I’ve told you the tale of my Friday afternoon grind-down. Saturday I was obstinate in my desire to rest. No yard work, no road biking, no mountain biking, no cargo biking, no writing about bikes, no thinking about bikes…nothing, nada, nyet, nien, nugatory, nope, no way, no how. Rest. Rest. Rest.
Saturday morning the local furniture store delivered two new recliners to the Red River Regional Bikeport. Perfect! Those things scream “rest.” Mandy and I were lounging in our new chairs by the open window, a nice cool breeze blowing in, letting our greymatter be burned to mush by the TV…when my lovely wife of 13 years (as of today) said: “There’s someone riding bikes past the house. It’s Jefe. And Dad.”
I raised my previously drooping eyelids and saw my father-in-law on his new Niner and Jeff (aka, Jefe, Jeaph, Gieff, Djeph and Ghahf) on a new bike (I think he might have mentioned getting a new bike) riding through our grass toward the house. An expletive passed through my mind and I hauled my lazy behind out of the comfy chair before ambling out to the porch.
“Aren’t you supposed to be building cabinets?” I asked Jeff.
Turns out he was test-riding this Voodoo thing with these green plastic flat pedals in his festive shoes. Tom was flaunting his new Niner. He keeps saying I’m not going to inherit this one, but I’m not giving up hope. Both the OBS and the Dogrunner came to me as Christmas gifts when the Tomahawk decided he needed to upgrade to a nicer bike. He’ll grow tired of the Niner and I’ll gain it as a hand-me-down. Just wait and see.
“Are you going with us or not?” Tom asked. I was in jeans and a t-shirt, wearing my speck-tackles, hadn’t brushed my teeth, and Mandy wasn’t feeling well that morning.
“I should stay…” I glanced over my shoulder at the side of the house. Beyond that wall was a nice new recliner with my name on it. Literally. Or somebody’s name. Mandy had it delivered, so it was probably her name.
“C’mon!” Tom and Jeff chided in stereo.
I mumbled something about my chain being the wrong length and still needing to do some work on my MTB. Mandy offered to let me ride the OBS (which she inherited from me) and I gave her a guarded (in front of her dad) scathing look which I believe she ignored. Of course the kids had been riding her bike and it was coated in mud. The chain was actually rusted and I knew the rear shifting componentry is also jacked up beyond all recognition.
“Lemme go get ready,” I said and shuffled dejectedly into the house.
I took my time, hoping they would give up and go on without me, but instead people kept calling into the house asking for updates on my progress. Finally I rolled The One up beside the new bikes (where’s my Krampus?!) and stated my readiness.
“Have fun!” my wife said with a nearly imperceptible wicked grin.
We struck out on Hatton Creek Road heading up the valley. That really only meant one thing: Hart’s Orchard. So much for my needed recovery.
What was truly bizarre about our impromptu little ride was how casually we were approaching the second hardest road ride in the tri-county area (there are really four or five counties of repute) and with what little regard we (I) was giving to the task ahead. And then suddenly we were at the bottom (it’s only a couple of miles from my house after all) and Hart’s Orchard hill loomed above. I took point (because I think Jefe likes watching me suffer) and instantly felt the shallowness in my legs.
In short, I didn’t make it clean. I stopped briefly two times and rode without walking, but I didn’t do it in a single push. And I also didn’t get my day of rest. The worst of both worlds? You tell me.
Jeff—in his flat pedals and floppy festive shoes—did get it clean. Tommy walked unapologetically. I don’t blame him. If I weren’t so darned cute in my competitiveness I would have just walked too. I owed it to myself.
Jeff and I waited at the summit for Tom as the rain rolled in. The thick trees kept the worst of it off of us, but by the time we had regrouped I knew I needed to head straight back down and get home.
My attackers opted to ride on out Furnace.
I’m going to plead temporary insanity before I mention that I offered to head up to Jeff’s house on Sunday to help him with his mountain bike trail before we parted ways. So when he started prodding me with texts around noon the next day I buried my face in my hands and wept.
Headline: kymba east president builds half mile of trail on high roxx in one day. Then rides loop five times.
You finished your cabinets? I don't want to contribute to your family's financial ruin. I couldn't live with that on my conscience.
I'd have to have to blame you.
My bike buying is what will cause our ruin. Get over here.
You just want me to bring peaches. You're using me for my produce.
I really need to mow and weed eat today. Which has nothing to do with my family's financial well being.
Yes! Bring bathing suits. [The kids had been invited along to swim in their pool]
My last ditch effort to get Jeff to change his mind:
I'm not sure you want to be behind me swinging a rogue hoe with me wearing my speedo
He wasn’t biting:
I guess the trails could use a mow and weed eat, but I'd rather concentrate on cutting more. Thanks for suggesting that though. Get over here.
My last response:
Of course when I arrived at Hi Roxx Jeff was working on his cabinets. But apparently building new MTB infrastructure trumps feeding his kids so we struck out for the high point of the Mozhican Family Mountain Bike Park Trails and Such. The kids came along reluctantly (read: Da-aad! I wanna play in the po-ool!) and did little to cheer Jeff and I along as we chopped at root and rock to tease out a new section of trail. Don’t they know we’re doing this all for them?
As we closed the gap for a completed loop, my back was ready to explode in pain, and Jeff said:
“It’s too bad you didn’t bring your bike.”
“Oh, yeah. I must have forgotten it.”
But the joke was on Jeff! I hadn’t forgotten it at all. I’d purposefully left the cussed thing back down in the lowlands so I couldn’t be coerced into riding when my body desperately needed rest.
Unfortunately I was able to be coerced into hacking out 100’ of trail which is far more damaging to my body. So maybe the joke was on me after all.
Holy swearing cuss.
At least they couldn’t get to me today. I went in to work where mountain biking just isn’t an option.