My first day back to Fairfax, I had a bit of errand-running to do. Charlie wanted to get foob, I wanted to deposit the millions I’d earned in Scotland in our local bank.
En route, we passed a giant red van with the words “Specialized Bicycle University” on the side. About five cyclists were milling about. It was eleven in the morning on July 3rd, the day before our so-called Independence Day.
I wondered about the activity, the van, etc, but rode on past.
When riding with Charlie , he’s flummoxed by my unwillingness to Remain On Topic.
Stopping to talk with friends is somewhat in the gray zone between “Unswerving Adherence To Mission” and “Valuable-Community-Building Opportunity”)
Our first ride together (yes, errands count) should be untrammelled.
About half an hour later, after picking up two month’s worth of mail from the P.O. and buying –yes buying–a twelve dollar pint of raw cream from Good Earth–I decided to swoop past the park one more time.
Charlie continued home.
There were lots more people (mostly men ) in the park. Some were sporting gauze and bandages. Frisbees flew past my nose.
And a very familliar voice called out: “HEYYYY JAAA-KIEEEEEEEE!”
It was Billy Savage, our fearless movie director, bike racer, and bon vivant.
Wait, doesn’t he live in L.A.?
But no, he is here now, and he’s just done a showing of Klunkerz up at the local Boy Scout reservation (Tamarancho Camp).
All the frisbee throwers are foreign bike magazine writers, he tells me,.
Over his shoulder I see Mike Sinyard. Wow, this is a small world.
“Hello Jacquie…did you bring Charlie?”
“He’s over there” I reply, pointing to See Kay (Charlie Kelly, just now catching a low-angle frisbee.
“No, YOUR Charlie” he says.
“At home…why don’t you hop on yr bike and we’ll say hello? He’s not big on group scenes..”
Mike cheerfully followed me back to Taj Mahovel. Only way anyone gets to visit with the (almost) invisible man.
But couldn’t pry him away to picnic with sixty “You’re A Peon”s.
Back at town park, boxed lunches were being passed to the people gathering in the shade of the redwoods.
Learned the names of ALL the Italians (Simone, Cristophe, Matteo, Massimo, etc.. and the names of a couple of the Swedes, the Dutch and the Portuguese journalist. And marveled that there were at least sixty “You’re A Peon” bicycle magazine writers, whereas you could count on one hand the roster of American bicycle journalists.
I knew nearly none of them, since it’s been fifteen years since I raced internationally on fat tire, multi-geared bkes.
The event comprised five days and four nights in a magificent area walled in by oak meadow and bay woodland….with a pond thrown in for good measure.
They rode, they raced a timed re-enactment of Repack, they took realistic tours of Marin General Emergency Services…and returned stoically with bandaged arms, hands, and knees.
It was a diehard crew, and somehow having Ned Overend (aka Old Neverend) along made the event even more special.
Joe Breeze was there (did he ride? I am sure he did)…SeeKay was there.
Hell, I belonged here. Pass me that nice boxed lunch, eh, Mike?
Oh, it was YOUR sandwich?
Then everyone piled into coaches to be driven up to camp.
“Come on, I’ll show you the secret route” I whispered to O. N.
And wiith my banjo scraping my backbone, and the sausage from the Delano Market Rubbish Tip cooking gently in my panniers, we rode up the impossible Mountain View, Frustuck, and Scenic roads. Ned’s breathing was labored. He had taken his group on a super epic ride…by accident.
More on that in some future blog.
Killed some time learning names, and then we piled into those ‘furgone’ (vans) one more time to roll out to Rancho Nicasio (celebrated rural roadhouse , usu. with good music)