It sometimes seems like the best rides are the most impromptu ones.
Last Saturday, the wife had a big day planned of going to Ikea and running around town which usually means kid type fun for ole Scoottay. Riding around the neighborhood and to the park and back with the kiddos.
After her shopping excursion was complete, the wifey graciously asked if I wanted a ride. "Hell yeah" was the customary response. A quick check of the clock indicated that it was 4:30 and time was a at shortage. After consulting with El Gobernador, who put some CX skins on his town bike that morning, the decision was made to go for a neighborhood gravel cruise. The objective was to throw down some local paths and dirt roads and, with any kind of luck, get to our local watering hole, Skippys.
If there's one thing that there is zero shortage of is gravel and dirt out in Chandler Heights. Beautiful January weather and a pretty righteous ride.
The funny thing is, I've lived where I am now for 9 years. The good thing is that I have a friend who is good enough to show me places that I should be riding and, to my shame, haven't yet. It was a great mix of gravel, dirt and a wee bit of pavement that left me with a strong urge to ride more gravel.
I''ve been slow to post because I've been dealing with the mother of all sinus infections. It started in Early December, lingered through Christmas and even had the nerve to follow me to Mexico and back home. I've been using it as an excuse not to get outside and ride...the whole "rest" thing. Highly overrated.
Before the holidays started, Scotty B and DB worked to book a couple of campsites for the first weekend of January. I hemmed about booking through the holidays since there were about 900 other distractions like there is every year. Out of respect to those guys, I didn't want to wait forever to give my commitment so one of my Christmas presents to myself was to go camping. It didn't hurt that I booked a slot in Scotty B's popup, which is equipped with a heater and something other than a blow up mattress.
They got out Friday night for some first day debauchery. I wanted to keep some days in the bank at home so I rolled out early Saturday morning for the big ride. Fortunately for me, my timing was perfect. As I was pulling in, Dave and Scott were pulling a quiche out of the smoker. Pretty good way to start a ride.
After what felt like about an hour of debating what we were going to ride, the decision was made to do a loop of some of what we had been riding a bunch lately mixed with a big, classic climb that we hadn't done in a while. The loop from the campsite was to be Granite, Delsie, Pemberton, Dixie Mine, Windmill, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Tonto Tank with Granite back to the campsite. Like a fool, I brought a single speed. I felt good up the lesser climbs but the lack of any type of training crushed me going up Dixie Mine and Windmill. Even though I suffered, it was still a blast.
After the ride, the real fun started, Scotty B fired up the smoker with the intent of doing three racks of ribs. Bourbon showed up out of nowhere (Names won't be named to protect the innocent). Beer flowed freely. Rack ball (?) and Big Jenga came out.
The Jenga got REAL serious...
After dusting off ribs, my secret dirty rice burritos and mucho cerveza, someone had the bright idea to ride up to Jackass Junction from the campsite. I wasn't thrilled but in retrospect, the fresh air did good. It definitely made the beers go down easier when we got back to the campsite. Back to the big campfire. We managed to go through five bags of wood due to our resident fire stoker, Veronica.
Like most trips, it was over before it seemed to even start. All things considered, it was another bang up success by the Riding Dirty bunch.