June 4, 2009

Happy accidents and angry truckers

Well, now that I have your attention I feel as though I should impart some sort of insight into this adventure that we have embarked upon. It appears to be one on the grandest of scales with the usual misadventures to sparkle up an otherwise overly planned objective. The past month or two has been the precursor to the “overly planned objective.” Lots of phone calls with hosts and sponsors to line up the details to make this moment possible.. This moment is almost too good to be true. Justin and I have traveled for two days to find ourselves eating quiche and sipping on some coffee inside one of the more aesthetic coffee houses I have had the pleasure of visiting. A vase full of flowers is to my left and an aching Justin is to my right. Aching in the best kind of way. Sustainably painful. I am no stranger to the pain. I bonked in a huge way yesterday, but I didn’t need banana chips to cure this one. I was only craving the H to the O. Traditionally, I seem to find a thirst in this valley that rivals the worst case of cotton mouth that you are imagining. The kind where you could see yourself loosing some of your moral convictions to pull water out of the hands of an unsuspecting child. Usually this type of thirst only finds me as I am climbing in the Black Canyon, which we passed so temptingly close to yesterday, but there are far to few little children with with water bottles climbing there. More in Paonia.Yesterday was great, but even better after I figured out how to manhandle the Bob Trailer. It is unruly if you aren’t paying attention, and I was overly terrified dropping down keystone hill and into Placerville. I thought we had a procession following us for a while until I turned around to find a few angry truckers gassing it around us as to show us how silly our biking habit has become.Speaking of angry truckers . . . We met one last night. He was tall, arrogant and carried himself in a way that hinted to the scale of his chariot. 18 wheels. Justin and I have six between us. Four on our bikes and two on our trailers. Count em, 6. Combined we may be a third of this particular trucker’s manliness, but I guarantee you our taints are tougher, or will be. We met him at my parent’s restaurant and he told us a story that haunted me all of yesterday. He started the story by saying. “ah yeah. I smacked a biker once.” Apparently he was used to telling this story to his trucker buddies and not to a pair of wet behind the ears bikers. After twenty minutes of him telling us the details of his misadventure with a group of bikers, I came to believe he was truly nuts and the scariest thing was that he probably isn’t the only crazy trucker out there on the open road. His story went something like this. “dang al dang al . . . I came around the bend to find three of your types riding three wide. I clipped the back wheel of one and sent him a flying. Shit. I thought I killed him. Man I was angry. I continued up the road aways to unload my rig before I had to go see who I had killed. Guess what that biker did? He came up to me all angry about his silly bike. He didn’t know what angry was until I started laying into him.” It went on and on after that, but I kind of stopped listening once he had said he unloaded his truck before checking on the biker. Funny I couldn’t stop thinking about this between the towns of Austin and Hotchkiss where the shoulders to the road were Kate Moss in size and not those of the current governor of California. I take that back. There were no shoulders on this particular section of the road. It was terrifying. I couldn’t get that trucker’s crazy look out of my head. The problem with visualizing such things is that you amplify them in your head. His eyes became the size of his tires and red like the flowers standing next to me in this coffee house. His knuckles were white and his bumper read, “guns don’t kill people, this bumper does.” Fun times . . . So if you are thinking about joining me on this ride. Pretend I never told you the story of the crazy trucker. Replace this story with fluffy bunnies and candy at every stop sign.We slept in an office the first night and a park last night. Both were cozy in their own way. The office had a ghost printer kick in around 3 in the morning to warn the business owners of the previous days earnings and the park had its share of anxiety that accompanied the no camping signs and 10 pm curfew. We survived both and even managed to dream of happy truckers with pillowed bumpers and flowers coming from their muffler.We are heading over McClure pass today and onto Glenwood. 70 miles ahead of us, and 125 behind us. Wish you could see these flowers standing next to me and maybe even sniff them. I think there is even a hot springs along the road. I hear hippies hang out there and maybe even take their clothes off before swimming. Yikes.Brought to you by Drew . . . the sustainably painful writer/biker

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