HAPPY WEDNESDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS 4th OF JULY.
No better way to celebrate Independence Day than by seeking independence out on the road or trail. I recommend a nice, long, evening ride with a big climb. High enough where you can take in the local fireworks shows for free. Cheap? No, just innovative.
Our founding fathers would’ve wanted it that way.
HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.
Like Clark Gable and Joan Crawford here. Actually Joan’s the only one pedaling, Clark’s just getting his pistol diddled.
While not bicycle-related, I feel I must include this Crawford vehicle. Although it’s the worst movie ever made, it’s got the best phrase in the trailer (“…with the strength of twenty demons…”) that I plan on using to describe my cycling exploits from now on.
And last but certainly not least…Tara.
(photo courtesy of Rides A Bike)
FOOD CHAIN REALITY CHECK FROM THE TRAIL, COURTESY OF NICK.
Friend of 18milesperhour, Nick Capuano, sent us this photo and some Santa Monica Mountains trailside wisdom that we thought we’d share.
“I thought I would share a pretty extraordinary sight from our trails that I encountered this morning. I was out on a solo ride at about 8am - a roundtrip up Sullivan Canyon to the Nike Missile Tower and back. On the descent I was enjoying some of the side singletracks when, to my surprise, after exiting a wooded area, I came upon the scene in the above picture. Right in the middle of the trail was the carcass of a deer - it was big young buck probably about two years old and about 200 pounds. Needless to say, it was a fairly shocking sight. I stopped for a closer look - there was hardly anything left of it, and it looked like a fresh kill that was the work of a sizable mountain lion … the flies had not even found it. When I got over the initial shock and started taking a few pictures, it occurred to me that I may have interrupted the feeding as I’m sure the cat would have heard my less than delicate approach through the trees, and the cat could well have been observing me. It was an eerie reminder that we are guests in the canyon, especially when juxtaposed with the news of a mountain lion that was killed when it wandered into Santa Monica last week. I just wanted to share. Take care, Nick.”
Thanks Nick. And be careful.
THE BIRTHDAY RIDE
You ask a couple friends to pony up and go out on a sunset ride on Sunday evening and you’re gonna get groans or excuses.
When it’s a Birthday ride (or Birthday eve, in my case), they’re on it.
I’ve got good friends.
And I made sure they knew that when we got to the ride’s turnaround, rest stop at “the fire lookout.” Out came the trusty Surly flask full of Bushmills and we all got really present and I thanked them for being there for me. In a fairly un-grounded, unpredictable year, they were always dependable. That matters.
Whether it’s spoken or not, whether it’s toasted with whisky or not, that’s what the birthday ride means.
The Birthday ride always ends up being more than just a ride, because my riding buddies are more than just buddies.
MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN & ME.
This is one of the reasons I prefer not to ride in the midday sun.
The two miles of fire road that leads to all the closest trails gets so washed out that you don’t see the ruts and bumps and hidden rocks until you run into them.
And friends, they are plentiful.
Sure there’s the heat and overwhelming brightness and increased risk of overexposure but the inconvenience of being vaulted over the bars is the more immediate issue.
Maybe I should take a different route?
Perhaps I should put on suspension and decrease my risk?
Nope. I’ll just stick to chilly, early morning rides, thank you.
Then after I’m done, mad dogs, Englishmen, the trail is all yours.