Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I've been busy. Hopefully you have too.
Last week, I was at the start line of a cyclocross race, and I noticed that a fellow racer was running very narrow tires, so I asked him what size they were.
Me: Are th-th-th-th-those t-t-t-t-tw-tw-twenty eights?
Him: No, they're th-th-th-th-th-th-th-th-th-th-th-thirties.
About half of the racers started laughing, and I turned my gaze toward the ground. When the race started, I decided to go all out for the first lap to "get back" at the guy. I must have been fast, because after the first lap, there were only three of us at the front, and he wasn't there. After the adrenaline wore off, the wind went out of my sails. It hit me that the one place I was safe from stuttering (my bike) was no longer safe. I rode the rest of the race halfheartedly and finished third - last of the selection that I had created.
After the race, I didn't hang around for the podium. I just rode back to my car and drove home. I felt like an inhuman shell. I was not a bike racer. I was not the guy that rounded out the podium. I was the guy who couldn't talk.
I guess that's what I get for trying to make small talk with strangers.