Oh, deer

Turkish surprise

The Turk' has that sinking feeling as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end.

The weather went a bit sideways on us this week, briefly taking a distinctly Novemberish turn. Snow, wind and cold — the combination put me out of sorts, as the first frigid wedgie of winter always does. If I wanted to wear long pants all the time I’d have grown up by now.

I slouched around indoors, squatted at the computer and took far too many pictures of the cats, so many that a Facebook friend complained, “Man, I know it’s cold outside, but you need to get out for some fresh air.”

So today, after Daylight Saving Time crapped in our clocks, I took his advice. Herself had been out earlier wearing everything in her closet, but we cyclo-crossers are made of sterner stuff (even the retired geezerly ones). So come afternoon, once the VeloPile had dwindled to a workable size, I slipped out for a short ride clad in the basics — wool socks, leg warmers, bibs, two long-sleeve jerseys, long-fingered gloves, tuque, and the old Giro helmet that fits over a heavy-duty skullcap. You know; manly kit.

I chose a leisurely ride I call The Four Parks because it takes in (wait for it) four parks. No hustle, no hassle, no hurry; just stretching the legs and enjoying the endorphins. My fellow Bibleburgers were entranced by the feetsball, some faux military struggle between wild horses and buccaneers that kept them off the streets and glued to the One Big Eye. Thoughts of crimes against the State and Nature receded into the distance like farts in a whirlwind.

My spectators included a four-point buck guarding his harem with one eye on me. A few miles further along there was another four-pointer who could have been his twin brother, also with kinfolk in tow. And finally a mother and daughter, the latter wobbling all over the path on a pink bike.

I performed the traditional Laying of Hands Upon the Brake Levers, because it’s unseemly for cantankerous baldheaded tosspots to run down children, even among the libertarians. Words of four letters and one syllable queued up behind my clenched teeth, awaiting deployment.

And then the kid waved joyously, squealing, “Hi!”

Mom grinned and shrugged, and I retracted my venom-tipped fangs.

“Hi!” I replied with a smile as I rolled past, both mitts still on the levers (hey, I’m flexible, not foolish).

And then I rolled casually back to my own family, deciding to cook up a pot of chile con carne, just like the one Mom used to make.

14 Responses to “Oh, deer”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    Well, at least you got out for a ride. I left the bike home and we took the hounds out for a three mile walk on one of the new trails on the east side of town by the airstrip. With that lower disk in my back pounding to get out after riding up Camp May Road on Friday, I figured that an extra glass of wine and a slow hike with the two pooches was the better part of valor. Live to hurt another day..

  2. Boz Says:

    I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and not much riding these days. The ribs haven’t healed up good enough, but the food has been great! Tilapia tacos w/ black beans tonight should hit the spot.

  3. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Gents, seems like a few of us are on the old injury list. My back’s been acting up, too, K, along with the left knee — the backcracker is dealing with the former, but I suppose that one of these days I’m gonna have to see a sports-medicine type about the latter. I’d really prefer to spend the winter running than riding the trainer.

    Boz, dinner sounds swell. I’ll be right over. I’ve been simmering up pots of pintos lately, with chipotle chile, onions, garlic, chicken stock, cumin, coriander and Mexican oregano. The recipe is from The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook, which makes a good addition to any hash-slinger’s kitchen library.

    • Boz Says:

      I’m gonna order that cookbook w/ my first paycheck. Looks to have plenty of great recipes. An aside, the new power cord for my deep fryer just show up on the Fedex truck, so that 5 gallon jug of peanut oil has a true purpose. Now, witness the power of this fully operational battle kitchen (in the menacing Emperor voice)!!!

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Our escape to Sicily is sounding better all the time! Rode Sunday morning with the wife for 70 kms – in about 3 miles we’re out of the congestion of Siracusa and onto quiet and (mostly) scenic roads, getting back in time to catch MOTOGP on the tube. Temps here in paradise are still in the 70’s and the wife’s taking full advantage of the interesting stuff I come back from the markets with – today for lunch it was a fava bean soup (made from dry favas which you soak just any other dry bean) topped with ground sausage and onion/peppers, washed down with some “novello” (Nero d’Avola since we’re just 25 kms from there) finishing with a fresh pear and some pecorino cheese. They’re harvesting olives and pressing for oil these days and our connection for this liquid gold is….the local bike shop! He’s got trees over in Noto and sells the new oil to his friends and customers in the shop. How WE got included is one of those amazing stories – but around $12 a liter for freshly squeezed olive oil is fine by us! Now…what’s for dinner?

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      So Larry, what do you think of the old BMW K bikes? I’ve got an appointment to look at a K75RT and K1100RS, one in Santa Fe and one in Albuquerque. Been getting the itch lately.

  5. Larry T. Says:

    Khal, I know zip about BMW’s, having briefly lusted after a R90S back when they first came out – opting instead for a Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans, just as civilized (shaft drive) but much more exotic and rare. Nothing made in Germany expresses much in the way of passion to me – Ferrari vs Porsche is a no-contest though I can’t afford any of ’em. I really don’t know shit about modern motos these days other than what I read in the magazines and blogs now and then. Siracusa is a sportbike paradise evidently, there are Ducati and Aprilia shops along with the Japanese brands as well as a large Dainese accessory store and some independent ones just across the street. The local Ducati club had a display race bike at the local supermarket awhile back, I blabbed a bit with those guys and hope to score one of their club t-shirts for my “Ducatista” friend back home, who’s looking after our house while we’re gone. I’ve joked that owing a sportbike here in Italy would be great fun but buying a vehicle (actually the licensing is the hitch) is said to be even more difficult for foreigners than buying real estate. That’s as good an excuse as any for me to avoid indulging – I’d probably crash the thing within a few kms anyway!

  6. Larry Brown Says:

    I knew it, you are an old softy.

  7. Khal Spencer Says:

    You raced motos, right Larry?

    • Larry T. Says:

      Yeah, I was a pro for a few years racing in the AMA Superbike category at the same time as Wayne Rainey, Wes Cooley, Mike Baldwin, etc. Here’s a blog entry with a photo or two
      http://cycleitalia.blogspot.com/2010/12/still-on-two-wheels.html
      After the sponsor bailed I did a few lower-category races (including a 24-hour where Kevin Schwantz made his west-coast debut, but that’s a story for another time) before hanging up the leathers. I was a cyclist/marathoner during this time, one of the few non-smoking moto guys back then. My theory was 99% of the moto game was mental – to the point a close-to-perfect lap caused me a throbbing headache – so a sound cardiovascular system would allow the brain function to be superior via lots of good-quality blood flow to the cranium. It worked for me, and now all the top guys ride bicycles and I think Ben Spies actually sponsors a team in Tejas. I lost interest in the motorized fun once I could no longer do it at the top-level and decided I could get a similar adrenalin rush with a bicycle on a twisty descent — and get some good exercise while getting up there to enjoy it. I pretty much sucked at bicycle racing and turned to wrenching and riding just for fun soon afterwards.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        I never raced moto but that was my primary motorized way of getting around as an undergrad and grad student. I managed to not die during that period, albeit not for lack of trying. But like you, I thought motorcycling was extremely mental, so I was never very far off my game when riding. Especially since a momentary gaffe by my stepdad caused him to nearly die when he T-boned his BMW R-60 into the side of a car. He was running out of gas and looked down to switch to reserve just as the motorist turned left across his path. Shit.

        Well, there was one exciting moment, when I fell asleep at the handlebars on NY-17 at 60 mph after working till 2 a.m. in my advisor’s lab and then getting up at 0400 to ride upstate to my in-laws house, 300 miles away. Halfway there I woke up with the bike having drifted onto the shoulder and making that noise from rough pavement. Aside from having to nurse the bike back on the road and change underwear, that kept me awake the rest of the trip.

        Damned if there isn’t a 2007 Ducati Monster 695 for sale in Santa Fe right now. Hmm. Test ride…

  8. Larry T. Says:

    Khal, have that Duck checked out thoroughly as over here the Monsters are the “punk bikes” for those a-holes who do wheelies through the town and generally annoy everyone. They beat the crap out of those bikes the same way the punks do with Ninja 600’s and the like.

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