Let the record reflect that on Oct 8 2007
…between nine-thirty and ten-thirty p.m., every street between Throckmorton Mill Valley and Dogbark Lane was devoid of moving automobiles. Perhaps a neutron bomb went off. Or more likely, being a Sunday, everyone was already home and in bed.
I’d been at the Mill Valley Film Festival, attending the opening of How To Cook Your Life, a film (trailer – includes JP!) by Doris Doerrie. My friend Ed Brown is the subject of the documentary, and I have a brief minute or two in there robbing fruit from my neighbor’s trees, and picking our own blackberriy fence while cheerfully outlining my reasons for diving into supermarket dumpsters.
For a couple of hours after the movie, at the post movie bouffe (beautifully and bounteously catered by Back To Earth) I met people who seemed enchanted by my Warholian Moment. Some just passed the time with me until Ed was not engaged in conversation. I passed out cards galore, met mountain biking moms who call themselves the Hot and Flashies, and i said damn, finally a club name better than ours. Say, want to manufacture an embroidered badge?
One of the people was Thorns Craven, Tom Craven’s papa. Tom’s a former pro roadie, was on the 7/11 team, and his dad is so proud of him. And dad likes to ride hard, might talk him into doing SSWC08 in Napa…
The wine poured freely, assuring much merriment, and somehow someone pressed a movie ticket for “Blame it on Fidel“, a directorial debut by Julia Gavras, about a child who observes her parents involvement in the 70’s social justice movement in France and Chile. Remarkable little girl (Nina Kervel-Bey) works out her own political beliefs while testing her parents and their friends and family.
But the ride home (just like yesterday) turned out to be the Dark Horse Winner. Camino Alto, the winding, hilly back road connecting MV to Corte Madera usually has loads of high speed drivers “saving time” from the clogged freeway. Some drive erratically. It’s wild and reckless to take this unlit road at night. Guess how I was feeling?
To my delight, I had it all to myself. Every passing curve without an oncoming or an overtaking car made me realize how much the stress from being On Alert for possible car-mayhem saps one’s energy.
I was pulled up the hill by my incredulity, my flashing headlight feebly illuminating the underside of all the overhanging oaks, horse chestnuts giving the sensation of riding in a cave with pretty tree-branch designs painted on the sides. Painted with light.
But I was barely halfway down this dark, twisty road, when I realized that the flashing light was about to give me a seizure if I didn’t watch out. Took one hand off the handlebar while integrating the forces of about 7 different vectors -
a) the social cyclone I’d just popped out of
b) fine free meal with red wine
c) actual velocity= 20 mph
d) limited visibility, OK more like pitch dark
e) steepish decline, about 7 %
f) possibility of a deer leaping out at the Perfect Moment
g) instant access to all the stories of other’s dreadful moments, i.e. the G. Garcia meets a Deer on Fool Moon Night 1986, has lifetime of head injury issues to cope with (and very well, by the way) and the Deer That Ambushed Glen Winkel on Tam at 35 mph, which really racked him up.
Oooh this is taking too long. My corpus callosum somehow does all this instantaneously…so take my hand off the right grip.
Yes, all this carefully worked out stuff is so I can take a hand off the bars at speed. Then groped lightly for the button on top of the Feeble & Co. handlebar flashlight (Planet Bike El Cheapo Beamer) and clicked the headlight into a steady glow.
I manage to survive this move.
Dead empty streets in San Anselmo were lined with cricket chorus, the fragrant wood smoke made me think of winter, and how soon we too will be burning wood, stinking up our canyon.