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View Full Version : Ride Report: 55*, Sunny, Old friends and airplanes in the sky


Viper
10-08-2008, 11:28 PM
I needed a ride. I received an email today, one of those emails which makes you want turn off the computer and go for a ride. Folks are stressed these days and the strain is displayed in the workday through their posture and pace of communication. Blackberry off, pump the tires to 110psi, bundle up in knee warmers, arm warmers and a few layers of high tech, upper body wear combined with a twenty dollar bill and I was ready.

Heading out to the strip, a six mile road, surrounded by water on both sides, I enjoyed a few short sprints, passing cars as the speed limit is 30mph. I can reach 39mph, at which point the fork of the bike sends a vibrating message to stop. Holding 25mph on a 24lb, 1984 Serotta Club Special for most of it, is fun and I race cars like a dog chases the mailman. I noticed a 1960's Volvo on blocks, the owner is rebuilding it, Volvo drivers used to be cool. My race to the beach was a reminder that summer has ended, the gates were locked.

My best friend was killed in a car accident in December, 2002. His backyard was a place we'd chip golf balls, discuss the world, women, beers in hand and eat rare steaks on the fifteen foot redwood table he crafted for his family. I was lost that winter and by the spring of 2003, I rode around on my bike trying to make sense of it all; how and why? Two questions that rarely have an answer.

Summer of 2003, I was no closer to an answer and I would visit his home, walk around his yard, talking silently to him and myself. The heat of summer is my favorite time for exercise and one day I decided to build a garden in an area of his backyard, where a dying maple tree sat. The maple's roots had crept under the brick patio, ruining the surface as it became dangerous. My friend always meant to tend to the area, so that summer I decided to take on what I felt was a weekend project. A week later, working in 95* temperatures, I pulled up every red brick, cut down the maple, excavated it's roots with a pick-axe, set the bricks back into fresh sand, resurfaced the handmade, redwood table, planted a twenty foot garden and built a handrail along the back steps (which I fell off once when I was drunk).

The area didn't look great today, the landscapers chopped everything down last week, but I sometimes stop there, grab some water from his outdoor spicket, sit at the table and think of a million things, or sometimes just one thing.

Dinner was mango chicken at my favorite LCS (local coffe shop). I sat in the rear of the cafe, the music from the piano pulled me back and the older fellow said, "You must be a rider. Man, those helmets are so lightweight nowadays, incredible." I handed him my Giro while I thumbed through the New York Times. "You read the paper, that's great to see. Nothing like reading a paper, holding it, too many people just watch the news" he offered over the background music, tunes from the old days I thought.

He and his friend played tunes I've never heard, they were love songs as the two men would sing the lyrics they knew, "And I still miss you..." The man wears Converse, he's cool.

Still not accustomed to the early sunset, I left the LCS at twilight and on the way home, something in the navy blue sky caught my interest, the contrails of two planes had intersected, creating a cross. I smiled, no, that's not something you see every day, or night.

Viper
10-08-2008, 11:30 PM
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Viper
10-08-2008, 11:30 PM
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Viper
10-08-2008, 11:32 PM
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Viper
10-08-2008, 11:36 PM
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73Camaro_Dude
10-09-2008, 11:19 AM
Sometimes you say things in your posts that startle me like the staccato shots at a military funeral. You see them lining up, you know they are going to fire, then when they do... you still jump... and its still touching.

Your peculiar termination of the post regarding the cross is symbolic? You don't strike me as the most religious of fellows, and with some of your history here poking the Hebrews I find this a bit fascinating... in fact I feel like you are trying to lead this somewhere else. A bucket of chum perhaps? Anyway...

Let me tell you what I appreciate about your threads. You combine passion for the bike with life. I mean, sometimes SOME people... myself included... focus too much on the numbers. Getting from point a to point b and gain the most fitness from it, and study the data... the watts, the hr, the cadence, the elevation, the mileage, the calories the gradients and time in zone. As a racer, I must honestly tell you that sometimes your threads make me a bit sad that I rarely if ever ... stop to smell the proverbial roses.

Your rides are your escape, they provide time to reflect, they provide memories, and new experiences.... this would be a post in and of itself, however you seem to be able to combine that with a fantastic passion of cycling. That is cool. The fact that you do this all with a sprint smartphone speaks volumes for you and your impeccable choice in a wireless vendor.

I love old people. I just went to a visitation for my old neighbor. I lived across the street from him for years and he would have only one or two people would ever visit him. However, the dude was freaking loaded and oddly there were HUNDREDS of people at his visitation and funeral. Its so freaking sad that I wanted to spit at the vultures that hovered around. Im glad you enjoyed the old fellas, them old folks have a lot to offer if we would slow down and listen.

Thank you for your time.

fierte58
10-09-2008, 10:51 PM
Viper,

Humble thanks from "down under". I really enjoy your photo essays. They are a window into a different world.

Keep them coming.

p.s in case you did'nt know- I am in Adelaide South Australia- we have great riding here- but it is very different from your scenery!

bumperjohn
10-10-2008, 09:01 AM
I always enjoy your ride reports. This one was very poetic.

John

soulspinner
10-10-2008, 09:25 AM
Sometimes you say things in your posts that startle me like the staccato shots at a military funeral. You see them lining up, you know they are going to fire, then when they do... you still jump... and its still touching.

Your peculiar termination of the post regarding the cross is symbolic? You don't strike me as the most religious of fellows, and with some of your history here poking the Hebrews I find this a bit fascinating... in fact I feel like you are trying to lead this somewhere else. A bucket of chum perhaps? Anyway...

Let me tell you what I appreciate about your threads. You combine passion for the bike with life. I mean, sometimes SOME people... myself included... focus too much on the numbers. Getting from point a to point b and gain the most fitness from it, and study the data... the watts, the hr, the cadence, the elevation, the mileage, the calories the gradients and time in zone. As a racer, I must honestly tell you that sometimes your threads make me a bit sad that I rarely if ever ... stop to smell the proverbial roses.

Your rides are your escape, they provide time to reflect, they provide memories, and new experiences.... this would be a post in and of itself, however you seem to be able to combine that with a fantastic passion of cycling. That is cool. The fact that you do this all with a sprint smartphone speaks volumes for you and your impeccable choice in a wireless vendor.

I love old people. I just went to a visitation for my old neighbor. I lived across the street from him for years and he would have only one or two people would ever visit him. However, the dude was freaking loaded and oddly there were HUNDREDS of people at his visitation and funeral. Its so freaking sad that I wanted to spit at the vultures that hovered around. Im glad you enjoyed the old fellas, them old folks have a lot to offer if we would slow down and listen.

Thank you for your time.


Wise words. :beer:

sloji
10-10-2008, 01:13 PM
Thoreau couldn't do any better. To make pictures of your emotional world and top it off with wonder and appreciation is sacred and to read them begs for the printed page. The only newspaper I buy each week is the NY Times, and it's free with the same content on my phone, but something is lost when you can't touch or feel or experience reading with more than one sense. It's the difference to me between driving a car and riding a bike.