A Tale of Two Rides ...

It was a bright sunny Monday afternoon, when I set out to check on the conditions of my go-to short trail of about 21 km.  It is a good mix of road, dirt, flats and hills but was a muddy mess the last time I rode it.  As you can see in the pictures below the red clay had dried out and the deep ruts had been filled in with rubble.  That made the ride a bit rough in places but no problem I thought.

Midway through the ride my front wheel started making some rather ominous noises.  I stopped a couple of times to see if it were something external but it soon became obvious the bearings in the front wheel set were the problem.  I managed to limp home on my noisy bike but it was clear a trip to Northern Bike, in town, was urgently needed before I would be riding again.

There can be not better excuse for upgrading your wheel set than blown out bearings, so I added to my recent list of pricy upgrades.  I have now spent more on upgrades than the bike cost to begin with.  While the bike was in the shop we met with friends at Central Plaza for lunch, coffee and a little shopping. 

While the wives visited my friend caught me up on the wild stories and malicious gossip spreading about me at group events in town.  Unable to point to their own accomplishments some individuals find it easier to make emotionally charged and disparaging remarks about others.  As stories are told and retold they take on a life of their own, with no resemblance to the truth, having the same effect as the tabloids, influencing the weak minded to become true believers.  People who don’t know me now spin the most lurid of tales as if they were my most trusted confidants.  Guess that is the price one pays in the karmic balance of things.

Eager to tryout my new wheels, Wednesday I hit the trail again on what ended up being a 45 km route.  The high mountain reservoir which has been a mere puddle on my last two visits was once again at its full glory and beautiful to behold.  This time I only had to dismount once on the 2 km uphill slog which is by far the best I have done.  Subjective or real, I felt like the bike was performing much better, but I still had to cope with the hottest conditions I have ridden in for some time.

There was some serious green on the ride yesterday, as you can see form some of the photos.  Finding myself out of the mountains and back on the flats, surrounded by rice fields, I came upon a bit of an accident with a truck on its side in a ditch.  This was conveniently where I often stop under a tree for a drink and a picture or two.  A backhoe was arriving just as I rode up and it struck me that this might make a nice little pictorial to share on the blog.

As cables snapped and early attempts failed to budge the truck, it became clear this was going to take them a very longtime to sort out.  I was rested and had my pictures so said my goodbyes and hit the trail again wondering if they would ever find the angle and leverage needed to salvage the truck.