Wednesday, June 9, 2010

four stories

a list of the many things I could write about today:

  • chip seal, or, how to get rid of cyclists on the road
  • branches do not break on their own, or, there's a deer in there
  • roadside flotsam, or, is that really a pair of men's dress shoes sitting by that rake?
  • mysteries solved, or, aha, that's why there were four cars parked at the mouth of the canyon at 5:40 this morning

I do reserve the right to revisit any or all of these topics at some later date.
but for now, here are the short stories:

they are putting chip seal down on emigration canyon. I rode six miles of it this morning, and it belongs in the category titled Not Fun. especially when they leave little piles of gravel (oops! forgot to spread that out!) for our skinny little tires to navigate. farewell, smooth asphalt . . . by the way, do you know what chip seal really is? it's just a bunch of (hopefully) small gravel held together with wings and prayers. okay, held together by pressure and a little tiny bit of oily stuff. the powers that be believe it's a cheaper way to pave a road, and I'm awfully tempted to place a call to said powers and have a discussion about quality paying off in the long run. or I could just be patient and let that chip seal crush in upon itself and eventually form a smooth (er) surface. sigh.

while I was riding on said chip seal this morning I heard a branch snap, up and to my right, and saw the swinging broken piece, perhaps 10 yards away. I thought, how odd, branches don't usually just suddenly break and fall all by themselves, but perhaps this is just one example of a tree falling in a forest, only making noise if someone is there to hear it . . . as I approached the sight of the broken branch I heard rustling in the bushes, though, and a flash of brown fur, which I know belonged to the deer I'd seen just a half mile back, flouncing through the wild growth. there is an explanation for everything, if one just employs patience.

there's really not much more to say here. there was a plastic rake lying on the shoulder beside the road, and next to it, a pair of black, suede-like men's shoes. I have no idea.

I love a good mystery. as well, I am fairly observant and quite curious.
so this morning as I swooped down from the golf course to begin heading up emigration, I noticed that there were four cars parked alongside each other in the parking lot at the canyon's mouth. now there are cars there some mornings, but usually only one or two, and the four-in-a-row thing was odd. only one had a noticeable bike rack on it. I pondered this sign. hmmm. could be runners. could be cyclists who keep their bikes in their cars. maybe I just didn't see the bike racks. maybe they're walkers. I have no idea.
so I rode. and didn't see anyone running, or walking. didn't even see another cyclist until a mile or so from the little mountain summit, when a single female heading down went past.
I crested the top and kept going, not another cyclist in sight.
I went past the reservoir and on toward big mountain, with just an occasional thought about the mystery car. they must have gone somewhere else, perhaps trail running or something. I shrugged my mental shoulders and focused on breathing, muscles flexing and straining as I climbed up and up.
a quarter mile from the top of big mountain two guys came swooshing down, and then a hundred yards behind them came the other two.
I grinned.
mystery solved.
sometimes it just takes a little patience.

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