Thanks for your understanding regarding my absence on Monday. Truth be told, what little content I did post, was about all I had in me.
It was during last year’s W.S.A.T.U. celebration, Paul Price asked his long time girlfriend Marley if in one year’s time she’d do him the honor of becoming his wife. Luckily for Paul, she said yes, and it was over this weekend that a number of his family and friends all converged on the tiny mountain town of Downiville, California to assist in the celebration of their love.
Word had gone out that at the head of the weekend we’d be meeting up at Yuba Expeditions for a morning shuttle run;
Seven years ago I was in Downieville for my 35th birthday and I had planned to do a shuttle but ended up skipping it and riding the entire loop instead. So aside from a couple of trips up various mountains on chairlifts, I had never before free-ridden. We all piled in and enjoyed the picturesque trip to the top of the hill.
Standing around and shooting the breeze, we each individually marveled at the bike that one Danny Boy Smith had chosen to ride on the famously technical trail network;
Everybody was all kinda on the same page in that Danny Boy, who it should be noted had never ridden a mountain bike before, had already won the tough guy award before we’d even begun pedaling;
Though we decided that since the steed had new tires, he was pretty much good to go.
Before long we began our descent- a rolling shitshow of laughter, conversation and repeated mechanicals;
But just then, as anyone with even a smidge of meat between their ears could have predicted, the relec met an untimely issue;
Though when you’re riding with a bunch of machinists, engineers, and various degrees of smarty-pantses in possession of toe straps, electrical tape, a couple of ti tire levers, and a stick taken from the forest floor, a solution to every conundrum is never far away;
While it wasn’t a fix that would be suitable for a full-blown conclusion of the ride, it was good enough to get our hero out of the middle of the woods in one piece.
We continued mashing our way down the hill with a few more stops and a few more flat tires;
Finally we got back to town with time to get cleaned up and head to dinner;
It was a lovely start to what would be ultimately be an equally lovely weekend.
Finally we all blew apart in different directions, and retreated to our various safe zones to rest up for the next day and an evening full of marital bliss.
Now, for any one who is keeping score, you’re aware that the day of the wedding also happened to fall on the fourth (or fifth) year of my W.S.A.T.U. celebration. Paul and I shared probably a dozen or two texts regarding what would be the most appropriate way for me to do both without ruining anyone’s good time.
Upon our final exchange it was requested that any assembled staffs would do well to be prone during the ceremony. It was also requested that my Amigos would be present in our colors, both of which I was more than happy to accomodate.
Before the 4:00 ceremony however, the lot of us spent our day engaging in all manner of off-goofing;
The time to get dolled up had arrived and we did so with haste, to get out the door and to the big show;
Landing at the river-side venue, we consorted with our compatriots, and stood around looking dashing;
Then came time for the main event, which was officiated by my Amigo, and Mr. Blue Collar Bikes hisself, Robert Ives;
It was short, to the point, and as lovely a service as I’ve attended. Surrounded by weepy eyed individuals of all ages and genders, those present erupted into applause as we were finally introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Price.
From that point going forward, it was game on for everybody;
-Including Paul Senior, who is half of the Price parental unit, both of whom are a couple of the dearest human beings you’d ever imagine meeting;
Anyway- The night continued on;
Finally, after departing from the venue, Robert, Sean Walling and I were sitting in a local watering hole and a big fellow sauntered up next to us and said “hey- Whose Wizard Staff is parked outside?“
I claimed ownership and explained to him the significance of the third weekend of every June.
“You know what you should do?” he started… “You should post something about that on the internet.“
We all agreed that would be a good idea, and one that I would take into consideration.
We then said our goodbyes, and made plans for the following day which ended up looking something like this;
All in all, it was a brilliantly perfect weekend which left my heart full, and my brain exhausted.