Joe came to Plano on Friday. It was great having him in town for the weekend because we have so much fun together and we have so much in common. We wear most of the same size clothes, the same size shoes, we are the same height, and we have very similar tastes in food and clothing and even cologne. I really think we were twins somehow separated at birth. Joe is big and red-headed, but he is cool and his personality reminds me a lot of Will Smith.

Saturday we got up and went to Lake Grapevine for some fun mountain bike riding. I love the Grapevine trail because it runs along the lake, I am familiar with the terrain, and because there are very few trees crowding out the trail. Unfortunately, the trail is plagued with a lot of rocks and sharp debris.

Joe and I are riding along and having an enormously good time when I start to feel the tell-tale signs of a flat. My first thought, “Ugh. Not Again!” Two weeks in a row, two new inner tubes, two flats. You would think after that first experience that I would have learned to carry a spare with me, but I am hard- headed and it takes me at least 3-4 times of pain, discomfort, and inconvenience before I realize that I need to make a change in my routine.

Joe and I started the dreaded walk back to the car. We came to a point in the trail where there is a road that bisects the trail and there were a couple of ladies jogging and we asked them – “Is it faster to take the road here back to the park or should we walk the trail?” The ensured us that it was much faster to take the road back and so Joe hopped on his bike and sped away to get the suburban, while I walked in the same direction.

The road turned and twisted and I thought that this would be a good time to get some extra cardio in for the Turkey Trot – I jogged for about a mile and then I realized that we were way far away from the trail and the park and I got worried that Joe might have gotten lost as this was his first time to these trails. I stopped, knowing that if I continued ahead Joe might come back to get me from a different direction and then I would really be lost.

Dehydration started to set in and I started to get a mild headache. Joe had been gone for what seemed like 45 minutes to an hour. “Where is he?” I turned back the way I had come and started to walk back slowly toward the trail knowing that if all else failed I could walk back through the trail and end up at the park and find someone with a cell phone.

Here would be a good time to mention trail-riding tip number 2: Every person on the trip needs to carry a cell phone or a walkie-talkie – that way if you get separated, you can call and make contact. Joe had been gone for so long that I started to really worry. I had no idea what to do, here I was this large man walking with a big bike crusted in my own salty-sweat with no money or identification and no cell phone. I really needed to reach out and touch someone, but I was afraid they would be repulsed by crustacean like limbs.

The sun continued to beat down on me and I started to get a bit woozy and delirious. I felt like a nomad in the middle of the Sahara desert, I looked up to the sky and I could see the buzzards swirling. Every time I heard a car coming it looked like Joe’s suburban, but it wasn’t. Finally, I got down on my knees and I prayed to God above to let me live just a little longer on this earth and to “please help Joe to find me” – I opened my eyes and there was Joe. With arms wide open he came and embraced my bike and threw it in the back of his suburban. He thrust a cold bottle of Auqafina into my hands and I drank greedily from the large-mouth container. I was saved.

Come to find out, Joe had to ride approximately 6 miles back to the where we started and it took him way out of his way, but all-in-all it was still a great time and getting lost and found made it quite an adventure.

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