Not all who wander are lost

This post courtesy of the eastern part of our SSD crew , Jeffery A.K.A. BentPerspectives

In the Midwest, gas prices are soaring up in the $3 range. That said, I have not driven an automobile in about a month. Bicycles have been my primary form of transportation. There are many others riding this wave. Yesterday morning, as with the last 10 or so mornings, the sun shined through my window to wake me, telling me that I should get up and see where the wind blows me on a bike (remind me to tell you of my sailbike idea at a later time). First order of business – satisfy the need for adrenaline rushing through my veins. So off to the jumps off the Olentangy river trail. I rolled up and in typical fashion blindly (since it was the first visit there this year) whipped the horse into high speed to approach the first double. Upon arrival, I realized that I would not be riding alone here. Upon crossing the gates which are two ash trees proceeding the double, I saw colors only found on clothing…lots of it. Enough to wrap over 20 riders. Surprised, but excited, I took my first run. A tabletop on the double, a one footer off the tabletop, and an unexpected bunny hop over a fallen soldier that was a birch tree. I stopped and conversed with the other riders. A few BMX heads, 2 other SS DJ bikes like my stead, and a few on cruisers and other bikes not intended for such riding.

Keep in mind this was at 9am on a Saturday. We rode the area, challenged each other and many of us veered to a conversation about not driving. With this common thread, we decided to make a day of it and hit up any place worth riding. Seeing so many / meeting so many like-minded riders in such a spot was fantastic. I usually ride alone and am very ok with that, but the few times I have had a partner offer many opportunities, conversation, showboating, and tips passed about. Next stop was a pump track in Worthington. A guy who was at the first place (the owner of the yard and track) was belittling it as he said it was not complete and he still had work to do on it. We arrived to a figure 8 shape with 6 doubles in total, 4 foot high berms and even the beginning of a parallel track to be used for matching up against another rider. Chris, an XC rider snapped his headtube straight off when he cased a small double. What a shame as this was his first time jumping. We spent about an hour at the pump track and rode for a beer at O’briens. By this time, the BMXers had left. One said that he was going to Dodge, a small swimming pool like bowl made of concrete downtown. I don’t like to ride it without a lid on. Despite their departure, the number of DJ bikes with us was growing. We had 11 bikers when we moved to the next leg, also downtown Columbus. Near the river there are some terrace like shapes with slopes to the river. Probably about 4 foot drops with grass landings. We hit those for a while moving further left with each leap. As you move left, the distance to the landing is increased. I’d say about a foot vertical for every 5 feet left. Some guy on an intense M1 really set the bar with about an 8 foot drop over the grassy graded landing straight to the concrete walkway. There were no takers on that challenge. After this spot we lost a few riders to the desire for more beer and relaxation. Down to about 6 people. We moved to the Cobra BMX track. A guy there with his 10 year old and 12 year old riding 24″s welcomed us as he has each time I have seen him there. He offered us some food and drink for some rake time. Why not…So we cleaned the track (one raking) and got to riding…getting our asses kicked by the 12 year old girl. The girl was sporting the number 1 as she had won the NBL circuit last year. By this time, Alex, who had a speedometer/odometer let us all know that we had gone over 20 miles so far. Beat from this, beer ensued. Riding was over but we relived the day and sat at the Goodale park until dusk. Bryan from Vancouver said that this ride, in the flat-lands of OH gave him a new perspective of the area having been shown some fun. He was for some reason concerned that he could not ride as well as the group. I told him sort of an unrelated quote from Dizzy Gillespie that I was reminded of. I asked, do you enjoy it when you ride? He said “Hell yes!”. So I said “you are doing awesome then!”. See, one of Dizzy’s peers was concerned his music did not sound good. Dizzy said, “do you enjoy doing it and do you think it is good?” The student agreed that he enjoys it. Dizzy said, “If it sounds good, it is good.” “If it feels good, it is good.” Well, I am off to find some fun today. Peace to ya’ll.

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