Doubling Down

Further to yesterday’s post, in which I extolled the virtues of 10-mile rides, this morning I forgot about all that and took a 20-mile ride:

Between immersing myself in the Rivendell and the fact that this pesky pandemic thing is seriously eating into my riding time, it had been awhile since I’d ridden the Jones LWB. However, it remains one of my all-time favorite bicycles, and in recent days I’ve found myself longingly flicking its brake levers as I walked past it. So this morning I resolved to undertake a long-overdue foray into the Trails Behind The Mall.

The Rivendell and the Jones are both complementary bicycles. While outwardly quite different, they’re both supremely capable mixed-terrain ramblers that defy easy bike industry categorization and instead simply compel you to slip on a pair of jorts and roam. Also, their designers both espouse an upright riding position, to great effect. But while the A. Homer Hislen is what Rivendell calls a “Country Bike” (which they quantify as “Super on pavent, moderate dirt, gravel, chipseal, or unmaintained county roads, with loads up to 25 pounds”), the Jones is obviously meant to take you further off-road, and after a long absence it felt highly liberating to be on a bike that encourages me to assert myself over the terrain.

Of course, to get to the Trails Behind The Mall, you’ve got to ride through the actual mall, which was chillingly empty in a “Children Of Men” kind of way:

What you don’t hear is the classical music being pumped in through the hidden speakers. This, combined with the fact that the only living souls were the masked shoppers waiting to get into the Whole Foods, rendered the whole scene horrifically dystopian:

It was a temple of commerce bereft of worshippers. Had I the skills of Danny MacAskill I’d have taken the opportunity to set up a tripod and film myself doing some wild trials freakout, but alas I can barely ride over a log and so I contented myself with taking a picture of my bike in front of the fountain:

I won’t tell you what I wished for, but it didn’t come true.

That bit of eeriness notwithstanding, this type of ride was just what I needed, and I pity the unfortunate people elsewhere in the city who can’t easily string together a two-hour dirt ride.

Speaking of commerce, before I relinquish your attention for the so-called “week” “end” (ha!) I’d like to nudge your attention to the right-hand margin, or else the bottom of the screen if you’re using a mobile device. I am extraordinarily fortunate to have a small handful of sponsors, and if you’re fortunate enough to still be in a position to patronize them I implore you to consider doing so. Either way, let’s all look forward to the day when we can shift our full attention back to what’s important: riding bikes, and the procurement of goods in order to facilitate the riding of bikes. (And that includes beverages such as coffee and beer.) It can’t happen soon enough.

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