last day for the week

Listining to Bill MonroeFire on the Mountain Click to hear it

Last day of work for the week. I also don’t have to work this weekend, or really travel anywhere. I didn’t do too much at work today. I really just thought about my afterwork ride with Brian over in Bethlehem, Pa.

I had to remount my tire, and get it to work before I went out with him. As I remounted the rear tire, and placed it in the dropouts, I heard an awful sound. It was the arm that holds my disk caliper together grinding against the disk itself. Not the best feeling or sound in the world. I fixed that quikcly by bending the piece back into shape, and I was on my way. It was not too far to meet up with Brian and his friend, and I found them riding around the parking lot outside of the building brian works in. He warned me that it was a pretty good climb until we hit the trail. I thought it was for a block or two, and I clipped in and was off.

After what feels like miles of vertical road climbing, and passing the Eagles training camp dorms, we arrive at the top of the LeHIGH campus and the start of the trails. We still have some more climbing to do, but it is nothing compared to what we just did.

The whole trail was pretty rock strewn, like any other part of PA, and a challange for me because I have never ridden it before, and I am out there with someone who knows every inch of the place. These factors coupled with my derilurer problems, and low tire pressure did not make for the best ride for me. I think if I went there with my bike perfectly tuned, it would have be great.

Like I said before we had a ton of climbing and the place has tons of “baby head” rocks, and some fun bridges over some rocky parts or stream crossings. We hit some parts that felt like we should not even ride them, but i just trusted my bike, and Brian and went for them. I did end up almost falling, which put me in a funny spot. I was about to go over my handle bars which would have sent me into a small tree. Instead of letting my dentist put me back together I took both hands off the bar, and I “caught” the tree I was heading for and it’s neighbor and stopped myself. Sounds like a normal part of Mountain biking, and it is, but the next part is not so normal. I guess my bike, as it was trying to send me off and into an intamate meeting with a tree, pitched up the rear wheel. As the wheel was falling back to earth after I stopped us, the nose of the saddle somehow got caught on a loop on my Camel Back, and stayed there. Well, I tried to save some face and get the bike off of me, but the front wheel was married to a rock infront of me, which stopped it from moving, and the rear was up in my crotch and hung up on my hydration pack. Not the best situation to be in. Luckily I was not on my own, and one of our riding buddies was able to get me unhooked after everyone laughed at the sight of a rather large tattooed man being held hostage by two trees and a hydration pack.

We cut the ride a bit short, as the sun ws going down and I still had to drive from Bethlehem to Philly (a good 1.5 hours). Brian took us on a power line trail with a lung buster of a climb in order to get us out. At the bottom of the climb, was going to be the part that would let us out of the woods and onto the streets of Bethlehem. Well…somewhere either he screwed up or the brush was overgrown, but we had to ride through a cemetary. Not the everyday kind, but the really creepy kind, where you know these people are going to haunt you, or are already haunting someone. Most of the graves that were further up on the hill were from the 19teens and 20’s. They all worked in the steel mill that was just bellow their enternment.

As we came around a corner at the cemetary I finally saw Bethleham steel. I have seen the place from the road, but looking up at it is a way diffeent perspective than looking down from this hill. It looked like a movie set with some strange belching factory as the center of the scene. It does not look like anything I ever saw before. In that brief moment of viewing the facotry all of these thoughts of industrualism, polution, and labor unions all poured into my head like someone cracked open a histroy book and showed me the light. I guess there is something to be said for primary sources.

After the ride, we went back to the parking lot and changed into street clothes so we could hit up a local burrito place. I can not remember the name, but this place made me feel like i was back in Colorado or in Marin County. Brian and I wheeled our bikes through the walkway and just deposited them in the backyard/patio of the joint, and no one seemed to notice at all. The food was good, and relaxing after a ride is aways great. After the post ride fuel, we packed up our cars, and Brian showed me the way towards Philly.

I talked to Pete for a while on the way down there. It was nice to hear from him. He is always so busy these days, it is hard to keep up with him. We talked about riding and trying to get together this weekend. Pete made my trip go by much faster, and before I knew it, I was back in Philly. Jess and I did not do too much for the night, but just sort of lounged.

Fine with me for a Friday night


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