Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brew Screws and Compounding Math

Victory! The newly installed
Brew Screw in action.
Tonight under the cover of darkness we would do some multiplication and we would screw a pedal into The Beer Tree. But first we had to get out of the parking lot which was proving to be a challenge. We were already two riders down, and both of these riders were centerpieces of tonight's ride. They were night riding newbies. Even better, for one of them it would have been his first time in clipless pedals. But they were last minute scratches due to a light failure (rider #1) and a logistical snafu (rider #2).

So we were down to six riders, clipped in and rolling into the darkness, when ChrisR quipped "wait, i have to take care of something" and abruptly turned back to the parking lot. How that something wasn't taken care of earlier we will never know, but it was promptly dispatched and we were rolling again into the darkness to do our math and to screw a pedal into a tree.

Bryan's dentist had no idea that a few short
hours after his root canal he would be
clipped into The Beer Tree serving
microbrews off the bottom of his foot.
The trails were dry and the lead-out single speeders were throwing up a lot of dust. With a light on my head it looked like I was riding through a thick fog. The narrow bridges and twisty single track all looked a little narrower and twisty-er in the dark and the gazillion-lumen light on MikeM's head (behind me) cast shadows on the trail ahead. Night riding turns familiar trails into unfamiliar trails and makes everything feel just a little riskier (probably because it is). It also feels just a little bit illicit which is articulated so well in this brilliant blog post about why night riding is like hotel sex.

A couple hours earlier Bryan was speaking with his dentist about his après root-canal evening plan. to ride a mountain bike in the woods at night. She said he was medically cleared but that his plans sounded dubious. She didn't know the plans also involved a stop a The Beer Tree where we'd do some compounding math by introducing another risk fun factor (beer) into our already complex equation of fun = riding bikes * in the woods * at night.

The Brew Screw newly installed on
The Beer Tree under cover of darkness
All singletrack eventually leads to The Beer Tree and tonight was no exception. After a CCW spin around The Double Bonus Loop we found ourselves in the warm embrace of The Beer Tree and what would be a special night for many reasons:
  1. Mark singing the Lowenbrau jingle ("Here’s to good friends, tonight is kind of special. So tonight, tonight, let it be Löwenbräu")
  2. Our first field install of The Brew Screw.
  3. Bryan clipping himself into The Beer Tree because... well... because now he could.
Around 10:00 pm we put our cold wet sweaty gear back on and saddled up for some more drinking beer riding bikes * in the woods * at night. Three riders headed to almost certain disaster on the new yet-to-be-named trail in The Forbidden Lands and the rest of us headed back to the parking lot, showers, and in my case half a pint of Ben and Jerry's "That's My Jam Core" ice cream.

What a great ride. Kinda special.


"Wait, i have to take care of something"
     -- ChrisR

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