The Bikin' Fools
As Christmas approached in this year of 2001, the Bikin Fools found enough candidates to rally for one more loop around the Girl Scout camp. The ride requires a trek up the Oat Hill mine road. This in itself is a major ride. The six miles of uphill grunting require enough energy for an entire weeks worth of fitness training. The Dan-i-mal, home from school, Ryan (always eager to ride), Cirrus and Eric headed up the trail.
It was slow going for three of the four. Only Ryan was able to shred with any abandon. Dan and Cirrus had not done much riding of late and Eric was slowed from the holiday bad food and seasonal lethargy. It had been very wet weather since November. The trail, though wet, was in nearly perfect condition with the only exception being those areas that were soft and slow going. Otherwise the overcast sky offered no threat. The high clouds thinned as the afternoon wore on.
The magic of bikin descended near the rock. By that time all of the attendees had contacted the endorphin rush, some adrenaline and enough oxygen to stimulate the entire mind and body. Having several people along made the event even better. Riding alone is adequate, but sharing such activity increases the fun factor.
All of the youngsters shredded with the usual abandon. Dan and Cirrus showed no adverse effect of having little recent experience with the sport. They powered up the hill rapidly. As the ride continued, the temperature grew colder. In the shade it seemed very wintry and seasonal. When the sun was shining the rays felt intensely warm. The group stopped at the Holmes place at the top of the Oat Hill and discussed what to do. This is the usual practice since so much energy is expended getting that far, often plans change. There was no hesitation to go on. A good choice since the next part of the ride is one of the most pleasant. It travels much flatter and covers interesting territory. It is a reward for struggling up the 2000 vertical feet of the Oat Hill mine road.
It was the first ride of the new year. The calendar actually has the end of the year coming at the wrong time. In reality, the solstice is the end/beginning of the year. It was a nice way to start the season. We had the good fortune of a nice day and the confluence of several bodies/spirits to partake in the event. Any ride into the boondocks gives the rider a chance to shed the funk of our lives and dwell for a time in the benediction of being outside and being in an elevated state.
The solstice season offers us a time to reflect on the past, to see where we have done well or poorly and to project our hopes and wishes to the coming year. This ride provided such an opportunity to appreciate all of the wealth that has come our way and to contemplate the troubled times. No one has an easy life. In some way or another, this living has its complexities and trials. It seems almost like cheating at times, when one can feel so good about life. This is not only a joy, but a necessity for maintaining ones mental health. It is; "a time for coming together, a time for loving all..."
Now we have a new year, another chance to clean the challenges of life. No matter how well one does, there is joy in the doing. May your new year bring such joy and bikin abandon, the sort that lands one in the middle of great times with great companions.