Under the Fog
January is my low month–rotten anniversaries on my internalized, indelible life calendar.
Weather is alternately fine and foggy. Today was deeply foggy, but Charlie wanted to ride, and I suited up and came along.
On Pipeline (one of the only flat fire roads in the county) we ran into Kay and Barbara, neighbor/bikers on their Sunday cruise, then we scooted along, alone for about five minutes, until a spider web caught my eye.
In the branch of a tree, a perfect TV test-pattern orb. Dew-drops making the invisible visible.
We circled round to look again, and a gentleman named Michael pedaled up to look on with us, and told us the spider webs got even more profuse up at Azalea Hill.
My sweater’s bunched sleeves were covered with dew, as were Charlie’s glove-extensions, made from woolen socks.
It seemed that any available moisture clung in droplets to the finest fibers.
Up the hill, the cloud-cover grew thin, and by Pine Mountain, we were in bright sunlight.
600 feet above town, a sunny day was under way.
CC wanted to continue on the short one-hour trek he’d planned for.
I split off, and did the good ol’ Pine Mtn Loop, a 2.5 hour ride in my prime, and more like a 3 hr one if rushed. Just so I could avoid dropping back into that fog.
I encountered no one…until I got a pinch flat, flying along unthinkingly.
It was that serpentine rock section at the “triangle” that leads down to Boy Scout Camp and Brown Bridge.
Despite no food, no spare, no fanny-pack, I had a fine sunny 3/4 hr of repair (quarter-patches in my kit, pump in my seatpost).
But my pump seemed deficient, and then I lost the adaptor in the manzanita bush, just at the moment a rider showed up, then another.
I kept pawing thru the duff to find my brass thingie.
Without it , I’d truly be screwed..He finally said, “you haven’t looked up at me yet”.
It was Pete Blanco, a member of the Knobostocracy. And there he was, telling me his name.
Pete and his brother, Joe, created the Dead Fucking Last (DFL) team…. I just cringed, apologetically. Then I reached a hand out to his pal, saying, “and who are YOU?”
“Brent Childress, I don’t believe we’ve met”.
What a perfect response from Susan DeMattei’s erstwhile lover…
“PLease clobber me with a 2×4 you guys” I cried.
“I seem to have lost ALL my marbles…”
Never mind that I’d not seen either in three years. Could I have prosopagnosia?
Usually I ‘m GOOD at recognizing people, but only after having had a real conversation about something faintly interesting to me.
Maybe I have managed it so cleverly that I’ve fooled myself. People I meet will recall that I ask not for their first name, but their last name, too. I need a story, ethnicity, something my velcro-mind can grab onto.
Guys named Steve, Dave, and Mike are all lumpt together until I am able to differentiate, using remembered conversations (sorry Steve, Dave, etc.).
The Pine Mtn Loop is my most beloved ride….the chapparal is groomed into fascinating shapes–elephant toenails in the Little Carson Valley (I’ll make a picture someday), serpentine blue-gray rock, then reddish Franciscan formation, then back to serpentine…underfoot a layer of mashed branches.
This month MMWD sent a big old tractor-muncher to shred the verges of the fire road, undercutting the bank and thereby loosening the root systems of untold trees (which then collapsed onto the newly, ahem “groomed” fire road).
There are fewer trees overhead due to the sudden oak death…more sunlight reaches the interior of Big Carson Canyon, and already the scent of bay flowers promise an unusually early spring, just like last year. In the middle of such freezing weather!
Spring birds, spring flowers, and 40 degree temperatures. Very strange to have January be spring. Thoreau apparently told his neighbors about every little flower and bird “as if it were news from a transatlantic cable”, so I’m not the only one…
At three I arrived home, ate, suited up and dragged Geoff Halaburt to hear my friend Kevin’s band, “the Lone Star Retrobates” at 19 Broadway.
In all, a great day.
Plenty of miles, plenty of beer, and just enough food to get me through til breakfast.