Weekend ride with Teacher Man Titus after his first week back at school.
Went out for a backyard ride to get my feet wet.
Quick ride to a neighbourhood ‘secret spot’ that really isn’t secret because I found it via the well-worn footpath off the main trail.
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 for the usual weekend ride. Some beavers had felled a tree across the trail, so I followed their drag marks down to the river and sat there for a bit. Took a bunch of pictures at few minute intervals of the same ridge of trees trying to catch the sun lighting them up. Did some yoga and stretching in-between. The little white speck in the bottom left corner of the photos that looks like dirt is a reflection of the Moon in the river. Then basically followed the sun coming up down the Nashwaak River to the Saint John before meeting up with Titus for a trip out to Oromocto and back. Post-ride root beer in the Clubhouse was sublime.
Universal Truth #1,437: when you are chasing the sun coming up down the Nashwaak River to its confluence with the Saint John, it really doesn’t matter that you never get to know who wins. (Note: Your results may vary. Can be applied to other rivers, trails, alleys. Test on a piece of scrap wood to ensure desired results. Offer not valid with any other offer. Proof of purchase required. Don’t try this at home, use only in a well ventilated area and only under hip-hop supervision. -Ed.)
Decided I’m a steel bike guy. Particularly Surly steel bikes. So wanted to finally fulfill a longtime want of a Karate Monkey. So the Giant needed to go. Cleaned it all up to sell and it went to a good home (friend of a friend) in a few hours. Glad someone’s gonna love and ride it.
Got a new Surly front bag and mounted it up. Had to go for a ride with it of course.
A Series Until It isn’t*: The 2004 @surlybikes Surly Cross Check. Acquired slightly used as frame and fork. Built up countless ways over the years. Stevie Ray Vaughan had ‘Number One’, this is mine. It is now the bike that has been in the Stable the longest. I like the ‘steed/stable’ metaphor better than the ‘arrow/quiver’ one because even when I ride my fastest bike I plod along like a horse. I hath not the vigor of an arrow loosed.
The Rundown: Cross Check frame and fork – probably in hindsight a TAD too small for me, however I have considered and rejected selling this bike several times, but the fact of the matter is, I now can’t because it is singularly tied to my identity on this planet. @chriskingbuzz Headset, natch. Giant parts bin stem clamping @salsacycles Cowbell bars with a @knog Oi bell and @ridebontrager Bar Tape. @rideshimano Sora 9spd brifters clicking an LX rear deraileur, a Sora front and spinning an SRAM chain around a set of LX(?) Cross Cranks sporting @crankbrothers Candy C pedals and pulling cables on Avid Shorty 6 brakes. A no name seat post clamped by a no-name clamp capped by a @selleanatomica (NSX?) Saddle. Custom Built wheels by me – with assistance from @wineintitanium in his living room many years ago – consisting of parts bin LX hubs courtesy of @uhlsbrewingco laced to Alex R390 rims sporting @panaracer_world Gravel King Mud 35mm tires with (though you’d never guess it) tan sidewalls. I’ve over 15,000kms on this wheelset with not much more than an occasional seasonal truing. @porcelainrocket bags. My fave bag makers of all time. I usually have this bike setup with this medium stock frame bag and a black Charlene to match – both of which I got from MEC – but today I threw on the multi-cam BIG bag because: coffee stuff/puffy layers. I forget what it’s called but the big one without the frame that they just firesaled all the back stock on and I got one because it was just too good of a price to pass up and huge. Official Custom-Installed ¡TSBC GO! patch.
*Stole this line from @therichardsachs
Lyn picked me up from work and we took Colin and Olivia to the @fredredwings home opener last night. Good game. Looks like they have a solid group of guys. Was a fun evening. Shoutout and thanks to Kyle Holder for the tickets. We’ll be back! So today I got dropped off at the office to get the commuter rig back home. Worked out well as it allowed me to get a ride in on #intergalacticsurlyday on the Surly Disc Trucker Hit up my boys at the Radical Edge to stock up on snacks and some conversation. They were sold out of SkratchLabs gummies though – gonna have to make do. Stopped crossing the Nashwaak River to check out the foliage, Just starting to turn – no where’s near Peak Leaf yet – but it’s coming. Was nice to get out and spin the legs a little in prep for a big road ride with @spoke_n_words and @zacharyblong tomorrow. Gonna be good times and an unseasonably nice day for it. Go ride your bikes people – it’s always a good idea.
I wouldn’t say I have regrets (Sam Harris would argue I could never have done differently than I have in the past anyway) but with the benefit of hindsight, there are things I would do differently given the choice again.
When we moved to our current house my kids were little and we settled in a rural location because we liked the peace and quiet, the big yard and it was affordable vs. closer to town. In hindsight, I would have liked to live closer to town and tried to adopt – if not a car-free lifestyle – then at least a ‘less-car’ lifestyle.
The fact is that my house is only about .8kms from a multi-use trail that I can use to get into town, but I’m still almost 15kms out – and in the winter, it’s snow covered. I love the ride, but the reality is that I can’t get to work and get everyone where they need to be on a bike, on time, and still get sleep each day. Thus, cars.
Would I be able to do it if I lived closer to town? Still not sure, at some point when the kids were old enough to not be able to be hauled, they might have rebelled at being forced to ride. We’ll never know, but I certainly could have done more errands, groceries and commuting if I was closer to town.
I have been eyeing Surly’s cargo bikes and trailers since their launches, but can’t justify them at the moment as they would more than likely not get ridden enough to justify the expense. Maybe once all or most of the kids are out of the house. I don’t know that I’d go e-version, but it’s tempting. I do like the Big Fat Dummy platform a lot though.