3 Hail Marys, 4 Our Fathers

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been nearly three months since my last confession.

Familiar words to those of us raised in the Catholic faith. The ritual of coming clean was one of those "evil" requirements of growing up; nothing you looked forward to doing, but your mother made you do it. Kind of like being forced to eat spinach. And to top it off, the priest on the other side of that thin see-through curtain knew who you were ... so you weren't getting away with anything.

What's in the box?

Do they even do confessions anymore? Or is there a phone app now for that sort of thing? I pray to God that isn't the case.

I know the exact date of when I last cleansed my soul. It was on March 22 with my blog entry titled "The bikes I ride." I wrote about my collection of five bicycles, what their functions were, and other good stuff. The key point to remember is how that particular piece concluded, where I said, "There you have it — all my bikes. I feel very fortunate to have such a stable of rides. While I won't promise to ever stop obtaining bikes, I know I'm set for a very long time."

Well, that "very long time" only stuck for 11 weeks. Yes, I need to confess that I'm a sinner, for I have obtained — God, please forgive me — another bike. Oh, sweet Jesus, say it ain't so? But sadly, it is.

Joining my two-wheeled fleet of three road bikes, a fat bike, and a cyclocross beast is a 2019 Trek EX 5 Plus, a mountain bike. At least, it is something different. It comes with all the usual bells and whistles to handle rough terrain — RockShox front and rear suspension, a Shimano Deore 1x10 drivetrain, plus-sized tires, aluminum frame, etc.

Welcome to the family No. 6.

I'm still kind of reeling over the whole experience and questioning my sanity. What possessed me to do such a thing? Maybe part of the motivation — I really wanted to write the word blame — rests with my sister, Becky. She is in the process of relocating to Moab, Utah, a true mecca for mountain biking. Naturally, I plan on visiting in the near future, and so ... I couldn't help myself. Or rather, I did help myself ... to another bicycle.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to testing my off-road skills and the likely spills with my cycling friends at the Hallowell Reservoir and eventually, after much practice, at Bond Brook in Augusta, as well as other places in Maine and beyond.

Yes, indeed, a sin has been committed, and I'm the "Bad Boy" on the bike. Praise the Lord!

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