Thursday, December 24

Seasons don't fear the reaper

I have friends that sneak attack me into rides.  Jerry knows when it's my every other week off, and he'll shoot me a text before I've had a chance to lackadaisically roll out of bed.  Todd will send me a text on a Friday night after I've had the chance to down my third (or so) beer and am apt to make bad decisions.  Big 'n Buttery goes a different route.  He texts me days before the ride (and long before I've really even had a chance to think about what I'm doing that far out) and tosses out an idea... and then continues the conversation in a different direction to make me forget what it was we were talking about.

The night before the ride I committed to:

I'd already agreed to go, and it was already late on the evening before the ride, but like I said, I'd agreed to go...

Which is only ironic in that I almost went to an organized gravel ride this past Sunday, but I'd made enough excuses to not go.  Didn't know if I had a 21 tooth cog, didn't wanna get up at 5:30AM to ride gravel, didn't wanna ride in the cold, didn't wanna go to bed early...

But I do what I say I'm gonna do, even if I don't know what it was I agreed to in the first place.  I look at my two bike options; one that's over-geared at 42X19 but gravel-friendly, and one that's 32X18 but a 3.0 front tire?  I'm aware of the blurred lines between these two bikes.  Yes, I'm anxious to take my "garvel bike" on a "garvel ride," I'm just under prepared and also dumb.

Wake up at 6:00AM (at least it's not 5:30AM), uncover the Fit of Rage, hop in... gas is low... tire pressure as well.  Awesome.  Feel a rumble in my tummy, check the glove compartment for mountain money just in case... find that mice have been using my spare napkins to keep warm... somewhere in my car?


Pull up to the meet spot, deal with my mouse issues, and head out with Big 'n Buttery to join up with Joe.

Never met Joe before.  He's in his 60s, and he's big... like played in the NFL (for real) big.  He's also associated with Steve Jobs.  These are the few bits of information that I gleaned, other than that he rides a big fancy (real) gravel bike.

Big 'n Buttery was on this machine...

Which is like a "mountain bike," right?  Or how garvel bikes will look in about five to ten years... If I have anything to do with it.  Which I don't.

And of course I'm on this...

because I'm afraid that even if I find a 21 tooth cog for my garvel bike in my box of odd bike parts out in the washer/dryer closet, I'll be pissed off when I adjust the chain line for what I'm pretty sure will be a wider based cog and then find out the chain is a skosh too long (or short?) to jump two whole teeth... and other frustrations.

Not the bike I wanna ride 50 miles of gravel on, but also not the ride I thought I was going on, but also also the bike I didn't race to a non-podium at the Pisgah Monster Cross, so there's that.

I use this top cap mostly because I like the font, but also because it's like my bike's very own ironic mustache.

Out Maple Sally for a bunch of "rolling" climbing, over to Schoolhouse Ridge Road... our (really Big 'n Buttery's) plan falling apart... for no real reason. 

Road is out... apparently. 

Found on my phone later , and I don't know why.  Old people and technology.

Going up Schoolhouse Ridge Road and I notice we're passing the bottom of the 21 Jumps Trail.  Big 'n Buttery sees my despair.  Never thought I'd be in the mountains on a bluebird day riding gravel roads past such good trails on purpose.  Joe's thinking about bailing towards the cars...

I tell Big 'n Buttery that his bike is better than anything we rode on trails in the '90s... so mebbe we should/could ride some trails?


He so badly wanted to get up to the Parkway on this ride, but 50 miles with no trails isn't as good as 40 something miles with some trails.

Hooray.  I'm glad we brought mountain "capable" bikes.  Upper Wilson Ridge was super buenos... except where 32X18 was less than buenos.  When Big 'n Buttery and I were discussing our Plan B, neither one of us could exactly remember if Schoolhouse Ridge Trail was the one with the big ditch sections.

Ummmm, yeth.  It is.

Regardless, it was a good day outside in the woods with little friends.

Merry (insert holiday of your choice)!  I had such a great day not dealing with leaves or roofs or paint or... whatever else has been keeping me from blindly going on adventures.  That was the best present ever.


Anonymous said...

Did Joe go on the trails with you?

dicky said...

Nah, he took a left when we went right.

Anonymous said...

Mice may have got in through the cabin fresh air intake. Probably nesting in the cabin air filter. Hope it’s easy to access. Switch to recirculate every time you park. Been there!

dicky said...

The filter is right above the glove compartment, and I checked for them there. Vacant. Good info as far as the fresh air/recirculate thing tho.