It’s true, just like they say, ‘everything’s bigger in Texas’. All the things one would expect to be bigger are indeed bigger…burgers, steaks, soda’s and platters of enchiladas. The friendliness of the people is bigger, the laughter seems bigger, the trucks are bigger (or is it the tires?). The music scene is bigger and so are the belt buckles. The Whole Foods is the biggest in the world and based on the snake I saw last week, they seem bigger too.

I suppose it only makes sense if I’m going to bonk on my bike, then I ought to expect the bonk to be bigger. ‘Bonk’ is a term used in cycling. It’s not something any cyclist wants to experience although most have at least once. To bonk essentially means to hit the proverbial wall…the body is depleted of fluids and energy and screams to stop what is known as suffering on a bike. Legs do not want to move, arms do not want to hold the body on the bike and lungs scream as if there is a plastic bag over the head preventing oxygen flow. It is not an enviable position. When a professional cyclist bonks in a race, they often get picked up in a car and are done for the day. When a regular run-of-the-mill cyclist bonks, he/she has to find a way to coerce their body into working just a little while longer which as a Texan might say,

                                          ‘that’s so hard it’s like tryin’ to bag flies’.

Today I bonked and because I now live in Texas it could only be a Texas-sized bonk. I didn’t see it coming but that’s the nature of ‘bonks’…they are sneaky. I left the house with cold water in my bottles and no hunger pains. I began the ride with the pleasant downhill, tail wind combination that doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s almost impossible not to smile. I reached the flatter roads and all was good…pedal, pedal, pedal, breathe, breathe, breathe…mile after mile the ride was great. Smooth roads, nice views and the lull of my rhythmic pedaling allowed my mind to wander, to think and not think. And then the first hint of what was to come…a slight incline and it felt as if the brakes were stuck. A stop at a stop sign and it felt as though the bike had gained twenty pounds, heavy and cumbersome and difficult to get started, the pedals cemented in place. More than halfway through the ride, I made the turn to head back home and the sun seemed bigger and shade was nowhere to be found. Within minutes I was struggling; my energy had taken the rest of the day off.

Just six miles from home the bonk had officially arrived. I had to pull over twice…each time bent over my bike gasping for air and negotiating with my legs to go just a little bit further; they ultimately agreed but only at a snails pace. I was trying to bag flies.

My Texas-sized bonk was worthy of my new home state; it was the biggest bonk I’ve ever endured and while my suffering was ‘Texas’ in size so was my laughter. The image of Clark Griswold in the movie ‘European Vacation’ driving in the roundabout and unable to merge came to mind. In the movie Clark, played by Chevy Chase, laughed hysterically because he could not get out of the roundabout and circled for hours while his family slept. Today I could not make my legs turn my pedals any faster and at that moment, despite the Texas-sized bonk I enjoyed some Texas-sized laughter. There was nothing I could do but be in the moment and shuffle my way home.

My reward for surviving my Texas-sized bonk and attempting to bag my proverbial flies: Just some of the reasons one lives in Texas…a Texas-sized iced-cold drink, a Texas-sized meal, a Texas-sized chair to sit and recover in while watching a Texas-sized sunset. And as they say in Texas,

                          ‘that’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick’.

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

Source: New feed