The Bikin' Fools
As April 15, 2000 approached, it looked as it there might be a conflict with the weather. Yet there was confidence that the Bikin' Fools would be granted a dispensation from the adverse spring conditions. There has been a long series of serendipity associated with weather on the full moon bike rides. Even though it had been raining and generally funky, the coast ride loomed as another opportunity for the lunatistas to slip the surly bonds of normality and romp in a serenely beautiful setting guided only by the soft lumens of La Luna. There is the sense that the universe is full of benediction for those willing to look outside the boundaries of the highly trodden path.
This months event would be graced with a visit from Sebastion who made the trek from Portland to be in attendance. He had his friend Michael, a Frenchman, along to experience this unique activity. At the outset, there would be the usual car shuffle dilemma. Jim Korte would take Shawn and Eric, Mike would pack Lindsey, Sebastion, Michael and himself into the Nissan for the 40 mile journey to Jenner and the Pomo campground for the start and finish of the ride. As Jim, Shawn and Eric turned off of Highway 101 there appeared to be a van following them.
"Ill bet its the cops." Jim said.
"Yea," Eric added, "They know were about to have more fun than the law allows."
Further down the back road, the white van continued to follow close behind.
"Hey," Shawn suddenly said, "Its Jim Wilson."
Sure enough, Jim had gotten the word and had made it to the event. That would make a total of eight people for this evenings episode. The troops gathered at the parking lot and made the last minute adjustments. Shortly the wheels of adventure began to spin again. The eight made their way across the few miles of the narrow twisty road leading back to highway 101. At the Sizzling Tandoor, the group waited for the stragglers to arrive and then proceeded to climb the short hill towards Goat Rock State Park. Once off the highway and headed towards Goat Rock, the group turned off the pavement and continued on the dirt path that lead towards the ocean.
The intermittent rain that had been present all day was in remission. The sky was totally overcast yet the moon still lit up the landscape with a soft, mellow version of fuzzy light. The air was nearly still and much dryer than usual for the ocean environment. It was ideal for a night, mountain bikin adventure.
Once off the pavement, the path rolled softly and quietly under the knobbies. For a half-mile or so the eight bicyclists descended down the pleasant trail towards a rock formation that sprouts from the meadows on the bluff adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Passage across the earth was easy. The darkened landscape passed quietly by. Just beyond the rock formation the group found a marginally safe, steep route to the beach one hundred feet below.
Mike turned to Shawn and without saying anything held his hand out and flicked his thumb a couple of times. Shawn nodded, reached into his pocket and produced a lighter. Mike opened his pack and extracted a formidable array of fireworks. There were bottle rockets the size of zucchinis and a dozen festival balls with launcher. The tenor of the ride quickly changed from one of minor mischief to one of a significant prank, call the cops In California fireworks are limited to tiny little sparklers that would barely burn toilet paper. Generally this isnt a bad idea. During certain times of the year, one of Mikes festival balls, strategically placed, could torch a good-sized chunk of the state. However, with proper caution and during the rainy season at the ocean, odds highly favored a successful outcome to this evenings pyrotechnic offering.
Several motorists on 101 likely witnessed the first rocket that soared high above the rim of the bluffs and presented a colorful explosion. A favorite of the evening was the low-liner rocket that skipped across the waves on its way to entertain Flipper. Another low shot T-boned a wave and exploded its multi-colored flash underwater. Several festival balls lit up the sky. The merriment and thrill was tempered only by the fact that the troops knew that time was of the essence. There would likely be a response from the "authorities" at some point.
The remaining ordinance was stowed and the seven remaining bodies began the scramble up the loose, steep slope to the top of the bluff. Jim Korte had already climbed to the top to get a view of the proceedings from topside. The bikes were gathered and the troupe swiftly made a getaway into the darkness of the distant terrain to the south. The path was nearly level. For a couple of miles it swept along the bluffs with the attendant roar of the ocean below.
Just before the parking lot, there is a bridge that has to be crossed. The approach to the bridge contains a big surprise for the nighttime (without lights) biker. Jim Wilson discovered this tricky section with an ESPN II-worthy crash into the bushes while failing to make the transition onto the bridge. Once into the parking lot, any culpability for the mysterious flashes of light disappeared.
The next segment of the ride consisted of a long steep climb into the coastal hills west of Pomo Campground. As the bikers gained altitude the view of the coast expanded. In the far distance a car could be seen at the Goat Rock trailhead. It was no doubt a badged individual checking out the reports of fireworks in the area. The car remained at the location for a long time, perhaps waiting for the culprits to emerge from the darkness. The singletrack threaded its way through the hills of verdant coastal growth. Then it began a descent towards the deep, dark grove of Redwoods.
The trail was easy and smooth. It was a mountain bikin holiday. As the trees loomed taller and taller, the shadows began to stretch and lap at the vision of the happy bikers. Soon the light gave way to darkness. Logic gave way to telepathy and forms of guidance not normally afforded the human. Soon all light was gone and an eerie, strange quietness settled into the bikin experience. The unseen road continued to roll under the wheels of the midnight bikers. The hill became steep, the road twisted and switched back and forth as it descended into the Pomo campground. It was no longer possible to employ any sort of knowledge to remain on the path. One simply had to surrender and be in the hands of a higher power. Only when the mind entered and the rider went mental did problems occur. When in a state of let-go, the path continued.
Finally voices began to be heard and a campfire appeared. The trail emptied into the parking lot. All of riders materialized out of the black woods. Little was said as the eight reveled in the warm fuzzy feelings that flooded the senses. All knew, but could not verbalize, that they had been partners to an experience that so far exceeded the norm, there were not words to relate to this encounter of high adventure.
The eight turned quickly to the next item on the agenda; food. Wisely, wood had been brought along. The local wood tended to be waterlogged and not suitable for a roaring campfire. Quickly flames appeared and the usual gourmet offering materialized and began to cook and sizzle on the open flames. The feast was the final spike on this evenings chart of this extraordinary escapade. The food tasted better than normal. All of the pleasure senses were fully alert and reveling in the glory of this evening.
It was another moonlight ride that serves to regenerate the spirit and rekindle the sense that beauty and a benevolent force underlie the rest of this existence. It was a journey beyond the edge of logic into the fuzzy arena of the cosmos.