The Dirty Chain Gang Rides Without Me
Seconds before the first Dirty Chain Gang riders cruised into view I had shattered the mental block that has long kept me from climbing that short bit of rocky steep. Can I write that, or is it too embarrassing to admit? Well, too late now. For years that single spot has knocked me from my saddle; the pattern never changing - ride two-thirds of the way up, right to where the bedrock steps start, unclip, walk the final third. No more, from now on. I was stoked, and so, as the DCG filed past headed for their post-ride breakfast I gave a howdy, or a good morning, to every one. Pete asked if I was going to turn around and join the dirty bunch, but they were on the last legs (roughly) of their morning's journey, while I was only three miles in. Some silly excuse passed through my lips, something about how they start too early for me, and needing to make up some miles. A quick acceleration got me to the top of Beverest for a shot of everyone riding away, and then it was back to those miles.
Those obstacles that always come your way in mountain biking - if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Sooner or later, you'll nail it and never look back.
With a lead group of Dirty Chain Gang riders waiting at a distant bend in the road, the rest of the dusty-legged bunch plays catch up at their own pace. Equidistant between the two groups, a klatch of cross-county runners rumbles along.
With a week or two worth of tracks showing in the dust, and after having checked my copy of
Tracking the Wild Mountain Biker, I can state with confidence that I am the only
rider who takes this little side trail.
I began to think of all those DCG riders, finished with their ride, and now enjoying a nice, leisurely
breakfast down the hill at Norms Hanger and it made me hungry. Not hungry enough to bite into
a tuna with the thorns still attached, mind you. But hungry all the same.