Beer was cracked and I spent a good amount of time speaking with Mike about the folks he knew back in the old klunking days. Mike, as I have reported here before, was one of the original mountain bikers back in Marin County, California. He had his own cruiser turned mountain bike, and had owned several seminal early mountain bike iterations. His "Mountain Bikes" Montare, purchased from Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly, hung in the racks not far from where we were speaking with each other.
Well, it wasn't long before the traditional Greek pizza, (or three), was ordered. Marty from the Prairie Pedaler came around, and then John showed up as well. More beers were cracked. More conversations were shared. Some folks left. Mike disappeared when it was plain that the events were turning, well......more dangerous.
Stu, well.....he likes guns, so there are a few of those around, and being guys and all, we were looking at those and checking out their details. Ben picked up something nice from Marty, (I won't spoil the surprise for Ben), and that was certainly talked about at length. (No- it was not a gun!)
|John plays the downtube flute upon Presidential Request|
Only the truly skilled could make a "musical" sound on this. Others less talented could only make grotesque, gastrointestinal sounding bleats and blats. There were a lot of these sorts of sounds. Oh, and I should also add that a bottle of Goldschlager somehow appeared around this time. More beers were cracked.......Using the Trek/Pedros/musical instrument to open those beers, of course.
Well, after this became old hat, we had to start warm-ups for the indoor criterium. Yes- riding bicycles indoors.
|John on the "Front Stretch"|
Then you have to make another tight left hander through a narrow hall way, down a ramp, which makes you pick up speed, and to the end of the "back stretch", which is all "backroom". Because of this, there are various odd things like bikes sitting around, the bathroom door to watch out for, and a railing along the ramp here.But this isn't the most difficult corner. It is a bit slippery though, as the concrete is pretty smooth there.
|Ben looking back through the difficult "Repair Area Chicane"|
The most difficult area is the "Repair Area Chicane". This comes right before the ramp to the back room, and then there is an immediate left. It is tight, and there are a lot of chances for accidents. I have skinned my knuckles on the counter here, crashed into the support pole for the roof, and nicked the repair stand in my days of laps at Mike's. And you know- it isn't like we are being careful kiddies either. Speeds get up into the "Ridiculous Range" very quickly, and laps are done in seconds at speeds over 15mph in places. Indoors. In a bike shop.
So, if you were wondering, yes, it is pretty dangerous to do this at the sort of speeds we do this at. We skid into the corners, slide, and ricochet off things and each other. We are probably pretty intoxicated as well. Actually, I know we are.
|Mayhem: It happened.|
It just looked really bad!
We got him untangled from that mess and proceeded to find him a more suitable steed. The Indoor Criterium went on.
Of course, all things come to an end sooner or later. One of those things was Friday. It became Saturday morning, and we never really noticed. That will happen when you are having mayh......er, fun that is!
|Ummm....yeah. Whatever dudes.|
Well, the boyz played darts and I- not being blessed in the arts of bar room gaming, stayed at the table to watch the beer, and munch some salty pop corn. The bar had "entertainment", (only in the most loosely defined sense could you say this), and I tried to find something to appreciate about it. I will say that the duo had some chutzpah and a nice Ric bass.
Yeah- that's about all I can say about that.
Well, we closed out that bar, and then we had a big problem. Ben's house was a mile and a half away, and none of us were in any shape to drive, nor did we have bicycles. They were all locked up in the shop.
|I seriously do not remember taking this one!|
Eventually we found ourselves crossing the high school property. I walked in between some tall evergreens and then it happened.
There was some snow piled up in here that had been drifted up, melted, and re-frozen hard as a rock. It was slippery as well. So, my boots, which don't have much for traction, slipped on the hard, icy snow, and down I went. Hard.
I guess I must have smacked my upper left thigh on something pointy, frozen, and unforgiving, because it really bruised my muscle against my thigh bone. I thought I may have broken my leg at first, since the pain was intense and sharp, but I got up and could put weight on it. Nothing I could do but limp the rest of the way back to Ben's place, throw myself on the bed they set aside for me, and sleep it off.
Frostbike. It started out with a bang and a crash. Or two!