–noun: a medieval glove, as of mail or plate, worn by a knight in armor to protect the hand . . .
— Idioms: take up the gauntlet, to accept a challenge to fight
Also: A form of punishment or torture in which people armed with sticks or other weapons arrange themselves in two lines facing each other and beat the person forced to run between them.
All of the definitions fit, including the idiomatic usage. Although the armor will be far less than a coat of mail, the challenge has been accepted. Hopefully, the “form of punishment or torture” will not come to fruition, but it is possible. Naturally, there are opponents involved. Enter Don, and he who may well be his co-conspirator, Eric. Do I have but a single opponent in combination, or two? Or none? Or will they instead simply be my victims? The challenge has been made for a bike ride (remember, I’m accustomed to bikes with motors) twice the distance I’ve done before and I, foolishly perhaps, have promised to ride them into the ground.
Don writes a great blog what often includes Eric as a central character, and what a character he is. The weapons of choice are: bicycles. Well, bikes AND trikes. Don rides a Catrike and Eric a “sort of” bicycle, a Sun EZ-SPORT recumbent which has the “proper” number of wheels. Mine is the traditional 2-wheeler with the skinny little (read: butt-busting) seat that Don and Eric are smart enough to have eschewed long ago. But hey guys, it takes a real man to ride it!
The variety is even greater in that Don’s has 27 speeds and Eric’s 24. My machine? A mere 12. So they have the gear ratio advantage in spades and this difference may evolve the battle into punishment or even torture. That and the fact that Don has been on the cycles for a long, long time (I would call him and olde farte but we’re about the same age!), as written in his blog. And Eric has recently gotten into practice as well with a trek to Castell and another with his co-conspirator in DeLeon at the Melon Patch Tour.