The reappropriation of my Midlife Crisis Fixie Mark II turned out to be quite timely, because subsequent to that post it then rained for like two days straight. Bikes without derailleurs and stuff make very good rain bikes, so it wound up being my primary one for several days:
If it’s been awhile since you’ve ridden a bike like this and then you suddenly ride one a whole lot it will also make you sore in muscles you didn’t even know you had, and so when the rain finally stopped I indulged myself by riding a bike with multiple gear ratios and click-type shifting built right into the handles:
I very rarely drive anywhere to ride these days, but it’s good to put some new ground under your tires every so often, and once again having to take my elder son somewhere this past weekend offered up a handy excuse to do so. We didn’t need to travel quite as far this time, so I couldn’t revisit Mohonk and Minnewaska State Park, but I did have a window of about three hours and various road and mountain routes from which to choose. Ultimately I opted for the former, in part because of all the rain we’d just had, but mostly because I knew there would be lots of leaf action happening up where were going and that a road ride would afford me more foliage porn per pedal stroke than picking my way along rocky singletrack:
I knew immediately I’d chosen well, and it wasn’t long before I began to lose myself in the ride, but then I reached into my jersey for my phone in order to take a photo…
…and realized I’d left my pump in the car.
Ethical considerations aside, the real problem with driving to rides is that it’s too easy to forget stuff. We all know someone who’s driven a hundred miles only to realize they forgot something essential, like their shoes or their front wheel, whereas if you begin your ride right from your front door then forgetting something that basic is virtually impossible. Of course it’s still possible to begin your ride right from your front door and realize 10 miles later that you forgot some secondary item, such as your pump, or your spare tube, or your water bottle, but driving to the ride creates two opportunities to forget them–once when you’re leaving home, and then again when you’re leaving the car, as I managed to do here.
I knew I was unlikely to incur a flat on these relatively quiet road, especially since the rains had probably washed them clean of debris, but I also knew that my exquisitely aged rear tire offered multiple points of ingress for any that might remain:
As such, the pump’s absence nagged at me for much of the ride, though eventually I did begin to relax:
I meant DAM!
Croton Dam, that is:
It’s a stunning feat of engineering and a beautiful symbol humankind’s profound relationship with nature:
Obviously I meant the bike, but the dam’s pretty cool too:
Ultimately though I opted instead for the bike, and I continued on my way until I finally reached the 6th borough:
Peekskill is nowhere close to the city and has very little in common with it, but if you were to pee in the nearby reservoirs then ultimately the residents of the other five boroughs would wind up drinking it, so there is that.
Just as I’d chosen the bike over the barrel, I also eschewed the tap water in favor of something that had undergone a more stringent treatment process:
Better to be safe than sorry.