No Thanks, but Thanks
Photos and words by Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
I have made the decision to believe that that yes, global warming is happening. There is a ton of heavy shit that goes along with that, I know, I get it; superstorms, biblical droughts, floods, famine, plague, strife, real estate devaluations, shorter ski seasons, etc. A truckload, boatload, superfund, Yucca Mountain amount of issues right? Mega fusion/fission, black hole singularities, end-of-days issues.
But that’s all in the future right? I mean we’re good for a little while anyway. Us humans, as a social species, as a global community, we have never really been good at preventative care, especially if that means making things harder on ourselves. You could say that human evolution has really just been one long march towards the Lazy Boyz, on-demand, and a multi-stage high and low compression and rebound damping. By and large, we are a “wait and see” bunch…
Even though I agree with this global warming business, that doesn’t mean I have to give up my self-indulgence, and in particular the egregiously self-indulgent act of mountain biking? No, it doesn’t. At least not yet, at least while I can still beat my conscious to the corner.
So when Barry, the current manager of the Fat Tire Farm, my Portland bicycle shop Alma Mater dropped a text to say that the crew had a little all day adventure in mind, and would I like to join; this being the middle of winter, in the Pacific Northwest, I could only answer “sure, in, lets do it.” You see, I am a witness to global warming, there was no snow on the hills and the trending mountains around Portland. Sure Mt. Hood was covered in the stuf, gleaming white like the last cared for tooth in the gaping maw of winter’s long tamed ferocity, but the rest of the sub-alpine peaks were snow free. It was a “two sandwich” day and we were to meet in the parking lot of the “farm” at 8am.
We spent the morning mostly pushing our bikes, and the afternoon mostly descending. At least most of us did; David “@the_wilcox” Wilcox mostly rode and waited for the rest of us, not unfit, riders to catch up. He’s good like that. Aside from “The_Wilcox” we had Wayne, aka The Wayner. Now The Wayner didn’t/doesn’t/probably won’t know that to a certain crew he is known as The Wayner, not that he would care.
You see for all The_Wilcox’s fierce and commendable pedaling, The Wayner would put in just as much effort slowing the progress of our merry group. There is no doubt that The Wayner is fit, I mean you have to be to lug a case of Coors heavy on a backcountry ride. Not that he didn’t try to lose the weight, or at least, given any chance, transfer the weight from one vessel to another, e.g. from the cans to his body. The Wayner took ride-drinking to a new level, where us amateurs seem content to dabble in our one or two beer existence, The Wayner is pushing progressive trail drinking ever onward, he took every stop, group check, or flat repair as an opportunity to slam a barley pop.
Long story short, the day was a thrill, we took up pretty much all the daylight and then some. There is something to ending an outing with a fire built in the midst of parking lot full of dog shit, next to a culvert dropped in the middle of a long gravel curve, where the concerned locals consistently choose to show their support of your dark, cold, abandoned plight by unleashing the many harnessed horses of their apocalypse 4runners, Thunderbirds, and Datsuns upon the threatening gravel abutting your hastily constructed hobo fire that tries really really hard to warm you as you wait for the shuttle vehicle to return. This is winter, I was wearing shorts, No Thank you, thank you global warming…
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