My eventful ride
This morning I woke up early and couldn't fall asleep again so I finished reading "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. The story is set on the abandoned highways of a post-apocalyptic America. It follows a man and his young son as they make their way towards the coast where they hope to find some sort of reprieve from starvation, cruel weather and roving packs of cannibals. In that respect it's kind of like the ride I just finished. Well, that is if you substitute his son for my bike, the snow for the oppressive summer sun, starvation for mild dehydration and cannibals for pot-holes and power-poles that jump out in front of me. I started around 11:00am. My little brother started the ride with me but his bike broke twice within the first ten miles so he called for a ride home (in his defense he was pissed about having to stop early). I continued on through Marysville, intending on heading up towards Browns Valley as my friend Zack did a few days ago. Alas, before I even made it out of town my bike computer stopped working. So, like any sensible person, I reached down while spinning at about 16-17mph and wiggled the wires around the sensor. While distracted with the wires I drifted towards the sidewalk and ran full bore into a power pole with my handlebars and right side of my body. The impact stopped me in my tracks, bending my bars and my brake-hood and leaving my right shoulder and knee bruised, scraped and sore. I cursed, checked my bike and body for any serious damage and straightened things out. As I'd only made it about 14 miles by this point I decided to keep riding and see if my pain got any worse, as it was manageable at that point. I slowly cruised out of town and onto the sparsely-used agricultural roads East of Marysville. I realized quickly that there were many roads and not quite as many street-signs, so I just stayed pointed towards the foothills whenever possible, but eventually gave up and just rode without any destination in mind. I rode like that for another 12-15 miles (remember, my computer didn't work so I don't know for sure) before I realized I was really low on water and needed to turn around. I had counted on a store in the foothills for a refill but it never materialized. I did however find a spray-painted warning that reads: "Caution Bikes" with a childish painting of a hand making the bird sign. The meaning was rather ambiguous; did it mean "Watch out for bikes, asshole!" or "Watch out ass-hole bikers!", or perhaps "Bikers, be cautious as there are asshole train-tracks up ahead!" I might never know what the artist intended, but I do know that the artist's model might have had a fingernail covering their fingerprint because his painted hand did. I also found a 20+ foot long piece of film which, upon examination contained a theatre copy of the trailer for "The Last Mimzy". I always wondered what theaters did with the trailer reels after they were no longer needed. Now I know. As I passed back through town I stopped at The Brick, a local coffeehouse where Amanda was doing homework.I refilled my water-bottles and headed home, but not before stopping once more for a bag of fresh fruit with lime-juice and chili-powder. A treat popularized in Mexico that is now sold from various fruit-stands around town. I only got to ride 45-50 miles instead of the 60+ I had hoped to ride, but I enjoyed myself despite the rough start. The picture of my shoulder up top does no justice at all to the actual damage. It's really quite impressive looking and has inspired grimaces from everyone who's seen it.