Riding with Pigpen
Word came thru the Knobby Nobility grapevine: Pigpen (Larry Glickfeld) was in town. He’s the one-time editor of Competitive Cycling, the tabloid home of columnist Bike Barb, Sundown Slim, and a host of other merry Cranksters in the late sixties, early (pre-Fellownews) era.
He lives a thousand miles away, you drop everything to ride with him.
The ride: a clockwise loop from Napa’s ABC bakery to Sonoma, over Cavedale road and then along the Dry Creek valley bottom (rather than the Mt Veeder route, we were toast after three hours of sun-baked riding).
Never did any of this before. Along with Barb and Pigpen, the redoubtable Art Read of Terrible Two, Rockhopper renown, and general bike-and-social-justice-avocado rode along with me, sporting one less basketball in his jersey, and dropping me using nefarious means too terrible to describe for a family blog.
Hint: tangled wheels.
There was a plaque honoring the dozen or so sponsors of the ‘short-cut’ route cut in 1915, that snaked over the Mayacamas Mtns , and every person’s donation duly noted, even Emma Bleakly’s five dollars.
All the hunting on the web is turning up no history of the black, ten-foot deep and who knows how many feet wide cave (man made) -there’s a 90-degree left turn that is so dark you can’t inspect it (Art’s little bic lighter was worthless).
Musta been a stowing place for booze in prohibition.
After the ride (no crashes! no flats! pure joy) it was a quick ten mile jog to the Marshall Bee Farm in American Canyon. Larry’s sister Helene married a bee farmer and their compound is impressive. Their mom turns 95 week, Delicate as a child with a fistful of tortilla crisps, mom got a double dose ofb happy birthday.
We swilled all kinds of beer, inhaled all kinds of grub, and found other cyclists as well as about four generations of the Glickfeld clan nibbling cheeses dipped in honey (never had before, ambrosial) and enjoying a summer’s afternoon.