Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday thankfulness ride

Get ready for some really crap pictures.
I consider myself a pretty thankful guy. I have a lot to be grateful for.

But as I sit here, post-BF-ride, sipping on perhaps one of the best beers I've ever had, I am feeling particularly thankful.

Best expressed, bulletily -- as most lists are:
  • The weather. What the F happened here? I've been watching wunderground all week. At best I was hoping for some slushy wet cold misery. It was cold when we left Rocket Market at 8:10, but it was approaching 40 already. And by the time we finished -- glorious: sun, clear, amazing, silly weather.

Jake, Gage, Jon, Kory, Geoff, Dylan, Joe2, Silly Weather
  • The BF turnout. Off the top, I missed Glen, Pat, Bill and Justin. Verily. And I wouldn't have minded seeing Ben, Wade, Nate, Steph, Hank, and a few others. But wow. We had: Coffee Joe, Joe2, Kory, Jake, Dylan, Gage, Geoff, Craig, The Eberlizer, and Chris. And me. That's 11. And I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting someone. What a great thing. I'm not a "big pack" riding guy, but this was great.
  • Spokane trails. I've carried on a lot about how lucky we are to have such great trails so close in. But with a bit of frozen-ness over damp, the trails were nice and ridable today. So that was a bonus.
  • Jake and his insane output. I'm actually not that thankful for that. But when Jake says: "there's another way up this [already hard, already too long] hill. It's a bit longer and harder, but it's fun..." that's where I should say, "Sounds great. Hey Dylan -- you should try that!" Instead, of course, I get all puffed up and what comes out of my mouth, is something like, "sounds great, let's do it." Chasing Jake and Dylan up the hard, long way up the hard long hill destroyed me early on. They shat me out the back 1/2 way up and I'm not sure I ever really caught my breath until our group was cut in half by a train.
Joe, Craig.

  • Trains. The scenario: the pack is at point A. Point B is about 100 yards away with a train track in the middle. Of course a train is coming. The pack sprints. All but 2 of the pack make it before heeding the panicky non-standard whistle blows from the train's engineer. It could have been longer, but it was thankfully long enough for us to get a proper break while waiting for the 2 smart ones that didn't dash in front of the oncoming freight train.
  • The Sun. This is a re-hash of bullet #1. But the weather got so good, it's worth reiterating.
  • Funerals. By the time we got to the 2nd part of the ride, we lost Jake, Coffee Joe, Craig, and The Eberlizer. We kind of lost Gage. But just for a bit. We climbed out of that hard sandy steep road across from People's Park and Gage, who was riding a single speed manfully and valiantly, had blown up. He was done. We said our good byes and limped to the cemetery, where thankfully, a funeral procession was just getting started. Being the super respectful lot we were, we took this opportunity to have another long rest while the procession pulled away.
Geoff, Dylan.
Finishing the Mega-Church section of the River trail.

  • Chris. As we swooped into the lower part of the cemetery, Chris asked where we were going into the trails -- he wanted to stop by and pay his respects to a dead friend and then catch up with us. The beauty of that deal is that my mom was buried, quite conveniently, just a few plots away. So we took a quick "paying respects" break. I'm thankful to say hi to mom on the day after Thanksgiving, where we sort of stumbled and mumbled our way through the 2nd year without her.



  • Ben, Ann, and the MortBorns: totally unrelated to riding. But TG worked for us this year thanks to great friends that took us in. All my life, I've been in the family gathering that takes in the akward family-less friends on Thanksgiving. Liza, Maddie, and I were the family-less nomads this year and we got hooked up. Including Thanksgiving leftovers... wow.
  • Thanksgiving leftovers. No commentary required.

  • Crazy good beer. I'm thankful for the Reno guy that tipped me off to the Russian River sour in the comments of this blog. Thanks Reno guy. That put me on the hunt for "Supplication."
  • Dylan. He's the guy that came over from Seattle to visit family. He came on this ride. He's a PBP'er and  CX'er and he's strong and super-nce and cool. Open up page 56 of the latest BQ and you'll see him hanging with the heavies in France. He's the guy with the beard. Anyway, he brought me a 6'er of rad sours. Including the Supplication, which I am enjoying immensely now.
He just keeps pushing.
And showing up.

  • Gage. After we bombed the cemetery trail, we re-grouped under TJ Meenach. The plan was to ride up the trail for a bit to loop the little bit of rad river trail back to the TJ Meenach. (I realize that only makes sense to about 14% of the people reading this). Before we started the climb, Gage said his goodbye's (again) and peeled off. At this point, we were down to Me, Kory, Chris, Geoff, Joe2, Dylan. After we did the loop, Geoff and Kory peeled off, while Dylan, Chris, Joe2 and I climbed up that brutal little bastard of a trail (I call it the Pat Rick trail) at the bottom of Doomsday. As we get to the tippy top and we are riding the trail overlooking the river, who shows up? It's Gage again. He had some slightly confusing-to-me story about how this came to be, but there he was again.
I'm thankful for more than that, but that's the top-of-mind list at the moment. I can't imagine anyone got through all of that....sorry so long!


Patrick Sullivan said...

I got thru it and wished there was more. Glad to be in the 14% who knows what you're talking about. Thanks.

Ward said...

That was an excellent post. My question: WTF is the deal with your clot, I thought you were suppposed to be taking it easy.

Hank Greer said...

Sorry I missed it. Looks like it was a blast, especially with the energy drink of choice at the end.

bihlbee said...

Sorry to have missed it. At least Joe2 was there to represent 12th. Shouldn't Geoff have been down at the shop selling all of them fancy bikes?

John Speare said...

Patrick -- you would've dug this one. I always think of you when we're climbing that little devil at the base of doomsday.

Ward -- clot is on the mend. I'm on thinners. Aerobically-speaking, I no longer have to take it easy. I need to not get in a wreck. So, I'm riding the cx bikes on trail rides --- keeps the speed and the rough-housing in check.

Hank/Bill -- next year.

Owner 2 said...

bihlbee, Geoff was working as shop representative for community relations, though there probably should have been a minimum riding abilities standard so he would not embarrass the rest of the shop.....

Anonymous said...

Great ride John! Thanks for getting us all together. Chris

Single Speed Dad said...

Even thought it looked like I was doing the Energizer Bunny routine to keep coming back and coming back, I had a great time. Perfect weather and a great route with a bit of everything. I just was lacking either gears or fitness needed to hang tight. Thanks for organizing it.

I have lots of pics from the helmet cam and will get them posted later this week.

Russ said...

Do you have a map of the trails you used on this ride? Just wondering.