5.29.2006

gambril this morning

went to gambril this morning

with the permission slip signed I had the bikes packed and the bike ready to go when I rolled out of bed this morning
grabbed some coffee and took the dogs for a quick walk before I left
patted the boys on the head (okay...I did not)
gave the wife a peck on the cheek (yes, I did)
then crossed town to pick up my brother

had talked with some others about meeting up to ride
but as the weekend started to wind down the window of opportunity started shrinking
as it was memorial day I had things to do other than ride my bike
there were hot dogs to eat and a pool to splash around in

arrived at my brother's
he gears was packed and waiting for me
his boys were geared up and already riding
three year old conrad was not only wearing his gloves and his helmet
while eric was taking off his sunglasses but keeping the helmet on
living the rule
no discussion
no helmet... no bike

loaded up the car and headed out of town
there was no real traffic to speak of other than the image of rolling thunder
we discussed if rolling thunder was a bike rally or a memorial day ride
my brother propossed make it bicycles only and see if these people still want to ride in a parade for the same cause
I thought that free baked beans at the start would aid in keeping the name of ROLLING THUNDER true to form

we arrived in the trailhead parking lot and took the last space
it was fairly early
but there were already people finishing up their morning hikes and morning rides
we suited up and got on our bikes
with little discussion we decided to take the route of old faithful, the yellow loop

gambril is good riding
the rock gardens are a challenge with plenty of winding singletrack break in between
it can be a challenge
at times I got a tad frustrated with the new development of girl scout routes and cheat lines
it is tough on the brain
as the brain is solving each problem as the wheels roll up on them
pick the safe and clear
pick the safe and clear
well.... there is not always time decline a selection because it is too easy
as that is against the primary goal of finding the safe and clear line
too safe and too clear is too complicated of an revision to make as you are slamming down the trail

riding with my brother is a good match
we have been riding together for years
we have been hanging together for years
there is never a shortage of things to talk about
even if the stories have been shared before
the skill level is very similar
although we each have a different riding style with varying strengths

we alternated leading
although I think he lead more
although he knows I often prefer not following someone else's wheel
there were a few moments where we raced for position
challenged the other for a hole shot
or cleared a section that the other failed
we went out for just short of two and a half hours
including my flat tire just a mile out on our way back to the cars

it was a awesome ride
do I dare say it was an epic ride
we each felt moderately confident
we each felt good about clearing sections that were challenging
we each felt good about not getting hurt
and getting to ride on this fine weekend
what a memorial day

after our yellow loop forward
and our abreviated yellow loop backwards.... plus a short down and back on a catotin trail we loaded up my car and pointed for home
there was temptation of the burger king or maybe the taco bell
but the window of opportunity had closed
we had achieved our goals
it was time for responsibilities

the responsibilities of memorial day involve splashing in my dad's pool and eating burgers and dogs all day
we arrived at my dad's with the wives and children already pool side
the cousins were all swimming like fish
with a little more than a brush of the dirt on my sweat dried legs I was in the pool as well

the day was pretty special in a very simplistically common memorial day sort of way
highlights include dean and grant going off the diving board in their favorite to infinity and beyond sort of pose
along with various andvancements in each of their swimming techniques

many burgers were shared
there was lemonade (and sodas for dad)
lisa left early so grant could nap
the cousins left for their next adventure
and well
dean and I stayed behind and continued to swim

evacuation was not easy
there was no kicking or screaming
while there was need for some simply trickery or basic promises
we arrived home without more than a second to get the grill going for dinner guests and their children
the boys were exhausted
not in the best mood for entertaining
the best was made of it
as behavior was getting menacing I motioned for a little SKY HIGH
that kept the two older boys entertained
while the two younger boys stayed with the parents and were munched on fruit and bits of ice cream sandwiches

the night for the boys ended with a bath
like they needed more water
I am ending the night with a drink
like I need another drink

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