Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Great Bike Excursion III: Long Morning's Journey into Late Morning

Today I borrowed Brother Kamrath's mountain bike, which is as manly as they come -- he and his sweet lady have one little Kamrathster in pre-school and another well well *well* on the way -- manly except perhaps for the tire acne (the bumps, man; the knobs and protrusions) that if you thought about it gave the whole ride a vaguely adolescent feel.

No no. It was a manly manly ride: 18.7 miles and 2 hours 13 minutes, all the way from the Berkeley pier to the Richmond end of the Bay Trail and back.

This is a real Long March, for it crosses the Greater Hill of Death and the Lesser Hill of Death (which are really just two sides of the same hill, one side being steeper), which lie behind Golden Gate Fields, Albany's only one true racetrack (hay for horses and catnip for developers).

Now, Pat -- who is the Ricardo Montalban of bikers, and when it comes to manly Ricardo Montalban is XXL -- has managed the Lesser Hill of Death but never the Greater Hill of Death, the latter feat all the more challenging because that hill confronts you on the way back from Richmond, a good 16 miles from the beginning of the ride.

We talked as we rode of how we would dismount and walk up the G-class Hill of Death, for we are not fools. But when we approached the hill -- what's this! Pat is not slowing down!! And up the hill he rode and up the hill I followed, pulled along by that invisible thread of doubt, vanity and preening self-love that binds all American males together.

I explained it all to my lady wife, described the huffing, the puffing, the final mighty beat down of the hill in spite of the aching, the chafing, the long shadow of myocardial infarction that lay across our path.

"Men," she said, you can imagine how admiringly.

1 comment:

Peter Moore said...

Or to be hip "Teh"