Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

19 June 2014

mirages and ghost stories

As Summer is in full effect right now, we continue to (attempt to) ride our bikes to a sweet camp out. Tuesday is as good a day as any other, and better than most. It is a day I have off, and weekdays are good trail days because many folks are working so the trails are clean. Etc.

In keeping with our ride to the ride ethos (where possible, when it's convenient and safe and more fun than alternatives and we aren't too pressed for time and the weather is nice, it's not too hot and the traffic is light...) we rolled out the door all dolled up. There is a required section of HWY 1 from the house, and I took up the rear guard position. It occurred to me, as we rolled along mightily, that we were all dressed alike. That was unintentional, but amusing. Light weight cotton long sleeved shirts to keep the sun (and poison oak) off and khaki shorts. The inherent embarrassment of this was pointed out to me by elder son, D______, who (at 14) is very sensitive to appearances and who felt his newly cut-off shorts were making him look bad to _____, who had just been driven past by his momma. I am sensitive to feelings, so I told him to not worry what soft people in cars think and cheered him with the assurance that he is the hardest fellow at his school and how none of the other kids his age could pull off what he was doing. Sadly, these Truths did nothing to raise his spirits.

By that point, we were arrived at the first trail section. We rode dirt slowly uphill, and had a brief discussion on fashion and peer pressure, during which I made excellently worded points regarding the folly of giving a shit what assholes say about you, and the wisdom in choosing a wardrobe solidly based in classicism for the reasons that A) it is classic because it looks well on a man, and B) trends will ever come and go, so it is always a losing proposition chasing the latest fleeting variation.

Needless: he firmly believes I 1)look stupid, and 2)don't get it. We are both 100% correct.

J______, who is 9 and in some senses wiser than us both, was oblivious and continued to half-wheel me. I told him to take it easy (we had a long way to go- about 16 miles!). Riding with these noobs is taxing. Lots of wasted efforts, lots of poor decisions in line choice, dangerous positioning in is a constant awareness type of mother henning. Cluck cluck. Especially crossing the highway, where we don't trigger the light. After all this safety 1st yakking, we have to wait on the sidewalk and use the pedestrian crossing button to then cross against left-turning traffic only to ride on the wrong side of the road (on the sidewalk) and cross the other street to make the right we'd initially needed...lessons learned at the knee of playing it fast and loose. As bicycling in a world paved for cars requires, sure. I hope the lesson is one of do what you must (safely as possible) rather than anything goes.

There was talk the usefulness of proper gear selection as we climbed. And climbed. Panting for breath will become sobbing if you let it. Don't let it. Whining does nothing to alleviate suffering, but it does make your companions want to leave you. Doing hard things is hard. Sometimes all you can do is let it be hard and keep pedalling. Some truths are so True you forget them. We rested at the summit and laid ourselves on the warm bike path pave while eating peanut butter sandwiches. It's all downhill from there!

Sure it is. I was "testing" the new front wheel. The 26" sorta half-fat wheel? A 50mm Surly Rabbit Hole surrounded by the 26"x2.75" Surly Dirt Wizard. Now, this may come as a surprise, but I am an idiot. No, it's true. (Go ahead, laugh- it's good for you.) I had grabbed the first 26" tube at hand, and it was a 26x1.5/2.0...which is pretty skinny, but it's what I got. Sure, I thought, rubber expands just fine. It'll be OK as long as I don't hit any sharp bits. Well, this proved false. The saddle-like join around the valve expanded so much and so awkwardly that it pulled apart and pinholed. Not once, but twice because the spare tubes on both the Big Dummy and D's 26" bike were also the 1.5/2.0 variety! Gah! I felt so stupid and mad. AND there was no patch kit on any of our 3 bikes! (not that it would really have helped in that regard as it would have continued being super blown out and wear hella fast, but you know. Duh. What asshole doesn't have a patch kit? Apparently this asshole. So. More angry stupid.) I tried not to be pissy to the boys as I stood there simmering and thinking. What I came up with was to deflate D's tyre and hope that it's tube would prove larger than the ones with which I was laboring so that I could swap in the thinner 2nd spare (well his tyre was only 2.2...)and I could use his fatter tube on my fatter wheel. This, so as to limp over to the bike shop which was happily only a mile or so away. There I hoped to find a more suitable/fat tube. Fortuna favet fortibus? Well, if you call a $20 retail DH tube a favor, then sure. Though I did have/get to use the tapered reamer to fit the schraedered tube.

Hardships behind us, we forged ahead the bikecentric way thru Cside(!) and stopped for burritos. These weekly campout rides are the quick and easy, you understand. It's much less about "camping" as it is about getting outside in all conditions and having a fine old time. Tall cans of cold Modelo help, too.

The secret spot camp was as nice as it always is. We hung the hammock and swang the swing and did other stuff and told stories. J likes to hear about when I was a boy, and so next time I think we'll bring Risk and have a game like back then.

The moon came up late, and was waning halfway along but it was plenty bright to pull me out of bed so I could stand around peeing in the woods and listening to the yodel dogs split and regroup and split and regroup as they chased softer prey than us- hard men that I ride with.

We were softly picked up in the AM. And taken to Red's Donuts on the way to work/home....

1 comment:

K-dregg said...

"Whining does nothing to alleviate suffering" Thats great stuff man, i'll keep that in mind when the ride turns into a grind..