Dog Days of Summer
July 19th offered Northern California another 100 degree day. It was the beginning of the dog days of summer and a wonderful opportunity for the sweltering lunatistas to take to the water and wash away any remnants of burdensome living. Azul, Morgans significant other, would doggie paddle much further than any dog should go, but epic adventure only makes his ears perk up. Sean large would shirk his duties as father and provider to be present along with the Doctor Die (Ron), Dr. J., just-back-from-Europe Lucy. Eric was on hand to digitize the event.
Bored of Directors make plans
Five riders plus Azul met at the shop. Final preparations were made, bikes were loaded into the van and the contingent, with Sean driving the shuttle vehicle, hit the road to join with the Die Doctor at Lytton Springs Rd. From there the caravan headed to Lake Sonoma and the public boat launch parking lot. All of the bodies and bikes were loaded into Dr. Js space van. Within a couple of minutes the group reemerged at the Skaggs Springs Vista point. The sun was just setting as the twelve wheels and four paws began one of mt. bikins nicest drop-ins. The smooth curvy trail descended all the way down to lake level before crossing a stream and beginning the long series of intervals, up and down, that create a challenging, yet very fun ride.
Posers in the moonlight
The shear amount of mileage was curtailed in lieu of the mellow nature of most of the riders. Morgan jetted past the turn-off point and added another mile or so with Ron and Sean in tow. After they were retrieved the group descended the exceptionally steep hillside to the lakeshore. With eagerness to get into the soothing, sweet water the group stripped down to nada and inflated the floaties. Ten thousand dollars of bikes were heaped in one big pile on the air mattresses. The SS Bikin Fools set sail. The water was so pleasant, it seemed surreal. The moonlight rippled pleasingly on the water as the floating armada made slow passage towards the further shore. Morgan and Azul lead the way. There was some concern with everyone, except Morgan, about Azuls ability to cross a couple hundred meters of open water. The fears were unfounded. Azul cut a serious wake as he shredded the water, much the way he flies across the land.
The Speedo set...
Despite a serious bubbling sound coming from under the bikes, the composite of rafts managed to stay afloat long enough for the group to gain safety on the other side. From this vantage point, the moon was directly across the lake. It offered shimmering light that rattled the artistic senses. The veil of joy assigned to a chosen few enveloped the six happy bikers.
There was no hesitation to gather wood and get the fire started. It blazed to life with little effort. Then an astounding array of food was laid out. It was a massive assault on the culinary front. Marinated, spiced chicken cooked along side of tender beef, sausage, squash, vegetables, corn on the cob and Portobello mushrooms. There was so much food that only Azul would be able to take up the slack. Laughter rippled across the water as the fools reveled into the evening.
No shortage of great chow
Time vanished for a while. At some point well into the night, it was time to fold up camp and make the giant climb to Liberty Glen campground. The crew happily made steerage towards Liberty Glen, except Morgan who insisted that we were going the wrong way. He lobbied hard for more single track. The consensus overruled his eagerness and the group continued the long climb.
Eventually the route reached the campground and climbed slightly further to Rock Pile Rd. All during the climb, the view of the lake was breathtaking. Fog had begun to roll into the area. Patches of fluffy white clouds danced around the moon. Wisps of vapors tickled the moonlit lake. It was a sight that fired enough brain cells to remain for the duration of this existence.
The moon and fog hover over the lake
Finally the top was taken. Fog could be seen below. The riders would rage for several, steep miles on smooth pavement to the parking lot. Again there was concern for Azul. The riders would be going at warp speed and it was feared that he would be lagging. The riders shredded at a speed that teetered on the brink of the winds of the Bardos. (The layers of existence that follow death) The fog added an other-worldly effect to the descent. Visibility was limited to just a few feet, yet the roadway was well marked with fog lines and a double yellow line in the middle.
All of the riders pulled into the parking lot. In a phenomenal athletic feat, Azul arrived not far behind. Five riders collapsed in a dazed, blissful heap on the warm pavement while Morgan found some cool jumps in the lot and practiced his best BMX moves. Happy, easy banter floated in the night for an extended period of time before the group finally yielded to the fact that life goes on. The car shuffle was executed and the ride faded to a glorious ending.
La Luna again provided a venue for the Bikin Fools to slip away from convention and revel in the beauty and joy that is so illusive in the rest of our days. It was a brief, happy time for the bikers, who will return to tedium until the magic time again reappears for another portion of moonlight, bikin benediction.
Azul, trooper dog