So, I spent another $48 to renew my Xanga page but still can’t access it more than two weeks later. I’m having serious doubts about how important clinging to the past really is. This site, while foreign to me, is free and works consistently. I’ve found some really nice blogs to follow here, thanks to those who have commented on Michel’s page; so maybe I’ll just consider Xanga a thing of the past.
It occurs to me that my life is so uneventful that blogging at all is a waste of time. And yet, I find my days, while routine and comfortable, are still worth describing, even if only for my own edification.
Yesterday, Sally and I rode the wash trails and climbed one of the Conservancy trails we call Escalator. The wash trails have been created over decades by local hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers. They are too rocky and twisty to be of much interest to people on motorized vehicles, but too often, some clueless motorcyclist or quad rider decides to try them out, which results in damage to the trail that takes years to heal.
The nature of a mountain bike trail is to gently meander between the shrubs and rocks, always taking the way of least resistance and having the least amount of impact on the environment. The power of a motorized vehicle allows the rider to exclaim, “Damn the rocks; full speed ahead!” You can well imagine how heart wrenching it is to find a trail, that has been ridden for decades by hundreds of bicyclists, desecrated by one thoughtless motorist who decided to widen it.
Apart from the mayhem shown above, we were able to keep to paths less traveled and enjoyed the season’s meager wild flower offerings. Years of protracted drought have changed the texture of the foliage. Flowers are smaller and more sparse, and opportunistic species are appearing. We spent a couple of hours digging out Jerusalem Artichoke plants, in a probably vain attempt to keep them out of our area. Their prickly leaves and stiff stalks can quickly render a path un-rideable. I’ve ridden trails in the coastal hills that are under constant attack by this invasive species.
Sally was test riding a new Intense Spider as she’s in the market for a new ride. This year bike manufacturers are touting 27.5″ wheels (last year it was 29″) and we are still riding our tried and true 26″, so she wanted to see how the longer wheel-based bike would handle the switchbacks of Escalator. The difference in handling was primarily in her imagination and by the time we had navigated about half of the switchbacks, she was sold on the new bike. Unfortunately, she has only saved about $3,500 and the demo bike sells for $5,000. Those bike shop sales people are devious! They will probably end up convincing her that a 10% discount makes it affordable. Seriously, is it really that important that her kids go to college?
A day of no crashes, no rattlesnakes, and no flirtatious encounters with young, fit, cyclists…sounds pretty boring but it was actually quite fun. And BTW, the lunch at the Naan Café afterwards was fabulous. There’s nothing like a well-earned mango lassi.