The Bikin' Fools
April 15th, 2003 dawned cloudy and cool. It was a day that most bikers would hunker down and wait for the skies to yield to the sunny warmth known to Northern California in the Springtime. However the bikin' fools, known to be contrarians, completely turned the day on its head by daring to venture into unknown territory, at night with the specter of immanent rain looming present.
Chun / Difficulty at the beginning:
"Difficulty at the beginning works supreme success,
Furthering through perseverance "
"Thus the superior man brings order out of confusion."
lindsey displays new technology
The Oracle had it dialed. Auriah started the night with two successive flats, no tubes and a pump that didnt work. New technology from Shawn would only confuse the navigation and assist Jim in going Korte. Jim wasnt up for the confusion. He wasnt able to field the notion that this ride might take all night, go nowhere and end up in a bust. Lindsey on the other hand looked with eagerness into the void. He thrives on the unknown and had specially prepared technology to enhance the ride. He was using the newly formulated B.E.E.R. system. (Beverage Enhanced Electrolyte Replacement system.)
Lucy, on the other hand, courageously showed up to undertake whatever the fools might conspire to do. She had no idea what she was in for. Nobody did. The ride started sketchy at best, then proceeded to grow and expand into another classic. After a short car shuffle eight riders set out on Spring Mt. to find the lost trail to Cole Flat. Before leaving the van, Auriah flatted. The delay caused consternation. Finally he was able to install a borrowed tube and was underway. Within two hundred yards the new tube went flat. Again the delay seemed interminable. He tried in vain to get his pump to push air into the tube. Eric intervened by throwing his pump into the bushes. Once fixed the crew proceeded up the paved drive towards the ridge. For several miles the road climbed past occasional dwellings, finally cresting the hill at a winery. There had been a notion of a cable gate that had to be accessed for the proper route. None existed and several options were investigated. None seemed viable. Finally at the junction where the sign read; "Private Road", Jim bailed. The others proceeded cautiously down the grade towards several houses.
group heads into the void
"Hey!" Lindsey announced upon finding an alternate, "This is it. This has got to be the road." He departed from the main body of skeptical riders and explored the option. The rest of the riders watched him cut away, then curve back towards the main drive. His sortie yielded only a loop in the driveway. After descending into the little valley, the seven riders stopped to take another navigation break in a compound of agricultural buildings and farm equipment. Eric explored a possibility. He had ridden part of this ride several years earlier during an epic outing with Tone and Joe C. An unlikely, small track lead within spitting distance of a house. The flickering of a T.V. could be seen in the window. No dogs barked. With stealth and trepidation, the fools crept past the house. Just when they were partially by, several dogs woke up and began the canine chorus. Their barking was on a high level of concern. Surely the residents would be alerted. Several tense moments ensued as the bikers filed by. When most were safely out of the dog zone, a voice was heard near the house; "Shut up!" The resident shouted to the dogs, having no idea that this was not just another deer or coyote event. Little did the person know that an incredible occurrence was happening just past his view. Likely he would see fourteen tire tracks in the morning and wonder what that was all about. The dogs knew.
The Lunatistas proceeded to climb beyond the ranch to the ridge above. There the views unfolded in magnificence both towards the Napa Valley and the Sonoma Valley. The moon had thus far been generous. Her light was not impeded by a sky otherwise full of clouds and impending moisture. The sense of being lost quickly vanished was it was now obvious that the riders were on top of the ridge, where the map had declared the only route possible. For a mile or so the riders traversed the terrain, looking for the proper left turn. Suddenly it appeared. Now talk began to happen of having dinner.
lighting the fuse of frivolous adventure
This junction marked a turning point in the ride. Now the fears and concerns yielded to a sense of happy adventure and benediction. To officially anoint the moment, Mike produced two festival balls and launched them into the night sky. They exploded with brilliance in stark contrast to the darkness. The sense of concern and anxiety shifted to joy. The sense lasted briefly until the road quit going the proper direction and seemed to be only a service road for a vineyard that was inappropriately placed high in the mountains. After passing a reservoir, and having to climb a muddy hill, Michel flatted. Gloom tried to elbow its way back into the picture. After a long wait, Michel was moving again. The crew crested the hill and began to drop towards an area that held very little hope. Michel flatted again.
While he, Mike and Lindsey struggled to repair the tire Shawn, Auriah and Lucy explored the road ahead. Eric waited in between the two parties. Suddenly a flare illuminated the area of the advanced crew. Apparently they had decided that it was dinner time. When the tire was fixed and all gathered, the dinner proceedings began. Shawn had found a gate out of the vineyard. It had a sign that read; "THIS ROAD FOR FIRE USE ONLY"
Its seemed only natural that this was the spot. Abundant dry wood was immediately available. It was nestled in a grove of lovely oaks. Although the flare fizzled it was not hard to coax the fire to life. It grew from a match to a small blaze and finally to a raging conflagration. It may have been the best fire to date. It cooked another splendid meal for the lunatistas. Shawn trumped the event with salmon and mushrooms with melted cheese and herbs. Lindsey had another version of Beef Wadell, which must have been good considering the primal, culinary sounds that he emitted while processing the dish. Mike cooked another superb desert apple with maple syrup and spices. Michel brought another loaf of Freedom Bread. (formerly known as French bread).
lunatistas bask in the warmth of the good energy
The dinner was so good that it heralded in a feeling of well being. It allowed the crew to linger in the good vibe of the moment. No matter what the route was to offer from this point, it mattered little. The spirits had been raised beyond what the bar could reach. Lunatissimo had taken root in the psyches of the bikers. Whatever woes had been present until this point were now moot. The riders of the moon had escaped.
The bed of coals glowed with the same power that had been instilled in the lunatistas as they headed downhill into the darkened woods. Clouds partially covered the moon making the passage muted but not dark. The road was not only passable, but in excellent shape. A recent grooming had occurred as if in anticipation of the arrival of the bikin' fools. The passage was swift and fun. Soon an unlocked gate appeared, a house and more vineyards. Momentary confusion did not stop the progress as the Forward Navigation Specialist, Shawn discovered the route out of the compound. Then a large iron gate delineated the edge of civilization. Now the road was paved and Auriah stated; "I know where we are!"
The course had taken the fools on an incredible ride. However it wasnt quite the planned route. The riders found themselves in the middle of a hot springs resort. The bylaws of the lunatistas require soakage when hot springs are encountered. (Brewpubs cannot be passed either) As the seven bikers soaked in the refreshing waters, a sense of supreme benediction blessed the group. A few drops of rain fell in the water, but it would be the only rain of the night.
A short ride back to the car shuffle would end the evening. At close to three in the morning the bikin' fools drew a close on another outstanding moonride. It was replete with confusion, tire maladies, navigation wonderment, sensational lunar vistas, good roads, dogs, fireworks, fine food and camaraderie with special people. The lady of the night once again accepted the fools under her care for a special event and for life-giving enjoyment.
"may the spirit warm your heart..."