16 February, 2012

11 Feb aka Let's Celebrate Murphy's Law!

Sunny at first but look at those storm clouds.  That was our theme today.
 The day is the 11th of February.  This day -for the Homey Trinity- would be indelibly etched in our memory as Murphy’s Law Day (Dear Mr. Murphy, if I ever saw you, I would ehf you up two times sir).
It began as the middle third of the homey trinity slept through three, separate alarms he allegedly set the night before (mm-hmmm!).  Since the middle third was also responsible for the last third that make up this-our-special union, he was late too.  Finally we hit the road, 5 people with cycling gear for the weekend, bikes, and corollary equipment like tools onboard Betsy the IV (of all the cars I’ve really loved they were all named Betsy:  an 83 Nissan Sentra-Betsy; a 93 Volvo 850 GLT wagon-Betsy II; and a 95.5 Audi S6 Avante-Betsy III), at least an hour behind schedule and what added insult to injury was the weekend ski traffic as we head westbound on I-70.  Snow was also falling on Vail pass so we had to run 4wd for a while just to be safe further reducing our terminal velocity as dictated by Colorado State Troopers.
The further westbound we go the higher the mercury climbs and once we arrive in Moab, at the Poison Spider to retrieve Jeremy’s 2012 Yeti 575 rental my Tundra’s digital thermo-meter says, “52 F°” (actually she says nothing but I’m anthropomorphizing my Tundra because I love her so).  
The La Sals, a pretty beginning for our adventure.
 Murphy’s Law number one:  New bike rear tire shall address the goathead sticker.  Jeremy and Hogan ride to our hotel and once we get unpacked and kitted out to ride, Jeremy, affectionately known as “that guy” was a goat head magnet.   The slime held in the front tire; but unfortunately it didn’t for the rear.  So what seemed to be a hiccup in the space-time continuum it’s 2:30 by the time we change out the rear and Billy and Kevin give some lovin’ to their rigs.  That time, by its own account should’ve sent red flags in our sensibilities of safety with day light burning out near 5:50 but now, we’re too ate up to not do Gold Bar/Portal Trail.
Everything’s good until the first casualty of the day:  me.
Experts?  Close.  Endurance? Yup.  Sunlight? Hiyill Naw.
Murphy Law number two (I said number two):  You talk shite to Mother Nature, Mother Nature will give you shite sandwich in spades!  I thought I was owning Mother Nature and was not respecting her because I was a cleaning/technical machine until Mr. Steep Rock Face had something to say.  He said, “Cycling beeyatch, today you will feel the sting of my lichens, thus shall you lose rear tire traction as you near 99% completion of the perception of cleaning me.”  I swear the last words I said before I lost rear tire traction on the lichens thus torquing my handlebars that served as a battering ram towards my 135 pound self times the acceleration of gravity equaling the force in Newtons as I got skewered by own handlebars, was, “Take that bitch!”  Then almost instantaneously I looked like a fish out of water, having the wind knocked out of me sternum side, with my other side of my ribcage colliding with Mr. Steep Rock Face, flopping on the tarmac holding my breadbasket, speaking in tongues, with the onset of a gran mal seizure, with Kevin running towards me to see if I was okay.  As he was running, he got a left calf cramp and collapsed when it cramped; adding to the log jam as Billy was behind him also trying to give me aid.  If there was a hidden camera capturing all this, it woulda been hella funny!
Murphy Law number three:  Plan all you want, when you start late, Mr. Sunshine will go down quicker than what you expect.  Once the sun went down we just started the portal trail and Billy and Kevin brought their lights.  I remember even as my ribcage was throbbing with pain, Hez-Billy and I were flowing through the rolling terrain skirting the edge of the chasm on the Portal Trail.  Thank goodness for a while until…
Murphy Law number four:  Damn suckas, you shoulda done brung a map foo’!  Who you think you are?  Magellen?  Yup our sorry arses got lost, we back-tracked several times to find the trail and by then it was cold and we were all hypoglycemic, hypersensitive to cold but trying not to lose it mentally, and night was on us.  Once we did find the trail we had to hike it out because there was a 500 foot sheer rock cliff that perpendiculared (yeah, I just made up a word) the Colorado River.  To the left, your exteroception facilities  could feel the electricity of the void that would claim your life should you slip, so we just didn’t think about it (too much).  Nothing like walking an hour and a half in carbon soled mountain biking race shoes with death some mere inches away on some parts of the Portal Trail.
Like that sign?  Behind Jeremy's a 500' sheer drop...
 Murphy Law number five:  You got lights?  Yeah, you think you got lights…Billy said we should move quicker because he only as about 35 minutes left o’juice on his lights.  35.00001 minutes later, light source number one goes bye-bye.  One light, Kevin’s light, lit 5 people walking down a precipice with 20+ pound bikes in tow, walking on cycling shoes in one of the world’s gnarliest, lethal terrain in pitch black (clouds obscured a normally ¾ moon).  I did see the sign stating three people have died here, so walk your bike: so that’s when I had Kevin take a picture of Jeremy and me flanking the sign.  What seemed to be an eternity prompted Hez Chilly to holler, “What the fuc* are y’all waiting for?!!”  So what seemed to be an eternity we’re finally on the road.  The cold made me urinate at least five times that evening.
Murphy Law number six:  Ite you sorry punks, I’ll give y’all a break.  We are still hypoglycemic, still hyper-cold sensitive but being on a one lane road with trucks in the middle of the night leaked out some adrenaline.  First, Kevin busted a high pace out in front, as I half-wheeled him, he increased the pace.  So what did I do?  I increased the pace some more.  He then half-wheeled me, and once he tired of my pace he amped it up a smidge.  After reciprocating this 3 more times, I busted the Alberto Contador I’m-standing-on-my-pedals-out-of-the-saddle-to-vary-my-pedaling-motion-so-as-to-vary-the-muscle-recruitement-and-not-cramp-but-little-do-you-know-I’m-fitt’na-bust-a-move-on-your-least-suspecting-arse move.  So I busted that move and attacked and the lactic acid flooded my chubby thighs.  We’ve been on the trail for nearly six hours now and here’s my busted ribcage self attacking out of light’s reach.  Once they were closing, the shadows cast by the chasers from Kevin’s light seemed to be out of a surreal movie.  The shadows were so big and so unorchestrated and so metronomic with the pumping of their pedaling action that it seemed phantasmagorical.  I don’t let up and finally Kevin chases on so now we’re two.  As we cross the last bridge into town we’re now three with Jeremy chasing on and that’s how it finishes as we head into the lighted parking lot of our hotel.  Holee Mackarel not only did we light all the matches in our matchbook, but we lit the matchbook as well and are HOLLOW to the point of bonking.  A round of fist bumping goes around as we’re finally the homey trinity plus two in disbelief of the lethal booshite we just experienced and survived collectively with nary a scratch (‘cept for some eft up ribs) as we’re putting the bikes in the hotel’s bike room as head out to City Market to spike our glycemic indices.  The other two that make up our group is Hogan:  Hez-Billy's mountain biking phenom (son); and Jeremy (aka that guy!):  said mountain biking prodigy's BFF.  A good group with heaps of testosterone keeping it competitively friendly.
Tomorrow, Sunday, we ride Sovereign but tonight we bask in the afterglow of the favorable results (that could've been a major failure or lethality due to stupidity by adults in the presence of minors) with happy endings (but not those kind of happy endings).  Everything else from this point forward is just quotidian.
Here's our lookout: Hogan, trying to spot any more trouble...