Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Numbers Game....

I don't consider myself particularly superstitious, but I play games with numbers all the time.

It started when I was a teenager, when my cousin and I started making wishes when the digital clock read 11:11. Consider that this was when digital clocks were relatively new. If you're younger than 40, shut up.

Then I transferred it to my bicycling. I don't make wishes, but I consider it a good sign (of what, I don't know) if I look down and catch my bicycle computer at the 11.11 mile mark. Then I decided I could have other lucky/good karma/wish-making numbers if I wanted to. I mean, it's my retarded game, I can have all the rules I want to. So I started including the number 407, because that's my birthday. If I get off the elliptical or the treadmill and I've burned 407 calories, my first thought is that because I hit the lucky number, I might actually lose a pound or three. My second thought is that I'm dripping in sweat and my face is tomato-red.

One time on BRAG I rode a century by myself. Not alone as in I was the only person riding it, but I didn't have a riding partner. So I spent the time by playing numbers games. Cycling is such a mental thing, and it helps to have something to think about besides the fact that you once thought it was a big deal to ride 10 miles, and now you're going to do that 10 times. On that century ride, I happened to catch the odometer at 11.11, 22.22, 33.33, 44.44, 55.55, 66.66, 77.77, 88.88, and 99.99. It's not a huge deal, but it felt like an accomplishment to me. It's not like you look at your odometer all the time. And it's not like if you miss it you can go back and reverse the odometer.

I realize some of you are thinking I'm on crack at this point. That's okay.

One reading I do NOT like to see is one with three 6's in it. I've never ridden my bicycle that many miles, but I don't like to look see the computer when I've ridden six miles and 66 hundredths. Note that I don't even like to type it.

This thought that next one, seemingly random, are actually connected. Just in case you haven't already given up and gone on to other less insane topics.

Today we had one of those lovely days that we often get here in Georgia during January and February: beautiful sunshine, and temperatures in the 60's. I was gone most of the day to a Navy for Moms luncheon (more on that later), but when I got home there was still plenty of warmth, sunshine, and daylight left.

I couldn't resist, so I got the Harley out. It was the first time I've been on it since Thanksgiving, and I wasn't absolutely sure it would even crank on the first try. It doesn't have a choke, so I didn't know how to crank it if it seemed too sluggish. Not to worry -- it fired right up as if I had ridden it only yesterday.

I wasn't going far; just a short ride to feel the wind and satisfy my need for speed. Which I rarely get on my bicycle, mind you.

I noted that the odometer on the Harley read 663 miles when I started out. I made a note to self not to look at the odometer until I had ridden at least 4 miles. Just not to take any chances.

But sometimes I don't listen to my notes to self. I looked down at the odometer, and it read three 6's. The evil number. Sign of the devil.

Like I said, I'm really not that superstitious. But I do avoid that number if I can. Call me crazy. Again.

I said to myself, out loud, "I really didn't need to see that." I'm especially reluctant to invite bad karma when I'm riding my motorcycle. I figure I'm already taking enough chances as it is.

So I told myself not to look at it anymore.

Only I did. Two times. Three. Four. Five. Six. Oh God, there's that number again. I don't know how that mile stretched out that far, but it seemed like it would never change over.

I finally arrived safely back at home. Bad karma and all. Happily, I will never have to worry about seeing THAT number again. On this motorcycle, anyway.

And this is one of those blog entries that I'm tempted to erase completely rather than post.

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