I’d imagine everyone is on the same page at this point, after a half a year of month end cop-outs. If not, I’ll explain it once again. The short version is I’ve decided to take the final post of every month and until they hit me with a cease and desist order, I’ll electronically publish the pre-edited feature I did for the now defunct Paved Magazine.
Coincidentally, today’s effort relates somewhat to the end of Wednesday’s. Take that as you will.
For the sixth time, I hope you enjoy it. If not, feel free to wander away and enjoy the cocktail party that is the rest of the Internet.
Photo by David Smith.
Never having been one to do what I’m told, I often have either made a habit of making the wrong decisions in the right situations or vice versa, depending on your perspective. This has been my cross to bear since I was a young fellow with both feet permanently cemented in the whimsical world of learning from one’s mistakes.
This found me in situations ranging from having a good time one minute to running from cops/rednecks/psychotic and murderous boyfriends/etc. the next. The upside of occasionally throwing caution to the wind and obeying one’s shouldered devil is that you sometimes come out on top and in doing so, discover something you might otherwise have not.
Of course the downside is winding up on the business end of a pair of handcuffs/baseball bat/psychotic and murderous boyfriend’s fist/ etc, but if we as human animals were to forever fear the worst, risks would never be taken, sometimes allowing us to experience the best.
Of these occasionally questionable decisions, the most innocuous would be that of putting the right kinds of bikes through the wrong kinds of paces. Again, it all boils down to one’s perspective. From cross bikes to track bikes and everything in between, they are meant to be ridden. Where, is entirely up to the pilot.
“Is that a cross bike?” the befuddled forty something mountain biker asked as we passed by one another at some off road intersection or another. “No” I started, curious about what aspect of the road bike resting between my legs could have caused the confusion.
Caliper style road brakes? Check. 28c Conti slicks? Check. Road shoes and pedals? Check and check. “It’s just a road bike… I mean.. This is a road.” I responded, nodding towards the open fire road rolling out down the hill before us. “…. Yeah.. I guess” he muttered, giving me a suspicious gaze before turning and continuing on his way.
The paved street that passes by my house leads to the ascent into the hills, which connects to the winding ribbon of single track, that eventually spills onto the network of fire roads, which then ultimately returns to the pavement bringing me back home.
Why would one limit themselves and just stick to the beaten path? Clearly slick tires don’t necessarily lend to control on off camber gravel descents but they certainly make them considerably more interesting. Until on two separate occasions I was witness to a couple of friends of mine clean extensive sections of rain slicked and rock strewn single track that presented a challenge on a mountain bike, let alone a skinny tired one, I didn’t yet realize what was possible. It was at those points when it clicked.