Thursday, February 25

Little Black Spot on the Sun(to)day

I woke up Sunday morning with the blues.  Not so much a hangover, just... meh.

Watts had some coffee and then set out for Ikea and towards home.  Shortly thereafter, the family headed out the door bound for a day trip to the zoo.  With a beautiful day ahead of me, I had planned on making the most of it, fitness-wise.  Hours in the saddle... so I told myself.

But I didn't feel like driving very far.  I also didn't feel like "sharing the road" to get where I needed to go to bank more chamois time.  I considered for a short moment an 11 mile bike ride over to Colonel Francis Beatty Park to ride some trails I haven't been on in.. more than five years?  Dunno.  A couple street views on Google Maps told me that the ride over hadn't gotten much better.

So I drove there instead.

Most likely trail in Charlotte to find an abandoned gel seat cover.

It was everything I sorta remembered and then some.  More "features," just as many families, and dogs, and joggers, and Freds, and strollers, and people walking the wrong way, and roots.  The roots.

I'd gotten myself in some hot water many years ago when I suggested on a local forum that the trails had perhaps gotten "too rooty."  I'd done a fair amount of trail work there in the past (including the original build), and it used to be one of my go-to places to ride when I lived on that side of town (and when there were fewer options).  Most of the push back had a lot to do with the fact that I was riding a rigid bike out there.  Whatever.

I still stand by what I said... sorta.  A wiser man than me once said that if a root is doing nothing to enhance the ride in a challenging way or stave off unwanted erosion, get rid of it (speaking of local trails here).  I'm all for a technical challenge, and there's some neat maneuvers that are required to navigate a few of the roots at Beatty.   Others?  Just an annoyance.

This is where I start to sound like a piece of shit... or maybe not.  Everybody is someone's son or daughter.  I'm sure this trail is something someone is proud of, and there are plenty of riders who enjoy the experience.  That and the fact that this is probably a great place for beginner riders to get used to riding over obstacles small and medium (and a few biggisher).

It was a nice stroll down memory lane being out there, but all it took was two 6+ miles laps, and I was pretty beat up.   It seemed like 10% bike ride and 80% MMA match.. the other 10% was a crowded mall.  Yeth, I was on a rigid bike.  Whatever.

Maybe it was the fact that I left my iPod at home because I knew I was going to be riding on a crowded, multi-use trail (something many others seemed to not give two shits about).  Without the music in my ear, I could hear the continuous, undiagnosed clunk that I ignored the day before.  Knowing that I was going to spend part of my afternoon chasing it down... and doing my taxes in front of the TV with nothing but beer to make it all better?

Maybe that's what put me in a sourpuss mood all day.  Or the fact that I went from being surrounded by friends and beer and good times to being alone and not very smart when it comes to finding a good activity.

Or it was all the roots.

Probably the roots.


Steven said...

Those roots are horrible. And my bike is half squishy.

That said I still ride there a lot, you just need to ride early in the morning before the trails get busy. Great alternative to summer morning BYT (spider heaven).

Steven J said...

So, again, you spent the entire weekend not being a part of your family? I dig reading about your adventures, but I cannot think of a more self centered person on earth. I think you live in a hilarious bubble world of Rich. There has got to be a part of you that actually wants to spend time with the people who care about you. I presume the Pie probably wouldn't mind hanging out with you sometime. Maybe show that little girl you are "helping" raise that you are a good dude too? There has to be some sort of Rich that wants to maybe go do something with his family once and a while, rather than the Rich that we all see, that spends all his time plotting his next beer, his bed bike ride, his next race, more bike parts, etc. Why didn't you go to the zoo? Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday, especially after spending all day getting drunk with your bike friends.

Anonymous said...

From someone that knows him. Rich is a pretty serious and devoted family guy.....he shares with us what he wants us to hear. Don't judge just read and take it for what it is, a blog.

dicky said...

Wow! A Fan!

Thanks for the kind words Steven J.

Anonymous is correct. I spend plenty of time with my family, being all husbandy and parenty.

This is a bike blog. I write about bikes. Why didn't I go to the zoo on Sunday? Sometimes our family does things together. Sometimes apart. Two full time working parents with some separate interests and occasionally competing schedules (they were supposed to go to the zoo on Friday but rescheduled because of weather). You won't see The Pie going to a bike race (or going out for a bike ride), and you won't see me running a marathon any time soon. I certainly don't bemoan her when she needs to do a four hour training run. If anything, now that she's running, she has a better understanding of what my "training" has been all about these past... I dunno how many years.

So yeah, they're at the zoo... I squeeze in a one hour bike ride, work on my bike and straighten up some things around the house on a beautiful day so I don't have to waste an after-work evening that I'd rather spend with them, and I do our taxes... something The Pie and I had agreed to do together but I decided I didn't want to waste our time together crunching digits.

The Pie and I are a team. Sometimes, I get home and there's a hot dinner waiting for me. Other days, The Pie has to work over, and I go straight to the kitchen and get on with it. And every once in awhile, we get to work together in the on dinner... something we both enjoy, but don't always get to do.

I'm responding to you, Steve J, because just deleting your comment would be wrong. I don't feel like I have to defend this bike blog, but I'm also not going to dismiss someone so easily.

Thanks for your concern.


And fair warning: The family will be headed out of town this spring on a family vacation. I will be riding my bike while I'm there. When I come back, I'll probably blog about riding my bike and not the family stuff... because that's family stuff. And this is a bike blog.

Rockridr said...

Wadadick, rock on Dicky!

BanjoGnar said...

Rode Beatty for years on a rigid 26" SS. Beat the hell out of me to the point my shoulders rebelled and required phys. therapy. Joined the trail crew and culled a TON of roots out there over a few years. Moved away and no longer ride there. Glad to here its just as rooty as when I left... I agree that they add nothing to the ride but its Beatty... Where your just as likely to encounter a bi-polar dog walker trying to punch you, a drunk grandma passed out in the trail, or a 13yrd old smoking a J ripping up the black diamond loop on his 4-wheeler. But yeah those roots suck.

*side note: I read your blog for bike stuff. Im sure your holding it down just fine in the family area. I dont blame ya for keeping that part out of the interweb world. Keep the mediocre bike blogging coming...

Steve @ Gears 4 Good said...

My name is Steve and I'm not a judgmental dick. Maybe it's the Stevens that are. Dunno. I like bikes and reading about bikes and working on bikes and donating bikes to people who need them. I don't give a shit what you and The Pie spend your time doing together, which is why I like reading your bike blog. Hell, I'm in California and will probably never ride the trails you frequent, but still like reading about them and your shenanigans. Shenaniganigan on.

Anonymous said...

You should get rid of the family and live in a van