My friend John called from the North Slope tonight with a simple piece of advice: Lose the new name!
You see, a couple of years ago when I set up a user account for the Alaska forum at mtbr.com, I just used my real name. So I recently decided to cool up and get a bitchin' screen name like all my friends. The best I could come up with was "Bad Karma," which I stole off a Warren Zevon CD. Being a big fan of the Z Man, I was already using Old Velvet Nose as my forum avatar, so one of his song titles just seemed to fit.
Shortly after the name change, I went out last weekend and took my chin-mangling, jaw-bruising, concussion-inducing faceplant. Then I went out for a ride today with John's wife, Maura, and my seatpost bolt exploded two or three miles from the trailhead, forcing me to pedal standing up for a fairly long stretch at the end of a four-hour ride.
John thinks bad karma has started following me around. He said I should punt the new name. Maybe he's right.
But I'm not convinced. As all my friends will tell you, I'm one of those optimistic, sunny-dispositioned, glass-is-half-full people. I'm always smiling, whistling show tunes and petting cute puppies.
OK, the crash sucked ass.
But today's ride was a hoot in spite of a tiring challenge at the end.
After a week of pain that slowly migrated around my jaw, neck and chin, and concussion-related spells in which I was alternatingly foggy-headed and irritable, I got to spend the day with a friend riding fat bikes on snow. We ran into several biking friends on the trails, and I even got to chat briefly with a couple of former co-workers I hadn't seen in a long time.
And the worst thing that happened was a little extra exercise because I broke an old component and then got to drive to Paramount and upgrade to a sweet Thomson Elite.
And come to think of it, maybe a little good karma was kicking in, because my store punch card was full and I got my new $100 post for only $70.
I think I'll go pop a painkiller and skip through a pretty meadow while tossing flower petals into the air.