Friday December 2, 2011
Ever since my friend, Mike, asked me to go on a bike ride in high school I have been hooked. Gravel roads in Iowa are probably my favorite, besides the occasional angry country dog. Somehow, being out in the middle of nowhere feels like an adventure. The biggest, dumbest adventure I took on a bike was when I was studying in Wales my senior year of college. I had gone most of the semester without having the opportunity to get on a bike and I knew that I had to take advantage of getting out there before I left.
So, I rented a bike, or as the British say, hired. I rode it around all over the city that night until I was really sore. That was a big mistake. As it turns out, if you haven’t ridden a bike for a long time, you get sore when you do. It was set, though, the next morning I would go for my ride. My plan was to leave in the morning by train to a trail head several miles away. Wales is fairly mountainous. Well, it’s mostly mountainous in the north, with highlands in the south. I was going to the highlands. I don’t remember the name of the trail, but it followed an old Roman army route. Yes, the Romans, from a couple of thousand years ago. As it turns out, the old Romans hadn’t left very many good trail markers, which some say led to their downfall.
That morning it was raining, I was sore already, but I was determined. I made it to the trailhead and realized very quickly that it was only leading, up, up, up. I powered through it while my arse, as the Welsh would say was throbbing. It was gorgeous though. I saw old Roman encampments and when I got up to the ridge line I could see that the wilderness stretched as far as I could see. What I couldn’t see, however, was the trail markers. There were so many forks without nary a mark.
Eventually, I got lost.
I started going down.
Eventually, I ended up in a little village, but I couldn’t figure out what the name of the place was, or how far from Swansea I was. It was getting dark. I was getting freaked out. I had actually resigned myself to spend the night sleeping behind a grave in an old graveyard.
Then, I saw a taxi go by (Want to know the Welsh word for taxi? It’s tacsi. Weird, everything else is really different, but not that one). I got the number off of it, went to a pay phone and called for one. I made it home alive.
Ultimately, I wonder what might have been. I veered off the path to the right and ended up descending into a town. If I had veered to the left off the trail, it would have been straight wilderness for miles.
Today, I decided I needed to get in one more ride. I also wanted to get in one more experience at the beach, so I decided to combine the two. I rode to Venice Beach, which was great because I love riding in the city. Then, I took a beach trail all the way down to Hermosa Beach. It was gorgeous, and very, very windy. They call them the Santa Ana winds, I just call them, “Whoa! What? What is happening? Stop it.”
I made it home and I was beat. I’ve felt a little under the weather for the last couple of days. It turns out that going on a 45 mile bike ride only accelerates that process. I could barely stand up to leave to meet Danny for a Groundlings show. It was a sketch show, and it was amazing. Then, we stayed for an improv show, which is was short form. It was really good to see a Groundlings show, and short form. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve only seen, and taken classes from UCB. UCB is not about doing characters at all and does long form. Groundlings is all about doing characters. The Skinny Improv, which I will be returning to, is more character based, and is more short form based. It was inspiring to see that style again.
When I got home, I quickly cleared everything off my bed (yes, I have to clear things off of my bed), and fell asleep immediately, hoping I would feel better in the morning.
As we both know, I’m writing this the next day, and, no, I don’t feel better, I feel worse. Whoa is me. Saturday and Sunday are it for me in LA. More on that later.
Oh yeah, I also cleaned my carpets this morning and talked to Joel McHale on the set of Community as I went there to visit my friend Catherine one last time. Joel and I talked about the cool new car he got. We’re cool like that. I left in my 2001 Honda Accord.