Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Answer

25° temps ensured the trails were fast and grippy for twelve  riders who turned out for the last ride of 2014, and if this ride was any indication then 2015 is gonna be a hum-dinger even if it does start with vegan month (more on that later).

The short ride to the trail was painfully cold, but once the cold turned to tingling and then to burning, the blessed numbness finally set in. In two hours we hit most of the sights at White Clay including The Goat Trail (never gets old) and Corkscrew a couple times.
Trail tip: After the first trip down Corkscrew, Kirk's rear brake started dragging. Unable to find any bike lube he resorted to borrowing a flask of bourbon to "loosen up" the caliper and we learned yet another valuable lesson - that that sometimes "alcohol is the answer."
14 miles later, eight of us hit McGlynn's pub to recap the awesomeness of the ride and to celebrate that it is not yet vegan month by devouring:
Bourbon fixes everything
including stuck calipers.
  • One ahi tuna burger (a vegan distant cousin)
  • One McGlynn's Stuffed Burger. The vegan coup de grâce, this is pile of beef the size of a bowling ball stuffed with a whole philly cheese steak sandwich and (we think) poached in duck fat.
  • Six Farmhouse Burgers topped with cheese, locally grown mushrooms, and a fried egg. We added lettuce and tomato just to make our Moms happy if they are reading this blog.
We started washing these down with a session IPAs (it was 11:30am after all) but then mercifully switched to Old Dominion Bourbon Oak Barrel Aged Stout. 

We thought we might have a problem when Jesse (our passionate part-time vegan) dove into her Farmhouse Burger and her eyes rolled into the back of her head like a great white shark devouring a sea lion. No joke. It was weird. Tom thought he might have seen an extra eyelid too. 

Thanks all for turning out for the ride. I'm lucky enough to be able to ride a bike in the woods. To do it with eleven other great people who are at least as passionate about it is just awesome. Impossible to put into words.


"RIDE HARD, live easy"
     -- Unknown

photos courtesy of our vegan photographer

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Licking Windows

"We're licking windows now."  It was an apt observation. At 2:00 am the discourse had deteriorated to something akin to a bunch of 12 year olds in the back of the school bus at the end of a very long ride.

About seven hours earlier we kicked off festivities with the traditional mountain bike ride. This ride is never too ambitious but it's always fun because we know what's coming next. The ride is how we legitimatize what happens afterwards (the window licking part). This years ride was notable for the number of  fatties (five) and our penchant for driving headlong into every mud pit we could find on the west side trails.

Some kiln dried lumber and a couple gallons of kerosene ensured that the bonfire got rolling without a hitch once we tossed the match after the ride. We had a minor violation since Rob, as only the second person in history to clear the Trail of Broken Collarbones uphill on a mountain bike, was supposed to do the honors but was otherwise indisposed. We'll somehow rectify this next year at the Tenth Annual which is sure to be a doozie.

The post-ride alfresco menu featured reindeer chili topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, cornbread, homemade mexican guacamole-sour-cream-cheese-bean dip, bags of cider donuts, a huge pile of christmas cookies, chips, and assorted other high-calorie snacks enjoyed by mountain bikers.

Well fed, amply watered, and energized by the ride, nine of us settled in for a long night of shenanigans and belly laughing around the bonfire. Shenanigans included one fire jump (it's not a bonfire without one of those) and belly laughing included Löwenbräu lyrics and some now immortal bonfire memes and quotes including:

  • "The Finger of God." I won't attempt to explain it here and Google won't help so don't bother.
  • "It's the end of the the world and I was facing the wrong way." It looked like it was, and clearly one of us was. Yeah, I guess you had to be there.
  • The window licking reference which I think has some legs with this group.

We finally threw in the towel not because we'd run out of material but because it was almost 3:00 am and apparently you have to draw a line somewhere.


"Here's to good friends, last night was kinda special."
     -- The Löwenbräu guy

Friday, December 12, 2014

Just Around the Corner

Quick update on the bike bonfire beer thing, which is just around the corner:
  • Elk & bison meat chili has been re-dubbed "reindeer chili" by my disapproving daughter. No need for me to bring any home, she won't be trying it.
  • It will be mild (low 29 degrees) so consider flip flops for apres-ride attire. Also Kirk has kindly offered the use of his hot tub to "take it up a notch" so bring your bathing suit too (no birthday suits please). Seriously, bring it.
  • Kirk and I will be setting up the bonfire tomorrow mid-day (felling trees, lashing the pyre together with bailing wire, dousing with gallons of kerosene, setting up a fire jumping skills course, etc.) so if you want to join that fun let me know and we'll keep you posted on time. 
  • This guy provided the chili recipe. I figured if he could make 
    a bunch of squirrels edible then he could probably do 
    wonders with some reindeer meat.
  • Park at my place or in the cul de sac, then hump your stuff behind Kirk's (walk to left of his house) and down the trail to the bonfire site by the creek. Plan on a couple trips to get all your stuff (bike, cooler, chair, food, gear, etc) down that dang trail. It's called the Trail of Broken Collarbones for a reason. Note: if you RIDE down the trail then you are nominated to light the bonfire (an honor not unlike the lighting of the Olympic torch). If you ride UP the trail then you are superhuman. It's only been done once. Ever.
The fun starts in about 21 hours and this house smells awesome!


"Oh the things you can find if you don’t stay behind."
     -- Dr Seuss