Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Call of the Wild Road Bike
Threw the stack of rolled up carpets off the rusty, red, thirty-something year old, thirty-something pound Nishiki Sport last Saturday. A few pumps of atmosphere in her tires, a minor adjustment to the front brake, and we were one, ready for the paved world. Quintan drove over from the city and we made our way to debating routes on a sunny but blustery unseasonably cool June day. A couple months or so had passed since my last ride, and longer than that since my last road ride, so the relief of snapping that pedaling lull added to the high. The overhanging trees, the nervous cars, the almost silent zim of my tires on the road, the three whomper acceleration cranks followed by the steady cruising metronome pushes and pulls on the drivetrain, the creeks that flowed under the highway and through my veins conspired to rev me up and force a fire in my eyes. Not a very long loop, just through Orinda to Lafayette, back across the 24, and over the hill some pomposity name the Orinda Downs. The Downs sported many a mansion and some nice country views but had a distinct and distasteful planned community Ritchie Rich and his dog Dollar vibe. We succeeded in keeping the rubber side down and not letting anyone pass us, the usual basic goals. A group of three pigeons played the game of flying ahead 100 yards, standing there until we road up and then doing it again, and again. What goes through those bird's brains? Some kids had TPd the hell out of some nice old trees at the park; rich kids tend to crime strong in my experience. I would never think of wasting valuable toilet paper, especially on majestic matriarch trees, and I'm verifiably criminal minded. Ok, ok, I threw a few once upon a time, but not my own toilet paper, and it was over a crappy cookie cutter house wherein dwelt one 12-year old Ricky Layton, one of the many Santa Rosa kids I never did like. The ride ended in no time so it seemed. The bike rolled off to relax in the garage and my name became Papi again. Thought about how much I am looking forward to helping my kids experience the engrossing thrill of estimating speed in relation to the tightness, smoothness, and width of a curve, releasing the brakes and leaning in, pumping out while estimating the next, crouching for it, factoring in the shadows of the late day and roadkill mines. Steel's real. Rise up & ride the revolutions.