Friday, August 7

Breck Epic Preamble

Today was my last greenway grind before the Breck Epic.  I saw six deer this morning.  At least I think it was six.  I saw three in the first group, so I can't rule out that they didn't split up, and the group of two and the solo deer I saw later were the same deer I saw the first time.

I love seeing them out there.  Sometimes, I stop and stare at them.  Other times, I just ride by slowly and say "hello."  They just return some look that says "Derp-duh-derp, eat, poop, sleep, avoid non-existent predators."

We all love deer.  They're cute.  I remember seeing deer when I was out in the scrubby woods behind the trailer I grew up in, me playing in the dirt with my Matchbox cars, them, eating and looking at me like I wanted to eat them.

I also remember "hunting" them with my dad.

Pretty sure that's not my dad's deer.  Probably one of my uncle's kills.  I only remember my dad killing one deer in his entire "hunting career."   He was kind of a squeamish sort (a trait he passed on to me), so when he shot that deer, he wasn't too keen on field dressing it.  He dragged all the hundreds of pounds of carcass out of the woods, guts and all.  Considering these were the dense and lumpy forests of Western PA, that was no small feat. 

After that, I remember him telling a tale of having a huge buck walk right up to where he was "hiding."  He said he didn't have the heart to shoot it because it was just too easy.  I don't think my dad was the "kill for the thrill" sorta guy.

So yeah, he took me hunting a few times.  It went one of two ways. We sat in a crater-like hole up on a ridge, freezing our balls off.  I remember seeing some deer down below once, but he wouldn't fire his rifle at them.   He said it wasn't a "clean" shot.  I didn't get it.

Another time, we "pushed" the deer towards our relatives who were armed with muzzle loaders.  My dad assured me that we wouldn't get shot, as we were pushing them around a knob on the ridge.

Mmmmmm, okay.  I trust you.

This is a swaged conical bullet made of lead.

Sometimes, they wouldn't exit the barrel as they were designed to, and they would start tumbling in the air.

It makes a distinctive sound when fired at you.

I still remember that sound rather "distinctly."

I'm pretty sure my dad only went to hunting camp to hang out with my relatives, drink beer, play poker and make fart jokes.  My dad did a pretty good job of steering clear of all the racist banter that inevitably happened. 

"The niggers always win on Price is Right."

I'm not sure they even collected any data to support that theory.  They were still very confident that it was correct though.

I'm glad my dad didn't carry on that part of our heritage.  It would suck to be a racist.  It takes a lot of energy to hate that large of a percentage of the population based on something so stupid.  I mean, I tried to hate on fat-bikes for two years, and it was exhausting.  I just gave up...  even took down the fat-bike hate flag I had over my house.  I was already up there cleaning out the gutters, so don't give me too much credit.

Odd that I hit on the topic of racism, as I recently started commuting through Grier Heights on my way to work.  I've had rocks thrown at me twice in the distant past while riding through there.  Maybe I'm the racist because I assume they threw rocks at me because I'm white.  Not all black people hate white people, but all non-cyclists hate cyclists.  Cyclists never win on Price is Right either.

My dad also passed down his lack of desire to harm animals for sport.  Sure, I killed some frogs with a BB gun, and I remember shooting that one squirrel with a .22 for shits and giggles.  I wasn't giggling anymore when I saw the sad expression on his still intact squirrel face.  What a shitty human thing to do.

I know I'm a bit of a hypocrite because I do eat meat.  I would really like to continue to be part of the Circle of Life and be freeze-dry cremated, but I don't think it's an option in this country (yet).

I'm not even terribly sure why all these topics went through my head on this morning's ride.  Perhaps it's because of the recent death of one of my son's high school friends.  Car accident.  Death always brings up the funny feels.

My dad never thought of The Boy in any manner other than his "Grandson Andrew."

I pretty much moved into The Pie's mobile home and into an instant family with her then six month old son.  Never thought anything else other than "this is now my son" from that moment on.  Some parents might have been horrified by the whole concept, their son, fresh outta college, shacking up with a single mom... in a trailer park.   Great sitcom idea.

But not my parents.  They were cool like that.  And not racists.  Pretty much parent of the year material where I'm from.

My dad had a lot of guns when he died.  All kinds of cool guns.  When he passed, I told my uncles they could have them all.  I kinda regret that now.  I shoulda kept the sawed-off double barrel 12 gauge, just in case we end up in some kinda Cormac McCarthy post-apocalyptic world.  I might need to protect my family from cannibals at some point or at least have three shells in reserve so we'd have an option when we ran out of canned goods. 

I have to admit though, if all that stood between me living and dying was a can of lima beans, I would probably opt out early.

Well, that's enough of this.  Just like Watts, I will end up leaving a sad ramble of a post up for a lengthy, unwelcomed duration, except when I get back from Breckenridge, I'll start blogging about something relevant to bikes again within a day or two.  



fatlip11 said...

"ramble"? maybe... "sad"... no, I might have chosen "honest" and "fresh", great read. I had one of those Dads. Respect.
Enjoy your "little" race!

Anonymous said...

Good read, have been reading for a few years but don't comment. Thanks and keep on keeping on!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this, thanks for sharing!

Brian said...


Watts said...

You need to get back to the feels, man. You're good at it.
And as for leaving sad, discomfiting posts up for unwelcome durations... What can I say? It's a metaphor for... me.

Anonymous said...

The similarities are there. You might even say we went to different schools together. I would say more but if I did, who knows I may say too much. Have fun out in the hills of youtall, it will be good! Thanks abunch.

Anonymous said...

Refreshing and cleansing - like the soap from those fancy mall stores. The sentiments make us all think and remember, and refresh and cleanse. Thanks!

Dan said...

I am at a total loss. WTF Dicky???? Are you now trolling for feel good comments? I don't occasionally come here for feel good. Do I have to start occasionally reading Peter's drivel or has he gone soft as well? Ack!!!

Anonymous said...

Best post here that I have read.

Anonymous said...

It's the Truth...nice Richard.

Anonymous said...

Racism in America has a long and complicated history. I myself do not "hate" anyone based on their race, religion or what have you. Having said that, one of my main motivations for moving to the area that I now live actually was to get away from the largely black communities that exist where I've lived most of my life. It is really nice to be able to walk into a convenience store and not have my family have to listen to "Lil Wayne wannabes" exchange pleasantries with "motherfuck this and motherfuck that". Back home a black kid could ride his bike through a white neighborhood with zero complications. Let a white kid try riding through a black neighborhood! He'll get his ass beat and his bike taken! Is that not racism? White people nearly always get painted as the most racist demographic in America. My life experiences say otherwise. My issues with black America have ZERO to do with skin color. If you wanna be respected then behave respectably.

Anonymous said...

I see deer all the time during my ride... come up north. Its cold, muddy etc... but we have deer.
I don't hunt, but I know hunters. Some like the kill. They get that chill when they kill.

I heard one can buy a gun at walmart in the USA?

Anonymous said...

"Some parents might have been horrified by the whole concept, their son, fresh outta college, shacking up with a single mom... in a trailer park."

that's cool that you did that...

sawed off shot gun will get you 5 years in the slammer in canada... we have a harsh system in canada for that sht.

kris said...

Damn. Circle of life shit -sons, fathers, grandsons, moms, guns & bikes. Good stuff man. I process the "rest" of my life on a bike sometimes, too. I never know where I'm going on those rides but somehow I always find my way back home.

Anonymous said...

good story...

LMaddy said...

Loved the post. Thanks for sharing a bit about your family and their integrity.

Patrick Harrington said...

When does Dicky come to Boise. You are pretty famous here. I would consider letting you sleep in my garage.

Will Repsher said...

Yeah dude, feely posts are cool now and then. Even the "Ballad of Hollis Brown" ending.