Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three in a Row, and not in a Good Way...

That is three weeks consecutive I have attempted to get myself up to Mt. Baldy for my annual Flat to Flat to Flat in Search of Autumn Ride (Manker Flat to Stockton Flat, back to Manker Flat), and three times something has blocked my way. The first two weeks it was some last minute scheduling which kept me from the ride on the day I had set aside. Today was oh-so-painfully-close, as I put off work on a little project (did I mention I have officially started my own landscape design practice? No. There will be an announcement on my other blog soon) in order to ride some dirt. I had driven up to Manker, off-loaded the bike, put the shoes on and...wait, where is my helment? AAAUUGGGGHHH! Hanging off my road bike back home that's where. My curse started a landslide down the opposite slope, and scared heck out of a group of Japanese hikers setting out. No, actually I was surprisingly calm in the face of my defeat, resigned to the fact that my plans had been foiled again. I sat there for a while in the cool air of the mountains, steadying myself for the 100º heat awaiting back down in the valley, and trying to think of some way to salvage the day. 

I will have to wait a few days for this view

This is not the first time lately that I have faced this three strikes thing. On three separate occasions during the month of August I had glanced down at my computer to notice the numbers 666, as in 6.66 miles staring up at me. Freaky. I am not talking about watching the numbers flip over until I reached 666, I mean my first glance down, and there those numbers are. Maybe it was just August. I have not seen them since, so I guess I am safe.

Anyway, back to today. A question: How many of you would have ridden sans helmet? You know the route up and over is just a dirt service road, loose surface, but nothing technical, no exposure anywhere. The road from Manker to Notch is well trod by hikers, even on a Thursday morning, there were a bunch of cars parked at the trailhead. It is the other side that is problematic, from the Notch to Stockton. There is no one over there - you are isolated if something happens on that descent, or the climb back up. In some ways, I guess getting older does suck. In my younger years I wouldn't have worried, but things are different now as I weighed the risk potential and decided not to accept. All for the lack of a lousy, stinking helmet. 

Alright then, I am inking Monday morning - me and Baldy. Someone give me a call then, about 7:30, just to make sure I haven't forgotten something. By the way, anyone who can, and wants to, escape to the cool mountain air is welcome to join. Fourth time is the charm.

1 comment:

  1. made the right decision. I don't ride mountain bikes at all for fear of falling down and going boom. No way I would ride without a helmet.


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