Yes, another SARS ride…
It started, as always, with an e-mail. “Yo, wanna uni this Sunday?” “Yep” “OK…” The riders were Steve Dekeokeok, Tyler Cox, and Greg Harper.
We began the ride at Log Boom park in Kenmore, Washington. It’s a nice little park with a beach outlet, but we didn’t spend any time looking at the sights - we had to ride! We agreed that everyone else had sissied out, so we headed off with the miserable turnout of three people.
To start off the ride, Steve just couldn’t mount his new Hunter 36er! He ended up using a tree branch - “sissy” as Greg would say. He found out a few minutes later that his twitchiness that caused him to ride like he’d never Cokoured before was due to his Jagur-built air seat being too high.
The first sightings were of a golf course and a really nice house, and not a whole lot else. Quite a few bikers were on the trial, including one from Germany that we met because Greg somehow knew him. He followed along all of the ride, and it was fun converting miles to kilos for him!
After some riding up and down, through tunnels, and over roots, we made it to the infamous Blackwood UPD bridge. This, according to Steve and Greg, was a bridge that always seemed to throw Tom Blackwood from his noble steed and bump everyone behind him - hence his signature line “Tailgate at your own risk.”
Another bridge snuck up on us, and this time it had a pretty short but steep incline to it. I had to dismount my 29er, Bubba, and push it to the top where I gracefully mounted and raced down the other side - almost knocking over an old woman. Greg of course gave me the signature Harper “sissy” routine and we continued on.
At this point, I felt some coldness on my backside. No, it couldn’t be - but it was. My Camel was peeing on me from a leak in his water tube. I couldn’t leave him behind, but I didn’t want him to leak all over my back and pants, so I hiked it up so only my shirt got wet (which apparently didn’t work)… We tightened the tube, but I later found out it was punctured when I got home.
We stopped at a place with some stairs, a concrete planter (that both Greg and I rode on), bikers, and skaters. We got our picture taken by one of the skaters, and one of the bikers insisted on being in the picture. I discovered after downloading the pictures that the skater/photographer was smart enough to cut the biker out of the pic.
Here’s the fun part - I raced Steve! And I didn’t do too well at 12 mph, but I had fun anyway. No, not with the racing, but with the UPDing. Yes, I will always wear a helmet from now on because of a nice highspeed pavement encounter that I had right then and there. I was doing top speed, when I leaned a little too far forward - causing a classic short crank “no momentum to pedal out of it” UPD moment. I hit hard on my elbow and knee, causing my thankfully helmeted head to smack into the ground - and making Steve gracefully swerve around me…or did he push me? My head had no injury of any kind because of the helmet, but I would have been completely knocked out if I wasn’t helmeted. My elbow and knee are both fine with minor road rash (see pics). It didn’t even hurt too bad, mostly just a surprise!
The uni was fine, but with my wet pants and shirt and semi-painful limbs, we decided to turn back. The ride wasn’t too short - around twelve miles - so I was satisfied. The ride back was mostly the same as the way there, but I did make it over the steep bridge this time! I forgot my bike shorts - bad idea - so crotch breaks were frequent on the return trip.
Post-ride I went to Steve’s house to check out the football game and eat bratwursts with him and his kids John, Abby, and Andrea.
It was an AWESOME ride, and one of the first things I said after I UPDed was, “Man, this’ll make an AWESOME writeup!”