I was weary; I needed a break...
But I couldn't stop now – for Pete's sake.
We were late and he had to get back,
So I kept slogging on down the track.

It was late when we started (of course),
Still we thought that by 'flogging the horse',
We could easily make up the time...
But we misjudged a difficult climb.
Then a flat tire was next on the list
Of adventures we wish we had missed.

While returning we rode up the coast,
And the wind, like some challenging ghost,
Seemed to push and resist our steeds.
We rode harder, but saw lower speeds
Than we'd planned; As I drafted my friend,
My brain screamed: 'Will this ride ever end?'

I was pedaling now spurt-rest-spurt,
As I favored whatever might hurt;
Twenty strokes... then I'd coast for a while
In an odd kind of stop-and-go style.
Both my legs felt too heavy and hot;
I was ready to stop, but could not.

I was tempted to say, "Listen, Pete,
We're so late, and I really am beat.
Why don't we make a call to your wife,
Have her meet us and shorten this strife?"
That was sweet, just the thought of Pete's van;
No more headwind... a wonderful plan.

But I didn't; we kept rolling on,
As I played out the cards I had drawn.
I was aching to stop this hard ride,
But there is that small matter of pride.
It is HARD to run up a white flag,
To surrender and call for a SAG.

When I checked up on Pete, he looked grim,
But there wasn't a signal from him
That he wanted to pull off and rest.
He kept humping, so I did my best
To keep up and keep quiet, so he
Wouldn't worry about coddling me.

Once we turned and got out of the wind,
It was easier then and Pete grinned,
"That was FUN! We'll loop back if you want."
With a grimace, I groaned, "No, let's don't."
It was better with crosswinds, but still
We were pedaling slightly uphill.

Five more miles, and then four and then three;
Ev'ry mile felt like three miles to me.
Then two miles and then – YAY! – only one;
It was much more like work than like fun.
We kept going (but not very fast)
Till we finally reached – home at last!

"Man, I'm ti-yured," Pete said, as he slumped
On his trike. I said, "Buddy, you're trumped.
I am BEAT; I was ready to quit...
Twenty miles back fatigue really hit
Me like some heavy beast in my lap.
I was ready to stop for a nap!"

From the way Pete's head flopped back, I knew
He'd been fighting – at least ten miles, too.
"Well, I wish you had said something, Wayne.
I was pooped; I was almost in pain."
I was aching to stop for a beer,
Long before home was anywhere near."

I was quiet a moment, but then
I remembered my wife saying, "MEN!"
With amusement, I'm sure, but disdain
Played some part in her one-word refrain.
Men are strangely and wondrously weird,
Whether bald-faced or wearing a beard.

"Well, it's over;" I said, "We're all done.
Though we're late, and you're under the gun,
If you hustle, you'll make it..." Pete grinned,
"I can do that tomorrow. That wind
Took its toll on my body; the worst
Thing of all is a powerful thirst!"

So... as we popped the tabs on our beers,
I reflected on what effect peers
Have on guys riding trikes, trying hard
To be seen with respect or regard,
Maybe only a minimal tad,
But it isn't a brief passing fad.

Well, I guess that it's good we inspire
One another to try to reach higher
For a challenging goal that we've set...
But that beer tasted great – COLD and WET!

POW Index

Last updated May 11 2005