Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sunday Ride

What makes me happy? A lot of things do, contrary to what my rantings may indicate in this blahg. Blahgs are just a "bitching post" to people as a scratching post is to a cat. If it's there, we'll use it for what it was intended. I was happy Sunday evening.

In the midst of a weekend filled with various bicycle rides, Carrie came over Sunday evening so we could go for a ride together. A later start was made easier with the early advent of Daylight Savings Time this year.

Carrie decided on riding the big blue cruiser and I chose the purple Continental. Sure, she had gears and could coast, but that cruiser is pretty heavy. Even so, she did a great job of slinging it down the bike path at a good clip all of the way to the beach. The saddle payoff on that bike is pretty huge though, being the most comfortable cruiser saddle I have ever ridden. The Continental is not much of a lightweight compared to my other skinny tired bikes, but wasn't a burden.

It's still officially Winter, but one would never know it from being here in Sunny SoCal. Carrie was dressed in a pink tank and some new white FOX shorts, looking fantastic. I chose my "One Less Car" t-shirt and dark olive Carhart shorts. Carrie had the foresight to bring a hoodie and I figured it would be warm enough to go without, even on the return trip.

During the week we don't get to talk much because of conflicting schedules and our weekend bike rides always entail a lot of catching up. Sunday was no exception because the bike path was virtually empty. We rode side by side and caught up on the previous week's goings on with no car noise, no radio, and no music, just the light background noise of our tires humming down the pavement.

We both decided we were hungry when the beach was reached, so we pointed our bikes towards a favorite haunt and pedaled away. Riding back without refueling was obviously out of the question. After locking the bikes up and getting ready to cross the main thoroughfare, a couple sidled up to us and asked if we were from there. The honest answer of being from "near there" was given and they asked us if the restaurant we were headed to was open. Looking up and seeing people on the patio, the obvious answer was yes, but Carrie and I knew that from being there late on a Sunday night anyways. It turns out they had been turned away from another restaurant closer to the beach because they close at 9:30 on Sundays. That just seems cheesy.

Seating was "seat yourself" and we chose the patio because it was such a beautiful evening out. Of course we couldn't just eat, so we had margaritas to start with. I'm not sure what it is about this particular place and us arriving on bicycles, but those were some pretty powerful margaritas as they always seem to be there. Maybe we look thirsty. Carrie had a "small" tostada appetizer that didn't look very small to me and I had a cajun shrimp burrito. Nothing too heavy, yet not too light just the same. We had to ride back, after all.

Exiting the restaurant into the night, there seemed to be a bit of a chill compared to earlier, prompting Carrie to don her hoodie. The breeze created by the simple act of riding was a little chilly for me at first and seemed to be the same for Carrie, prompting a quick stop to put the hood on her hoodie up. Pedaling along the mostly deserted beach path was easier than on the way in when the beaches were still officially open. Some of the deserted fire rings near our turn inland still had good fires going, so we stopped at one to enjoy it for a while and warm up a bit more before pressing on. It seemed rather surreal with the "normal" beach lights on and nobody else around. Surreal and nice all at the same time.

Leaving the warmth of the fire was a little difficult at first, but after making it a couple of miles inland the notion that the ocean was making the beach colder was confirmed. It became even more evident after crossing under a freeway and getting up from a low spot in the path. Warmth is good.

The toll of the heavier bike started to show with Carrie. She admitted that she was slowing down and I understood that would probably happen because of the sheer weight of that bike. Forty miles on a fifty pound cruiser is no easy task, even if it has gears. For not having ridden much lately, Carrie did really well and was at least provided the comfort of that nice saddle in exchange for the excessive weight of the bike. Being planted in the ass-hatchet on the Continental, I contemplated the monkey-butt that was forcing me to stand more often. I also envisioned converting a couple of old Schwinn lightweights to singlespeed "tourist" style for us to go on rides like this in relative light comfort. Comfort and light can be reality.

Rolling up to my place we were greeted with some doof in the parking lot who was somehow compelled to complete a burnout on top of a speed bump with his pickup. Not only was it lame for being a burnout on a painted speedbump that EVERYONE'S rent money in the complex pays for painting, but this was at 1AM on a Monday morning. I left a note on his truck Monday evening on my way to work that informed him just how much of a selfish jackass he really is.

It was much quieter on my side of the complex. Carrie had one thing on her mind, stretching out on the couch. I didn't blame her one bit and joined her after bringing the bikes in.

I can't help but wonder just how freakish we are to "normal" people for spending a Sunday evening. Normalcy is overrated.


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