In the previous episode of this column, my husband Seth and I were attempting to complete the second day of the Hilly Hundred bicycle tour in southern Indiana.
We had separated shortly into the ride and I was waiting at the first rest stop for him to catch up. I watched as hundreds, maybe thousands, of riders rolled up and stopped for refreshments.
But after 40 minutes of watching and waiting and guzzling apple cider, Seth had not appeared. He was not responding to my texts or phone calls.
I figured it was probably the appropriate time to start acting worried.
The Hilly Hundred is a highly organized and well managed bike ride. I noticed an information/support tent was set up and manned with happy volunteers. I figured it was a good place to start in my search and recovery mission.
"Sorry to bother you with this," I said to a way-fitter-than-me woman working in the tent, "but I seem to have lost my husband. And not on purpose."
She paused a moment. "Hmmmmm," she said. "Well...we really don't have any way of knowing if he has been picked up by a SAG (Support and Gear) vehicle."
"I wasn't thinking he SAG'd back. I was thinking he may be riding in an ambulance."
"Oh no — we have not had any ambulance calls this morning. So don't worry about that," she assured me.
I took a deep breath then, sort of a mix of exasperation and relief. There was only one explanation — Seth was apparently riding at about 2 mph. He was going to have to pick up the pace because we both had to be back at work in a little less than 24 hours.
I spotted him right then, during that thought. He was a member of a wave of bicyclers rolling into the rest stop. He didn't look nearly as happy as his fellow peddlers.