Riding the trainer is a strange activity.
No matter what diversions I plan it becomes a head game after about twenty minutes. Books, magazines, radio, movies, social media on a tablet — all of them fail to hold my attention once I’ve really committed to a good full-on sweat using the trainer.
My brain shouts “Stop” and then whimpers, “At Least Ease Up.” I ride like an amateur but bargain and negotiate like a pro. Keep the cadence up through this song. Don’t shift down until the end of the article. Stay on the aero bars for 10 more minutes.
Tonight, I saw things. I saw strange things. After about five minutes, I saw a wispy gray string in front of my face. I was wearing a hat — to help keep the sweat out of my eyes — and just below the edge of the bill there was a strand of something. I thought it was a piece of spider web. I had no good idea how it got there, but I was in the garage. Spiders live in the garage. Maybe it blew in from outside. Maybe it broke off of a web above me. I tried to brush it away but never found it. It disappeared. Then it was back but only for a moment.
After about 25 minutes, I saw an opossum wander aimlessly across the driveway. They are ugly, strange looking creatures. I yelled and clapped and it turned and ambled back toward the neighbor’s house.
Another 15 minutes and I figured out the mystery gossamer floating intermittently in front of me. It was steam coming off my sweating face in the 49 degree night air.
I bet ol’ Mr. Opossum thought I looked pretty strange too. Pedaling furiously, going nowhere, huffing and sweating like a beast, I was lit up under fluorescent lights in the dark of the night. A strange sight, I’m sure.