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Smiles for Miles
I often get 'busted' by riding partners for having a silly smile on my face. There seems to be a constant grin on my face and usually it's for no other reason than the happy feeling that comes with the freedom of being out on the bike. Sometimes I'd guess it is a mask to conceal the pain. Seems that the worse the weather, the larger the smile.
Take yesterday, there was a steady sound of Noah's hammer pounding Ark joints in the distance while Jeremy and I were being drilled for three hours by wind and rain. Both very wet, JD looked at me at one part of the ride and asked what the hell I was smiling at. When he asked I think I was mostly smiling because of just how bad the weather was and the idea that we were winning. Jeremy & me (in our Rain Jackets): 1 -- NW winter storm: 0.
But, I also haven't been able to get a series of 'films' produced recently by our friends at 21st Avenue Bicycles out of my mind. I never worked at a bike shop and when I watch these I can't help but think that I must have missed out on a little something.
Something else that hasn't left my head, but has thankfully finally stopped hurting my body, was the Team Beer Pizza Race two weekends ago. Five people racing to four stops around Portland- where a large cheese pizza and five tall beers awaited before the team could move onto the next. Perhaps one of the more painful 13-mile races I have ever completed.
photos: Dave Roth
Then, just as Jeremy and I were only 15-minutes from home, we came around the corner to find a mud-slide and fallen tree blocking the road. The tree had just come down, as the car that had just come past us was nowhere to be seen. Doing our part for bicyclist and car relations in Portland, Jeremy and I laid down our bikes and wrestled the mighty tree, breaking off the top limbs so that cars could pass on the wide dirt shoulder that was fortunately on this corner. For the next 20-minutes we stood either side of the hill, directing traffic around the fallen tree. Finally relieved by the Parks staff of our safety duties, we both rode off smiling about that funny little episode that had interrupted our ride. Even in Portland it's not uncommon that drivers are quick with an angry honk and a derogatory gesture, so to have just been thanked and appreciated by a steady traffic of cars was a nice turn of hand.
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