Rainy Ride to Detroit

Yesterday I threw my better judgment to the wind and took a ride on my bike to Detroit to see a Tool concert. The forecast predicted light rain conveniently at the region between Chicago and Detroit. I was dreading the possibility of sitting in my car and driving for 5 hours. So I took the alternative: a 600 mile trip on my bike in an area I’ve never been with potentially crappy and dangerous conditions. I parked my bike around the block and drove my car to it. I spared my mom from chronic worrying. Yea she shouldn’t, but she’s still a mom. I suited up with many layers, taped a map to my gas tank and was off with nothing more than a few bucks, my ticket and an MP3 player. Oh and smokes…and an extra pack of smokes. The ride there was ok. Even with the light rain I was hardly wet. On the outskirts of Detroit I expected to ride through neighborhoods similar to those depicted in the movie Seven, but I easily found the theater in the downtown are which was surprisingly clean, active and seemingly free of immediate danger. I hadn’t taken into account the time zone change so I got into the theater a 1/2 hour late. Perhaps there was a opening band or they were running late, I didn’t care to ask anyone.

Tool fulfilled my expectations but hadn’t exceeded them as they usually have in the past. Perhaps I expect too much. Nonetheless it was a great show. The show took place in a small theater with my seat dead center balcony. The crowd went nuts during Aenima where I felt balcony sway up and down, while I wondered if the building planners had never taken into account if people would actually be jumping around. Over thinking, over analyzing…you know the rest. In any case, I manage to get rid of those pesky things called thoughts and found that this seemingly unstable balcony I was occupying added to sentiment in the song. I thought the show was to short (hour and forty minutes) and they hadn’t played Wings For Marie and 10,000 Days. It didn’t seem like it was a show for the new album, just a regular show with some old songs and a couple of new ones.

It was raining pretty hard when the show let out. I reluctantly hopped on my bike and started heading on my way back. Visibility was terrible. I could either take it slow and easy and be bombarded by the water being kicked up by the cars, or speed by all of them and go 110. Either option was too dangerous so I stopped at a hotel and got a room. How lonely it was to get a room for yourself just for the sake of shelter. I slept for a couple hours and got up at sunrise. I had to be at work so I had to hurry. The ride back was dry, but I passed through intermittent fog. Average cruising speed of 110. With my 1/2 soaked clothes I was freezing but went numb after a while and it wasn’t bad. So now I sit at work, bored and trying to describe the things that I can’t really describe, trying not to let another thing be forgotten, trying to re-live things which cannot. I hate wet socks.

What have I learned from this ride? Those squiggly snakes that are scattered across damaged roads are incredibly slippery when wet. I felt my back tire kick out a couple times as I was riding across them. Plastic bags are a good remedy for boots that leak. I took the garbage bags from my hotel room and put them over my socks before I put my boots on. They did a pretty good job keeping my feet warmer.