Monday, June 28, 2010

The tunnel and other things.

The 52 mile Cedar Valley Nature Trail connects Evansdale with Hiawatha, and runs through several small towns. Hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing, are allowed. The Cedar Valley Nature Trail runs through wetlands, forested land, and farmland.

This trail is 90 minutes from my house by automobile. Soon I want to pack my bike in the car and do the trail out and back for 104 miles.

The last time I was on this trail was May 31st 2003. I remember that disastrous day quite well.

I was divorced in Jan 2002, after a 30 year relationship with a 25 year marriage. So I had been seeing this lady and she had taken an interest in bicycling from hanging around a bikeaholic like myself.

So we were going to ride the Cedar Valley Nature trail. We were on hybrids, pedaling a good pace on soft crushed lime stone and gravel. It was work to maintain 15 mph with the trail wet and soft from a lot of rain lately.

So we were now descending down the approach to the long cement bike tunnel under I 380. The speed increased to 25 mph plus being on smooth black top that covered the tunnel entrance and going down hill. It was like instant acceleration. I shot through the tunnel first, and was instantly blinded by the long dark tunnel. The only thing I could see was a lighted dot that was the other end of the tunnel. I knew not to jam my brakes and tried to focus on the tunnel exit so I would not slam into the cement sides which I could not see and coast to a stop with light braking. It was close to having your eye closed after being in the bright sunlight.

Beth not so fortunate. She shot through the tunnel entrance, and I could hear slamming and banging going on behind me. Metal sliding and screaming. I knew she wobbled and hit the tunnel side and flew off the bike. I made a bad mistake but charging the entrance, and she naturally followed. I knew this was not going to be good.

I ran back to her and tried to console her. After several minutes she wanted to stand up and I walked, she wobbled and groaned to the tunnel entrance. In the day light I could see, she had taken chunks of hide from her hips, elbows and knees. Her arm was bent funny at the elbow.

I was in the process of dialing 911 and get an ambulance coming. She said no, she would wait while I went the 15 miles to where the car was parked. She insisted, so I obliged. I maintained close to 25 mph in my frantic state.

So off to the hospital we went, her torn hide was scraped and cleaned and her broken arm set in a cast, and that was the last time I was ever on that trail. Oh, and no we are no longer dating.

What happened to a relationship, that started in high school and ended 30 years later? Let me just say this. Anyone that has been involved with a spouse that has been taken over by alocholic and addiction demons knows it's devestation. It went on for long time, it was time for me to gather my kids and move on.

It was my night for parent help and feed. So sweet. Mama is getting worse, we, us, have been talking about what we should or can do.

I have tomorrow off, the day is going to rock, and I am going to ride.

And look, my son Joshua just showed up with my belated Father's day present.
The T-shirt says "Most valuable dad" "The man the myth the legend" Priceless.

Peace out.


tainterturtles said...

Man, I really felt her pain going down in the tunnel.

Thanks for sharing your story about marriage and divorce. I'm glad you survived and you still have your humorous side!!!!

Harry Legge's Cycling Blog said...

That sounds like a good trail. I'm guessing it will be a solo trip this time.

Life hands us stuff, doesn't it?

Clive Chapman said...

To quote a fairly famous Englishman, "life is what happens to you while you're making plans" (John Lennon).

I hope you enjoy your pedal later mate.

KungFooSausage said...

Im trying to think of a really good quote like those above me but all I can think of is "wow theres a place really called Hiawatha?" in land of the silver birch, home of the beaver, where still the mighty one wandering free..

mrbill said...

Good post Dave, When you get ready to do that ride again I dare you to call that gal and see if she wants to go, ha.
The best to your Mom!

Dan O said...

Nice tunnel story.

The addiction thing affects many familes. My brother died a few years ago in his early 40s. Fried liver from excessive drinking. He had years warning of this and still couldn't stop.