my peaceful rest this day at the rude hour of 9 as the telephone spat out its rude cacophony despite the tape across the sound hole. A friend on the other end issued the directive that I promptly remove myself from my comfortable position, purchase a suitable amount of barbecue and bring it by bike to his cabin, which rests just before the Conundrum trailhead. I heartily complied as barbecue sounded good and I was ready for a pre-work outing. Upon departure I took in the presence of curious darkish gray cloud covering the entire valley. This I ignored. My youthful exuberance at the chance for a ride crowned with a barbecue feast superseded a healthy connection to my all-knowing super ego. It only rains (drizzles) for 15 minutes a day in Colorado and that’s in the afternoon. Five minutes into the ride I recalled the axiom “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and I transferred the words: “like a Colorado weather cloud ignored.” Further pushing the pragmatic promptings of my super ego into submission, I rode on. I was a pleasure-seeking, hunger-driven id machine. I stopped to help a slug off the paved trail and back onto the grass, where it would find (I thought) a happier profit. I then spotted a fresh (though wet) $20 bill. The gods were rewarding me for my karma (and no I don’t want throngs of people calling the Times today asking for their $20 back). Karma only goes so far. The rain increased with my progress up the canyon and in tempo with my thoughts that the fashion statement of a T-shirt and shorts may have been modest. At least I wasn’t one of those “clowns” who goes out for a half-hour ride in a U.S. Postal bike outfit when their only connection to the service is purchasing an occasional book of stamps I thought. I was au naturel! Passing a family descending posthaste to Aspen, the father offered the mild invective: “It’s cold up there.” After my recent trip to Maine, all I could muster in quick response was an “Ayyup” and knowing inside that the heavy stuff probably wasn’t going to come down for quite some time. It actually began to pour then so much that my eyelashes began to droop. I and the rain stopped at my friend’s cabin. We ate like kings. Soon it was time to head back to town. The wetness on the road had begun its slip towards the creek. I was home free. Though in a non-Coloradoish sort of way, it began to rain again, and with much of the previous fervor. I now have never been so happy to feel the warmth of a newsroom.


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