You know those days where all you can do is shake your head and laugh? Yepthat's what this morning was for me, it was one of those days where the universe was like: lets humble steph and test her patience :P So after a night of not sleeping due to my noisy flat mate skying his friend at 1 am... I woke up exhausted, and wouldn't have ridden at all, except that Harley was everesting so I thought I'd just ride out to the climb and sit, and not do the climb, and just show my support for him. So that's what I did, I sat in the sun, drinking water, and chatting to friends. But after a few hours I had finished all my water, was getting super dehydrated and was busting to pee, so I decided I just roll on home, and maybe take a nap. But after about 5 minutes of riding, I felt like my bike just felt off, it was wobbling a bit, so I got off to discover a flat tire. not what I needed, but I mean no stress, I had a tube and pump and everything so I set out to fix this tire. But because it was the rear wheel, I was super confused about how to take the tire off, since that's where the derailleur and chain and all that jazz was. But after about 10 minutes I figured it out and began changing the tube. It took me a solid 30 minutes to do that whole process just because my tire was on so tight, and I swear to god the pressure of my thumbs trying to nudge the tire back into the rim could have started a fire, my thumbs were so sore and SO hot from all that pressure and friction. Now by this point I was sweating up a storm, and I had to pee like a pregnant woman. But I was like: k thank goodness the tires done. But then as I went to put it back on I realized I was so confused ahah. I'm not sure why I just couldn't figure it out. I watched some youtube videos, called griff, but still just couldn't figure it out. I was just so dehydrated, and frustrated, I had bike grease all over my hands, thighs, and face, I was HUNGRY and I needed to PEE like I've never had to pee in my entire life ahah. I had literally been on that side of the road for an hour by now, and really was just not a huge fan of life ahah. I can't even tell you how DUMB I felt, I mean I can ace an exam but I can't put a fucking rear wheel back on a bike? like CMON steph lol. Eventually Griff came and saved my ass as per usual ahah, and I realized that when I was doing it, I had the chain in the right place, but I just wasn't pushing the derailleur back far enough to allow the wheel to pop in, and I wasn't pushing down hard enough to nudge it into the position. But I was just so scared to like bend or mess up the derailleur which is why I was so timid with it.
But anyways, that was my morning, it definitely didn't go as planned, but then I came home, peed, showered, ate 5 cliff bars, then hung out with Shelby so it was ALL GOOD.
Shelby and I did a massive grocery haul at Costco, we got so much food and had the best time finding deals, and trying out massage chairs ahah.
Then since I was just pooped we drove back to her place and just lay on her living room floor talking and taking snap chat selfies for ages before our grumbling tummies told us we should get up and make dinner.
We made loads or rice, a veggie stir fry with roasted peppers, hummus, corn, and dressed it with sriracha and tahini duh.
I had a few rounds of dinner then a few rounds of our typical dessert of rice, bananas, maple syrup, tahini, and this time we added coconut date rolls that we got from costco. YUM. Then Nicole and Shannon picked me up to go to Kensington and support Harley in the last few hours of his everesting, and to watch the sunset.
Harley had been out ALL day in the scorching sun since 6 am, just going up and down up and down the last km of Kensignton road and we thought the least we could do is just go out and cheer him on to give him a little morale booster. Griff and Joey were out there riding laps with him, but we were way too lazy for that haah. But when we were just 5 minutes drive away, Nicole got a text from Freelee saying that some coward from the internet punched Harley and knocked him off the bike, and that they had called the cops! We were all so shocked, and got so revved up to get there and hear what happened. When we got to the top, we saw Freelee and Joey and immediately we bombarded them with questions about what happened. So after hearing accounts of it from multiple people all night, this is what I've pieced together.
Harley, Griff, and Joey were riding up, and Harley had already done fucking 50 laps of Kensington, so it's fair to say that he wouldn't be in his prime. And some Paleo body builder hater, who had engaged with banter and arguements with Harley on the internet decided that he was going to be a total dickhead and plan out some cowardly sabotage for Harley. Honestly, it's the internet, it's just so ridiculous that people would take internet "hate" and "banter" seriously enough to phsyically hurt someone in the real world. But anyways, this dude brought his freaking pitbull dog, and a friend who was big and pudgey as back up. And apparently, while those three were biking up, they were just sort of standing in the way in the middle of the road, and then out of nowhere the guy just knocks Harley off his bike, then starts just going ballistic and shouting at hime. Calling him all sorts of ugly names and he kept saying "you know who I am, you know who I am" And thank goodness Joey and Griff were there otherwise it could have escalated, not because Harley can't defend himself, but because they had surprised him, got him on the ground, after he'd done 50 reps of Kensington, and because he would have been outnumbered. But Joey got in there right away and started trying to mediate and calm him down. He was saying: "just calm down, this isn't worth it." and all this other stuff to diffuse the situation. And because the guy was going psycho and shouting things like: You're a worthless piece of shit and other pleasant things... Freelee heard from in her car, and when she looked down she could see Harley's bike on the ground so she immediately drove her car down, with the boot open ahah and everything went flying everywhere. But obviously all she was thinking about in the moment was Harley's well being. And when she saw what happened she called the cops! And this whole time, Griff was sneakily filming with his phone so we got most of it on camera which was so awesome for the cops. Honestly this whole situation was just cowardly and malicious, to get a guy while he's exhausted and taken by surprise over some bull shit on the internet... like REALLY?! c'mon mate, get some real problems in life. And the funniest part is that the guys "muscle" that he brought along were just useless. The dog was just wagging his tail looking around being friendly, and his fat friend was just standing there looking tough, but he was struggling just walking up and down that hill because of his huge beer belly and obviously out of shape legs. But eventually Joey got them to leave Harley alone, and they started walking back down the hill, with Griff tailing them 200 m behind. And by the time the cops came they had dissapeared, but thankfully Harley knew his name so the police got a warrant for him and are going to charge him. Harley was a little scraped up, and his teeth were a little out of line, but other than that he was alright and in fit condition to keep everesting, but dealing with the police took around 2 hours so really it just put him a little behind schedule, but now he was more motivated than ever to finish this despite all the adversity and the altracation. So he continued. And by then we had amassed a huge crew of people supporting him both on the sidelines like us, and with him on the bike. Anthony, Jeff, Kieran, Griff, and a few other guys I didn't know were riding with him, and Freelee, Nicole, Shannon, Bec, Joey, Federica and I were all huddled around Freelee's van supporting him with cheers and encouragement!
So while they rode, we all sat in the perfect summer evening air just trading stories and sharing insights from our lives. And it was just a magical night. We stayed out until the stars were blinking down at us, and the sun had set. We ate cliff bars, snacked on figs, and just enjoyed each other's company, and everytime the guys rode past us we'd all shout and cheer and offer support. And once in awhile the guys would take a break and chill with us for a bit then join back up with Harley. They were like his support crew, trading on and off shifts, just keeping him company and also keeping him safe in case that nut job came back. And by around 11, he really only had about 3 or 4 more laps to go, and we thought we can't leave now, we have to stay till the end now, so we did. And he ended up finishing at midnight, right on the dot.
How cool is that?! And on the last day of summer too! So in the end, despite everything he DID IT! He everested, and I am so ridiculously proud of him for his effort, and I feel so lucky to have played a tiny part in it and to have witnessed such a feat! On the last lap as they passed we all stood up and cheered and when they came down we were singing and dancing to "Fancy" lol not sure why ahah. But man I was just buzzing after that despite being SO tired, and I came home and had a midnight snack of toast and oatmeal, then went to bed around 1:30 am.. ahhaha not my earliest night but man staying up was so worth it, just what a cool fucking magical night.