Tales of the felled telephone pole


I don’t get to ride much anymore and this weekend had my parents and a full house of kids. I was going stir crazy.

Three blocks from my house is a downed telephone pole. A few weeks ago, it looks like a car hit it and they pulled out the base in the ground and strapped the top 40 feet to the ground. I have been eyeing that since then going, “That looks like a nice line to ride.”

Well, today, I took the day off to save my voice from increasing laryngitis, to “relax”. I have report cards due today that aren’t finished and other papers need to be graded to build the grades and a meeting after school at 3:30.

But, in a determined act of procrastination, I left my work, and geared up with some stretches for my middle aged body and rode over on my MUni. The neighborhood was pleasantly quiet and the recent strong winds had abated. Ohh, the feeling of being in the saddle, again. Could barely ride a straight line on the sidewalk. Rolling hops were pathetically lame. I hoped my groove would come back in the next 30 minutes which I had allotted. 10 minute ride over there.

I sized it up. Looked really fun. The base was strapped to the side of the top part of the pole as it lay on its side. So, I could hop up to the fatter base then smaller hop down to a bouncy tip of the pole, then to the curb below. The telephone pole was @14" in diameter at the fatter end where it had been split, then tapered to about 10" at the end - 40’ away. Additionally, the last 6 feet where bouncy because that part was a few inches above the ground, making things a bit unstable.

I proceeded to hop up and down one end and then started working on the entire length. I worked it from fatter end to narrower end. Of interest, was that the pole was lying over the hole in which it used to reside. When they pulled out the base below the split, they left a 7 foot long hole that was a foot lower than the surface of the road. So, when you ride along the top of the telephone pole, you go over the hole area. It was kind of mind psych, in that all of a sudden, you are riding along the pole and then there’s this hole that effectively adds another 18" to your drop height, nearly making it 30", and if you fall in, I could have twisted my ankle because the gap between the pole and back of the curb was narrow. Ahhhh, the thrill of it all.

I tried this line off and on for about 20 minutes. A few honks from people, which I took to be affirmatives, not the opposite. The pole lies on a busy very wide 4 lane boulevard. Not a place for the bashful.

Finally, I was winded and took a drink from the cool Sparklettes water bottle I hauled over in my pocket. Felt good going down. Ahhh. I looked at the pole, rested, brought the pulse rate down to normal. Okay, I thought, I got three tries to make this work. I started on the pole, leaving hopping onto it and riding the length for another time.

I got up on it. My right pedal seats well underfoot. It’s a crisp feeling. Ohhh, how oddly relaxed I was, steady, steady, I thought. I can pretend I am Kris Holm for a few seconds (well, probably when he was 11). Images of seeing Andrew Carter go wide on a log side to side with his Gazz go through my mind, noting, that I can stay on too, and not fall off. Go, go. I approached the length over the hole. Not here, I will not fall, no, cruise by. My momentum from an initially labored start has smoothed out. Steady and relax. ooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I make it over the chasm. Onward, fella, onward. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can do this. I ride all the way to the bouncy end, ride off and exult in the moment. Hands raised, I feel like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. I did it!!!

I look back at the pole, wishing it could be in my back yard. I am winded and jubilant. I smile ear to ear. Gawd, I love to ride.

Nuts, it’s not a dream. The homework for this week has to be prepared by 2:00 pm. Back to reality. :roll_eyes:

Nice write up. What a fun way to take a break from the drudgery of the work you’re supposed to be doing. Sounds like you’re a much better rider than I am. It gives me something to aspire to.

Hey Underdog,

Thanks for the positive words. As long as we realize we are doing the best we can under life’s encumbrances, we are really doing well.

Ride on!!

PS. Today, as I drove to work, I saw the replacement telephone pole nearby. Ohhh, how I wanted to get out there and play on both. Ahhhhh, I feel my laryngitis coming back…


Rod Wylie

Re: Tales of the felled telephone pole

On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 14:30:13 -0600, TeachONaMuni

>Rod Wylie

Did you stop being a dad?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“erectile function trumps public image - David Stone, commenting on the importance of seat comfort”

Rod, very nice write up. Glad to see you back in the saddle, back in the forum.

Skinny On!



Glad you got to have a few minutes of uni fun, Rod. Better than nothin’. I liked the writeup, but it did occur to me that it probably took as long to do that as the ride took. :wink: I guess you probably type faster than me so maybe not.

Well, Rod uses no less than 4 email addresses, and it looks like he is now on his 3rd screen name.