Going nowhere fast

The leaves are changing faster than what remains of Il Douche’s mind.

Ever been stuck in the mud, or the snow?

You get out of your rig to evaluate the situation, consider your options, and compute the probabilities. Eventually you arrive at a conclusion.

“Well, shit.”

Everyone else is motoring gaily along and yet here you are, mired to the hubs in a mess of your own making.

“Well, hell.”

And, no, I’m not talking about our national political quagmire, though, yeah, that too.

“Well, fuck.”

This was simply a matter of me taking my eye off the seasonal ball for a second, and suddenly, boom, here it is, half past October and I haven’t ventured beyond the city limits more than a couple of times all year.

Thus there was something of a piling on, envy-wise, this week.

Old Town Bike Shop’s John Crandall and his wife, Kathy, rolled through town on a short motor tour of the Southwest. The neighbors headed north for a weekend in Taos. And Herself, a confirmed non-camper, sallied forth with a friend to overnight with the Sierra Club at Chaco Culture National Historical Park before Il Douche’s pals decide to strip-mine, drill, or otherwise frack the place all to hell and gone.

“Well, goddamnit all anyway.”

This last was particularly irksome. The Chaco junket had come up in casual conversation some time back, but I have the memory of a Mac 128K and some data gets overwritten in fairly short order.

Suddenly the trip got scrawled on the calendar in the kitchen and I found myself pressed into service as quartermaster officer, furiously inspecting, rejecting, and selecting neglected bits of this, that and the other. Camp stoves and cookware; sleeping pads and bags; and various creature comforts of our modern age (the BioLite PowerLight is a charming little torch/lantern/charger combo, particularly so when paired with SiteLights.)

All for a trip that I was not taking.

You know how your dog looks at you when you’re loading up for a car trip? Imagine my expression as we muscled all this gear into the companion’s Honda CR-V. Things they thought they needed and things I thought they needed — including two bicycles, because of course they were taking bicycles too and there was no bike carrier on this auto.

Like Rufo’s little black box in Heinlein’s “Glory Road,” the thing had to be bigger on the inside than the outside. I should’ve taken a picture. Sardines in a can have more elbow room.

The spartan Camp Dog, featuring the North Face Expedition-25, at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, circa 2016.

I was not consulted as regards the tent, and when I caught a glimpse of the companion’s eight-person (!) tent in its sack, I knew immediately what Private Pyle’s body bag must have looked like. Especially if they stuffed Gunny Hartmann in there with him.

There was no time to dig out the old North Face Expedition-25 and provide instruction on setup and takedown, so I kept my lips zipped. But I’ll bet that cavernous sonofabitch got cold last night.

Me, I was toasty in the old king-size with a couple of unauthorized cats. Today is shaping up to be sunny and warm, and I have a new review bike to ride, a Cannondale Topstone 105.

But I’ll be riding it on the same old roads, and you what they say about familiarity.



32 Responses to “Going nowhere fast”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Lovely day. I’m still trying to decide whether to do anything other than sit on my ass with the Advil, since I seem to have sprained my back.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Owie. I’ve been trying to throw mine out, lugging uncounted tonnage of camping shit around and about, plus splitting a sizable sack of kindling for the ladies’ trip (no woodgathering permitted at Chaco). But I haven’t quite got ’er done. Yet.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I got off balance putting the BMW on the center stand. Had the bike too close to the work desk and thought I was gonna shear off the right turn signal, so i tried to horse it over to the left. Ouch.

        Yet one more reason you are more likely to get hurt on a moto than on a bicycle.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’ve done that with the Vespa, which I expect is considerably lighter. Get a little off kilter in a pair of lightweight shoes, do the old reach-and-jerk, and there you are. Ow wow yow zow.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Yep. My better half wondered why I was texting her at 0300. Was because I couldn’t find a way to get to sleep. Sumo wrestling a 540 lb beast while off balance is a challenge.

      • SAO' Says:

        Just finished a couple of months of PT trying to get upright again, and it’s mind-blowing how poorly designed the human body is. Either that, or how poorly we take care of the machinery we’re born with. My problem is personal abuse, while my wife’s is car accidents, getting thrown by more than one horse, and a couple of other similar incidents. But the end result is, the shin bone connected to the knee bone thing means that a slight tweak here becomes an out-of-whack there which turns into a throbbing this which aggravates that. You find yourself limping and you can’t remember which side you’re supposed to be limping on. Did my bad knee lead to strained Achilles on the opposite side, or was it vice versa?

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Boy howdy. I’m convinced I have the torso of someone intended to be 6-2 and the legs of someone else intended to be 5-10. I wound up the wrong sort of 6-footer entirely.

          I used to be able to roll an ankle onto crutches just strolling down a sidewalk. Haven’t done that in a while, and I don’t know whether to credit running, riding, or simply some deep-seated racial memory of the English teaching the Irish to walk upright by providing them with work involving wheelbarrows.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I am fortunate to have a retired physical therapist and yoga instructor as a cycling buddy. Taught me the Thompson maneuver and some core strengthening exercises that I do every morning. I have had less back problems. By the time I do my foot exercises to prevent plantar fasciitis and the core stuff it takes 15 minutes before I get my coffee started. There is a reason our elders told us to sit up straight, stand up straight, lift with your legs, and always try shoes on before buying them.

      But when I do get a hitch in my giddyup, Aleve seems to do the trick better than any other NSAID.

  2. SAO' Says:

    Speaking of traveling with bikes … anyone see this little piece? Couple of names I haven’t heard in ages.


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Remember when smuggling Coors across the state line was a money-maker? I never quite understood why. Even as a young swine with the subtle taste of a Trump trouser stain with his daddy’s Amex card I always thought Coors tasted like someone had drunk it already.

  3. Libby Says:

    Enjoy that nice weather!
    Because it is •Companion’s• vehicle you get to unload in short order everything in that TARDIS suv in 24 hours. And put Companion’s tent back into the TARDIS and then put all your stuff away. Classic sitcom gold. You need a sitcom sidekick. A Jerry (Millie) Halper; a Fred (Ethel) Mertz; a Trapper or BJ (Hawkeye); a Squiggy (Lenny); or an Uncle Charlie (Steve Douglas).

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Getting even a little out of town is essential every now and then. A road trip to Rainbow Guitar in Tucson next week to retrieve a lost foot pedal ( a pedal that works with an amplifier not a crank set) will satisfy me until the next Mad Dog get together in Duke City or meeting all you North country folks at McDowell for a little trail action.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Uh oh. Sounds like someone’s goin’ all Stevie Ray Vaughan on us. Don’t get into any helicopters, Bubba.

      How’s that new guitar treating you? Is she your pride and joy?

      Maybe some early season trail riding down to McDowell might be the ticket. A change of pace, don’t you know.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Nothing that exotic buddy! This is a single button foot pedal, that was supposed to come with the Blue Junior, that turns on the FAT circuit. It got lost in the shop during unboxing. They found it today, so will go pick it up next week. Of course we will have to go into the acoustic room and sniff around a little! Still working on those barre chords. They are slowly starting to come around.

      Please let me know if you want some company at McDowell. Never rode there, and we still have our camping stuff.

  5. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    No back sprains here yet despite mounting up some lights in the shop ceiling and pushing workbenches around – physical stuff I’m not used to doing. Next up: calling the movers to extract and insert various large furniture items onto the proper floors of our little tower so we can finish moving in. No DIY here, the stuff’s gotta go out the windows, the stairwell’s far too narrow and twisty. We’d left the future bedroom kind of empty pending a washing machine installation – but we’re not waitin’ any longer! It’s all going in, getting assembled, etc. and we’ll deal with the washing machine guy when (if) he ever actually shows up to start the project. I originally wanted him to install the shop lights, but gave up and DIY’d ’em so I could finally see down there – much better now!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We had to pay a couple of dudes to wreak havoc in our flower beds last week, because someone around here (I would not say his name, but his initials are Patrick O’Grady) allowed them to turn into Vietnam.

      I always feel like a feeb writing a check for something I should handle myself, especially since I was the source of the problem, but my back will not take serious weed control.

      I can ride for hours, run for one, but can’t spend an afternoon bent over the garden. Go figure.

      We need to nuke the back yard, keep a small patch of lawn and xeriscape the rest. But it will cost a metric shit-ton. Maybe I can just call in an airstrike from Kirtland AFB. Herself has contacts there.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I’m paying to get a ocotillo removed from the back yard. I have trimmed it once, and it attacked me for doing so. Kinda like wresting a porcupine. But, when it attacked the Duffinator, which caused me to drop $500 at the vet, it signed its own death warrant. We went xeriscape in the back yard last year, and the front yard goes next year.

        You mess with your back yard and that buck that visits to feed in the winter will put an antler up your ass!

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Yardwork? AAGGHHHHhhh! No more of that….ever. I yanked some bushes out from in front or our Iowa shack a few years ago so I could access the faucet connection. As happy as I was with the results, I should have paid someone and saved the pain over the next few days! At best here we’ll have some flower boxes on various terraces and balconies.
        The planters in the front need replacing but we’ll find someone willing to come out here and replace them, possibly transplanting their current occupants to the new, nice, clean containers that will match the others on our street and make the neighbors happy, but still prevent anyone from parking a car in front of my shop entrance. People here will park a f–king car anywhere they think they can get away with it!! The municipal cops love to ticket (and have towed) cars parked in the wrong place but somehow in our neighborhood it’s a free-for-all?

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        I had to look up xeriscape – turns out we did that in Iowa both front and back! The only water anything in the ground there got fell from the sky either as rain or snow. Our next-door neighbor “Billy Bobcat” who had pretty much every internal-combustion toy you could imagine, was paid to swing over and chop/mow things down often enough that the place looked inhabited even if we were over here. No metric shit-tons of anything involved, just a small check now and then.

  6. Not Jusak Says:

    yO’Grady, you need to get out more! I am scared of what is going on in your head staying all cooped up.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      O, it’s pretty much the same thing that goes on when I’m not cooped up. It’s just that I hear the voices much better indoors.

      What transpires in Jesus Junction? Still selling disco sandals to the faithful?

      • JD Dallager Says:

        PO’G: Just use the foam earplugs (NOT earbugs!!) outdoors and the “voices” become crystal clear. Not that they’re any more informed or useful. 🙂

        And for all you middle-aged/senior states-people/philosophers and spouses/better halves, etc.: When I was (“for profit” applies to all after this) a paperboy-on-bicycle (trademarked) and a lawnmower/hedge-trimmer /freelance landscaper, and a speared-fish-vendor/entrepreneur at age 10 in St. Petersburg, FL, I often wondered why my clientele (average age 60-plus) would pay me to do what I did. NOW I KNOW WHY!!

        Please carry on that “legacy” tradition as good stewards of the “invisible hand” wisdom, “trickle down theory”, MAGA dictatorship, etc.


        • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

          Time is money and when you retire you realize both are limited, though money you can get more of in various ways even as an old-fart (ask PO’G) but time’s precious and I don’t want to waste a minute of it doing things that I don’t like or are no fun like yardwork, plumbing, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: