Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

10 September 2014

a puppet for forces greater than myself

What do you do with a couple consecutive days off, some nice weather and a full moon, and a bunch of losers for friends who won't go on a mini bike tour with you? Yes, that's right. You just pack up and go by yourself.

Heading straight out the valley with 2 wheels and a gangster lean, I rolled along on the Surly Ogre with the fattish front end on account of I was heading for some dirt along the way...

I stopped because it was hot. I was tired. There was shade. I had a swap the bar ends from their aero position to one that would help with climbing. Etc.

It was all timed so perfectly. I hit that good corner just at moonrise. That was a fine spot to stop and savor. What a glorious evening. What a fine harvest moon. What enchanting prospects for cool, quiet climbing in the silvery light.

I don't know when was the last time you scavenged dropped-in-gravel BBQ flavored Cornnuts (I won them at the bike races!), but I reckon that's the last time you were really living. To be so wrung out and hungry and in such an environment...well, it's a genuine pleasure.

After lounging and savoring and appreciating and getting stiff and cold, I climbed the old dirt road for the next hour or 2 and it was just me and the moon. My wife says she would never ever go out there alone, and I understand. The first several times I was solo in the back of someplace, it was scary and I slept poorly. But nothing bad happened. There's no monsters. Mountain lions don't want to eat me. And stuff. By now, it's not a thing. I do enjoy the company of others, but there is a lot to enjoy solo as well- quiet, relaxed pacing, relaxed schedule, flexibility. So climbing up that road in the dark (I leave my lights off to appreciate the moonlit goodness) was real fine. Eventually I reached the spot and stopped. Just a sleeping bag and the sky for a roof. I sleep very lightly when I'm by myself, but it's not a bother. It's another opportunity to look around and know I'm where I am and be glad of it.

The spring. So much flow. When I got there, the plastic basin some smart guy left was full of gnarly algae and dead bees. I dumped it out and put my pots and a water bottle in there, hoping they would be close to full in the morning. And they were, plus plenty. The water tasted...earthy.


Whatever ate this little fox was hungry. It even turned the face inside-out to get at the ear muscles!

All that is downhill. Happily downhill. But it does lead to a long and hot and long and hot and long crawl over to a substantial, though shady, climb. I found myself breaking the day into stages, but then there were the in-between-stages stages, also. You have a lot of time to think about minutiae on a long and hot and long crawl. For example: how I don't love the bar ends at all. They were not very useful as aero bars, and they're not very comfortable as bar ends, and I don't like the enclosed sensation at my hands, nor the reduction in bar width. I removed them for the final descent. To maximize my steering and promote a more positive end feel.

Bikes. Bike riding.

The thing is, if you wait for your buddies' plans to coincide with yours then you may be waiting for quite a while. Why wait?


reverend dick said...

Oh, and Jen- I drank all the beers we stashed. Looks like we will have to go down and stash more...

rik van hooydawg said...

now I'm a loser ?

reverend dick said...


Alls I know is, there are shoes. If they fit, well, they fit. Big losers need big shoes.

K-dregg said...

I had the jitters big time on my first solo outings. I slept with one eye open while carefully monitoring tne rustling of the leaves and all the sounds the forest made at night.

Later on i realized that the only monster out there in the woods where probably me and that sleeping alone under a tree is one of the safest spot there is..