Wildflowers in the desert:
It was a rough weekend. I had fun, but the gravitational pull of the earth seemed to be especially strong around me for some reason. Saturday, while out mountain biking, I loved being out, but on my usual network of trails, I rode the switchbacks a slightly different way. I wanted to go down the rock bridge, but I walked it once again to get the lines into my head. For some reason, this seems to be the wrong thing to do. Or, maybe the way I’ve always ridden it is so deeply mapped in my brain that anything else throws it off. This time while going down, I started riding like a chickenshit, and that is always when bad things happen. You can’t ride like this! I shouted to myself – just before I did a “superman” over the handlebars. Only three weeks ago I rode this clean, and gloated to myself. That’s what I get for gloating.
I was mad. Got back on the bike. Rode the rest of it clean. Fumed the whole rest of the ride. There’s nothing I hate more in myself than being a chickenshit.
I felt like a loser, in my highly competitive mindset. At least until I rode up on some 20-year-old kid who I thought was going to go up the climb in front of me fast, but I almost hit his back tire as we climbed. Then, I was breathing down his neck on the twists up to the split in the trail, and he pulled over. Probably sick of me being an annoying old cow (who was kicking his ass) behind him.
I took the mountain bike directly to the bike shop. I kind of messed up the shifting when the bike flew through the air behind me. I might have messed up the derailleur. But not having that gear is why I was going so fast up that hill. I didn’t have the smallest gear in the middle chain ring anymore, so I had to make do with the next biggest. Which sent me up the hill like a rocket, on that bike. So, the S-Works will get worked on, and will have a new rear tire besides. I was kind of sick of the “racing slick” on the back that kept slipping when I climbed. Enough was enough.
Based on the account of Saturday’s mountain bike ride, you might wonder why I chose to take the GS motorcycle out even for a short easy dirt ride today. Well, it’s part of my “man up” campaign (just wait ’til next week). Kind of a long story, but the gist of it is that I need to just ride my GS instead of trying to figure out if there is a bike that is between my TTR225 and the F650GS. I love the GS. The more I ride it, the more I love it. Yes, almost 43,000 miles later. I’ve already ridden it through everything, so I don’t know what my problem is when I freak out and think the terrain is too rough. It’s a mind game that I need to quit playing.
Today’s easy ride was to take the paved road to Kearny, AZ for breakfast/lunch, and then ride back on Florence-Kelvin Hwy., which is dirt. After a lengthy delay in Gold Canyon because of the Renaissance Festival (could that please go away!!?? Now??), we had a pleasant brunch in Kearny.
Then we got on Flo-Kel. This road is graded, hard-packed dirt, with a few sandy spots. Might as well be paved. Easy and fun. I stopped to get some photos of the wildflowers that are carpeting the desert right now. I will save the photos to look at when, after the next couple of weeks, the desert heats up, the plants turn brown and dry up, and there is nothing but non-stop, pounding heat until November.
I had a great riding day, and then when I got home, I asked Hal if I could ride his DRZ in the backyard. He said yes. But, he was going to have to catch me at the end because when I am on his bike, my feet are about 4 inches from the “floor.” Even if I dropped it, it would be in the grass. So, I got going on the bike. Loved it.
Can I go now?
Didn’t like it much, did I? LOL
I could ride this literally anywhere! I thought. As long as I didn’t have to stop. At the end, Hal didn’t catch me, and the bike fell over. No one minded but me, of course, but I couldn’t pick it up on my own either. That was the only down side, and my second brush with gravity this weekend. But at least I thought it might work if I decide to get a DRZ in the distant future. You know, for my really big trips, the ones that include major off-road roughness and last for several weeks (Alaska, Canada, Iceland …)!
It was a great weekend, though. It’s never bad if I am on two wheels!