SILVA & SILVA ATTORNEYS AT LAW
PATRICK SILVA DUIs
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THE UNLUCKIEST DAY OF THE YEAR HOW FRIDAY THE 13TH ALMOST COST ME A 24-HOUR BIKE RACE
W hen you’re practicing law, everything runs on checklists and internal systems to ensure we don’t miss a beat when we’re in front of the courts. So, naturally, when I was prepping for the daunting “24 Hours of Halloween” mountain bike race in Los Olivos last October, I boiled the entire process down to a science. Little did I know that Friday the 13th had other plans for me. The event runs over an entire weekend, and includes all kinds of activities besides the grueling day-long race, so my family tagged along for the ride. To accommodate everybody, I picked up a small new motorhome the Thursday before the event. Friday the 13th was dedicated to packing and going down that vital checklist so I could be confident absolutely nothing had been left out. That night, we loaded everything up and headed out for the four- hour drive to Los Olivos. Once there, we did the obligatory check- ins and got to work on our campsite. Everything was in place by 5 p.m., leaving me little to do besides obsess about the ridiculously long bike ride I’d be taking the following day at 10 a.m. But I realized I had made a dire mistake, perfect for the unlucky Friday the 13th — my cleats were still sitting in the closet back home. Any mountain biker would tell you that these cleats, which clip in and attach your feet to the pedals of the bike, are absolutely instrumental for any race, especially one that goes a full day and night. What’s worse, I didn’t have any flat, ordinary pedals that would allow me to use my tennis shoes. In a panic, I went up to the race director to figure out what I should do. “Well,” he told me, “there’s a bike shop about 15 minutes up the road, if you wanted to check that out.” Almost before he finished the sentence, I was in the motorhome, speeding to the store to get there before it closed. Lo and behold, the 13th struck again. I had forgotten to buckle down the coffeepot, which was full to the brim. So, as I hit the first sharp turn, it flew off the shelf and shattered on the floor in a
million pieces, coffee everywhere. Still, I persevered and figured I’d clean it up after the cleats were securely in hand.
By some stroke of luck, the shop was open, and they had cleats that, while not exactly a great fit, would do fine. I bought them and headed back to the campsite, relieved. But the 13th wasn’t done with me yet. While we were walking my two shih tzu dogs that evening, my phone somehow escaped from my deep pockets and slammed onto ground. Somehow, thankfully, it didn’t break. I’m not a superstitious man, but at that point, it was getting ridiculous. The only saving grace I could think of was that these things tend to come in threes — misplaced cleats, shattered coffeepot, and dropped phone. Nothing else could go wrong. Well, I was right about that, except for the brutal calamity of the 24-hour journey I would be embarking on the next day, with ill- fitting shoes. But more on that next month. For now, I’m just here to tell you that, at least for me, the Friday the 13th curse is a little too real. Fingers crossed that I don’t get a court date the next time one rolls around.
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