Monday, July 09, 2007

the short way home...

Saturday was a productive day. Rolled through White Clay and Middle Run with Chunky Monkey, Fatmarc, Buddy the Keg Breaker, and JF. Washed the car. Waxed the car. Got some coffee, made some phone calls.

JF and friends that shall remain anonymous.

Drank some beer at JF's house. Drank some more beer at JF's house. Tried to drink some water because I feared dehydration. Ended up drinking more beer when I realized how bad I am at beer pong.

The L-crew prepares to shut me down.

This was John's self-thrown going away party. A little shindig to say thanks for being my friends in Delaware. A little celebration of good stuff to come for him in Denver. I'm stoked for the kid, and thrilled to visit. Plus every party is good when I see a pair of boobies, but then it's canceled out when I see more than one pair of testicles. Yeah, that's not bubblegum, ladies.

Stage right: gigantic fireball.

Sunday found me out of bed nice and early to meet Buddy the Keg Breaker and Surly Bob for a group ride up in Jim Thorpe, PA. I've never ridden up that-a-ways, and I have returned a humble man.

New meaning to "group" ride.

When I say group ride, I am being understated. Something like 37 people showed up for what I thought would be, at most, a 10-person ride. Everything else aside, it sucked having to stop and wait for more than a half an hour on 4 or 5 occasions for the clusterfuck to sort itself out.

Bob enjoys the view and gives JT a golden shower.

The ride opened up with a nice 5 mile climb on dirt and paved roads to the top of one of the mountains. Another 250 meter kick up a rocky steep ascent brought us to the start of a ridge. Nothing but rocks the size of small children. This is somewhat foreign to me, the last time I rode rock gardens had to be 3 years ago at Grafton State Park in NY. I found my rhythm and was really enjoying barreling over the stones, especially with the loving touch of my Spot brand 29er.

I am never riding carbon bars again.

A super sketchy, loamy, rocky descent tested my fortitude and shattered the group for the first time in the ride. The rest of the day is kind of a blur. Another long rail grade climb was in there. Some super tight loamy singletrack fresh cut of which I walked at least 50 percent. Some sketchy descents I made, some sketchy descents I didn't make.

During the beer break, Buddy once again kindly gave me a beer.

About 30 miles into the ride, another clusterfuck chronicle, some flat change that was taking over a half an hour. Werner, a local, offers to take a short group of us on the shorter, but more technical way home. I'm feeling pretty whooped, so I tell Buddy I'm going to cruise on the short ride. He gives me the car keys, expecting to be back an hour past me.

Jamie led a fine ride, and his bike had titty-tassles.

5 miles into the 10 mile finish, I start cramping really bad. I'm out of water, and my focus is shattered. JT is not a place you want to ride without focus. I think I crashed more times in that last 5 miles than in my entire mountain biking existence - two of which twisted my now-swollen ankle the wrong way.

Bob tried to make me feel better about myself by showing that even riders with talent sometimes like to taste the dirt.

I got back to the car to find a fresh Buddy and semi-fresh Bob halfway through their beers. Goddamn, so much for the short way home. After talking to ride-maestro Jamie, it turned out that our little group of 7 did the rest of the planned ride, and the other group cut out short. Close to 40 miles total, countless bruises, and a trashed pair of carbon handlebars later, I'm home. Happy to have survived and looking forward to faring a little better next time. Much thanks to Jamie and the Easy Riders for a great ride.

A quick dip in the river and a beer later; I was fresh as a daisy.


huber said...

If Metallica would have rolled into the parking lot for the ride it wouldn't of surprised me! That was the most people I have ridden with at one time, let alone try to lead.

Suki said...

daisies are...mmmm. ok.

now tulips...a man who can rock being fresh as a tulip?


JenBob said...

if you're not crashn', you're not tryn'

airing out said...

I love Jim Thorpe!

huber said...

Next time, Rotten, the group will be way smaller!