The Shoe Is On The Other Foot

I had promised myself a ride today, and while I’m not always good for my word, you can rely on me 100% when it comes to treating myself to stuff I don’t deserve.

While I seldom drive to rides, this morning I felt like leaving my home range for a change, and facilitating that with a motor vehicle seemed like an appealing option. I admit I felt guilty about spewing more toxins into the atmosphere so I could play with my toys on a weekday, but then I remembered I’m also a massive hypocrite with a car marketed to people who like to think they’re outdoorsy but really aren’t, and my guilt magically melted away.

So I installed the Saris SuperClamp EX onto The Car The Bank Owns Until I Finish Paying Them Back (I’m almost there, by the way!), and headed up to Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, New York:

A few disclaimers about the above photograph:

  • This photo is not from today; it’s from way back when Saris first sent me the rack
  • That is not the bike I rode; it is the Jones SWB, and I’m now riding a Jones LWB
  • The bike (neither the SWB nor the LWB) does not extend past the body of the automobile as it appears to in the photo, this is merely a trick of perspective. In fact, when I left my narrow street this morning, I had to squeeze between a double-parked mail truck and a row of parked cars, and I can assure you that if the tires really did stick out like that they would have made contact with one or the other.

If you’re unfamiliar with Blue Mountain, it’s sort of the premium mountain bike option as far as mountain biking spots north of the city go, and if the places I usually ride are McDonald’s and Burger King then Blue Mountain is at least Applebee’s, if not the Cheesecake Factory. It felt good to be somewhere so exotic, and as I perused the vast menu in front of me and breathed in that crisp, cool, clean-ish exurban air I congratulated myself on my impromptu little road trip:

I was feeling good at first, stopping only occasionally to orient myself:

But weeks of road riding had blunted my skills, which even at their most honed are hardly sharper than a child’s safety scissors, and when I foolishly steered myself into the real tricky stuff I soon found myself in over my head:

Though one fortuitous side-effect was that I had plenty of opportunity to test the all-terrain walkability of my new winter shoes:

I’m pleased to report they offered excellent traction on wet, mossy rock:

If you’ve familiar with incredibly frustrating sensation of being really tired on a ride and having to walk over rocks while wearing hard-soled mountain bike shoes then you’ll understand why I was very happy to be wearing these instead. I did worry somewhat that these would feel like clodhoppers on the bike, but that wasn’t the case at all, and I was also especially grateful for the extra foot protection. (The only thing more frustrating than walking over rocks in hard-soled mountain bike shoes is clipping a rock with the side of your foot in said shoes.)

So while I may have hung my head as I trudged under the Hand of Shame:

I at least had great pride in my footwear.

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