Sunday morning Dirt Church solo ride. Early morning a small black bear jumped out and ran in front of me on the trail for about 100 metres before jumping in the bushes. I thought it was a cub, and waited for others or Mama to pass, but after I stopped, made a ridiculous amount of noise talking to them, no one else materialized, so maybe he was actually a young bachelor bear returning from a rough night and wasn’t sure which way home was. Well, we’ve all been there. It was a tough day for handlebar accessories. First my @quadlockcycle mount stripped (probably due to my OCD over tightening) then, on a particularly bumpy and rocky downhill section, the silencing arm of my Incredibell Trail Bell that was Death Star customized, seems to have flown off. I didn’t notice at first as I had the Beastie Boys’ ‘Check Your Head’ bumping in the Air Pods. After going back and searching for like 15 minutes, I couldn’t find it and gave up. It was a long downhill. So much carnage in one ride.
Got out with Titus for a long gravel stint. I think too much sitting and mashing on the Karate Monkey – my knees didn’t much like it. Was nice to go straight into the pool post-ride.
Last day of vacation ride. Been a good stint. Got out early and caught a family of deer having a splash. I see deer quite often on rides, but this was the first time I’d ever seen them in the water.
Went out for an MTB ride in Penniac at the Hadley trail system. We were on the clock and Andrew flatted so was a short ride, but good to get out none-the-less. Nice light in the Corrective Action Bicycle Club clubhouse for pre-ride coffee.
Got up to go ride with Titus, had planned on riding the Cross Check, but during pre-ride check I noticed a broken chain-link. I couldn’t get it fixed and was running out of time to meet up, so rode the Karate Monkey instead. Once I met up with Titus, he flatted twice in a 1/2 hour and used all his spare tubes, so we sat at a cafe and drank coffee till his Team Car picked him up. Then I took the long way home. Changes in plans are just that, changes in plans.
On the way home stopped by the LBS to get a new chain, also picked up a fancy bear bell with an ‘on/off’ switch. What a time to be alive.
Rode this bike on a bridge today. Prolly should have ridden a different one. Brought a bazooka to a knife fight and managed to leave all cut up. Rode bikes though. Grabbed all the awesome I could carry, which was a considerable amount. Get out there folks, I left some for you.
The Missus mentioned last night that we needed english muffins for eggs benedict today so I offered to get some on my ride this morning. As such, when I left this AM, I  headed in the exact opposite direction of the store. My rough plan was to ‘find a loop’ or worst case scenario bail to an out-and-back.  Found some nice sights I hadn’t been seen in awhile.  Took a road that I’d never been on, had no idea how far it went, and only a vague idea of the direction it headed.  As is often the case, when I headed off in an unknown direction, I found myself. And a highway. Someone once said ‘Life is a highway.’ As long as the corner store is on this highway, I’m good.  Highway views are so much nicer at bike-speed.  Procured english muffins, accomplishing one of many missions for the day.
Just a total stress-relief ride that I had to get out on, even though I should have been doing something else.
In 1998 I was living at the Lapensee Youth Hostel (those who know, know) and my buddy @uhlsbrewingco had landed me a gig as a wrench at Belleview Bikes in Alexandria, VA. It is while working there that – save for possibly my 1985 neon green Haro Master – I bought ‘the bike that started it all’. The 1998 Gary Fisher Ziggurat. I was actually gunning for the full suspension Joshua-1, but got impatient about saving money and wanting a new bike and at the time this was a really nicely appointed hardtail. OH MY DOG EM I EVER GLAD I DIDN’T GET THAT JOSHUA. Totally lucked out there. I got so much more ride out of this one.
I’ve still got the receipt. Original Price $1349 retail – the boss (our friend, Steve? Dave? I forget) actually wrangled it so I got both $100 off AND my $343 pro-deal. Then the first thing I did was swap the flat bar for an Azonic Riser bar that was the butter – what a great bar…. This bike was the link that tied everything back to the bmx days and building bikes in the garage. When I moved to Canada to live with my future wife, I brought everything I owned with me – literally. You could do that back then. I took a flight to Montreal and then caught a train to Bathurst with 2 bike boxes, 2 giant hockey bags and a backpack. Just typing this out is starting to get to me because I sold the damn Ziggurat in 2017. Sigh.
I don’t even have any pictures of it from before I painted it. How is THAT possible? Oh yeah, it was PRE-smartphones. And those Azonic bars, man, I totally should have at least kept those. Double sigh. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I just sold another bike. The Giant XTC. It’s been magical as well. First high-end carbon hardtail. Zing. We’ve been ‘some places’. How dumb am I gonna feel in 10 years? Selling the Giant has facilitated the Birth of the Karate Monkey though. So that’s the next chapter. When I hear other people talking about selling bikes I always say “don’t sell it, you’ll regret it!” And then I sell one – but that one is always THE LAST ONE I’M GOING TO SELL EVER.
Sold my Giant XTC Advanced to make room for a Surly Karate Monkey. Had to break it in proper.