Monday, September 23, 2013
I've acquired some pretty nice bikes over the years. Nice shiny, colorful, titaniumey things. Saddles that smell of a rich leathery Shepler's store. But sometimes it's the runt of the litter that steals our hearts. It's in our human nature to feel sorry for things, and we tend to go out of our way to provide more attention and adoration to those that persevere despite drawing life's short straw. Of all my rides in some pretty amazing places, I'd have to say my fondest moments have been on this old Schwinn. I bought it off Craigslist for $40, not 2 weeks before some friends from around the country (& Venezuela!) were to join me on a few days of self-contained bike-camping across Missouri on the Katy Trail. I received the bike in "working" order, but it was spray-painted in General Lee orange, had a crunchy front hub & bottom bracket, and an electric blue metallic vinyl bar wrap. I found first-time uses for several tools from my Nashbar kit I'd bought ten years earlier, disassembled her completely and repacked grease in most every crevice possible. Replaced cracked tires with some $15/ea Schwalbes, spray-canned it a nice metallic sage, molded and mounted a Sacagawea dollar coin to her head tube and set forth on adventure. She's taken me (part way) across Missouri a couple times now, and never let me down. Sacagawea sits lonely in the garage all but a few rides/year, and I've considered selling a couple times to free up space, but too many good times are still to be had. Sit. Stay. Good Girl.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Gonna lose 10lbs this month, I can feel it. Or at least shift 10 from the wrong place to the right place. On this morning's ride I was pleased to see another turtle. She's a fairly old Red-eared Slider, and has lost a bit of her color/markings. I know I've mentioned before that I don't like to intervene when I see a turtle on the road. I always thought I could be placing the turtle on the WRONG side of wherever she was heading. However in this morning's case, it was 5:50am, I roll out of my neighborhood to meet my ridding buddy, turn down a main road and see his bluish LED coming 1/4mi away. Then I see a line of school buses crest the hill behind him, breaking from dispatch on their routes to pick up the high-schoolers... Then I spot something dark from the glare off the road ahead and it's moving. I thought it was an opossum at first, because that's pretty common, but as I passed it I noticed it was a freakin turtle - about football size and movin' like she had somewhere to be. Well, her "there" to be was directly in the path of these 3 oncoming buses, so since God made us ruler of all the other beasts of the earth, I made an executive decision to circle back real quick in the dark (cars coming up behind me, too) and swoop her up. Anyways, a 6" vertical curb was greeting her should she have made it through the gauntlet. There's a small pond a block up the road (in the direction she was scuttling) so I pedaled her over and placed her in the grass near the bank. You owe me one, Nature. I'll take a 20+mph tailwind on my next ride, I'm not picky. Ride yer bike! (and be nice to Mother Nature)