but I must wait until 3pm so my cycling partner can join me. This is the soonest he can get free, since he has a real job AND is finishing up his PhD. But he's worth the wait - mostly.
NO, it's no judgement on his riding ability or style, or even on his personality. He's actually a great guy and we have fun on the bike while getting the job done. My single complaint about him is that he turns me completely brown by the end of every ride. Even on warm sunny days when all pavement is theoretically dry, he has this innate ability to suss out the location of those leftover patches of mud and string them all together to form a tour. On the days when he cannot find those mud patches, we somehow magically end up in the middle of the woods. On one ride, it was the Tervuren Forest near Brussels - well, ok, it was actually pouring that day so we would have been muddy anyway.
Normally i wouldn't mind getting a little dirty - heck, I started off as a mountain bike racer and transitioned to cyclo-cross, two very untidy sports. But since i do not have a hose or a washing machine at my apartment, cleaning up is a chore.
I have tried to preempt the mudfest on our last ride. As i was riding over to his place last week, I thought I'll just mention my request that we keep it a clean ride. But as i pulled up to his house, what i saw was a bit discouraging. Jan was perched on top of a mudpile attached to two wheels. He was on his dirty mountain bike complete with 2.1 knobby wheels. I meagerly spoke of my request in my tiniest mousy voice since i knew i was doomed. Within an hour, we were riding through farmlands, cobbles covered in thick mud and bike paths riddled with pothole puddles lined with mud.
Even though I'm bitching, I'm waiting. I'm waiting for 3pm to arrive so we can ride, possibly get muddy...again.
The photo is of Jan in one of his rare moments of cleanliness.