Wednesday night, you know the gig. Time for a ride into the night, the woods and hopefully a fair bit of the unknown. As misfortune would have it, we the Pirate crew sailed the seas of non-tranquility into the crowded trail system known as SMP on the one night the local mountain bike club was having a gathering. We feared the worst; a man train of newbs clogging every gutter-less line of dirt for miles, spying on our freakish antics and raining on our dust parade. We got lucky and were only interrogated by the likes of two non-local fellows in search of the holy grail of biking - the infinite mystery of Pirate cXc. None budged or let a whisper slide threw his/her teeth, and the secrets of night racing were secured for yet another 100 years.
Backing up a few hours, I went out for a pre-ride to get my legs warmed up, which was easy to do in 107 degree temps. I thought it wise to head into SMP to say hello to a few at the man-gang gathering by riding into the park via the Ogg Road hill. For those who have yet to ride this beast, it's mere prowess would make Arnold not be back, and on a single speed you are going to get your money's worth and more. After completing my pre-ride lactic acid bath, I headed into the valleys of Red only to find a group of guys on SS's getting ready to depart for some riding. I planned, in my mind a sweet skid as I arrived, but rather grabbed my front brake as I sat on my stem and did a full front wheelie/OTB hump-day show as my introduction. This is THE best way to get noticed by the IN crowd, and so it goes, and we went. We tore through enough trail to keep the heart rate above average and my water bottles empty. After a brief hello and goodbye, it was time to head back to the lair to meet the night ride posse for round two.
Our small crew of gents; MaxiThad, Silent Killer, BillyVanilly and Jack Sparrow headed off in the typical fashion, into the fairy tale hollows of Sherwood Forest. We were all on a similar wavelength as far as pace so we rode into the night without a hitch, at least until the crashes began. First it was Maxicrash with a tumble during an attempt up the maxithad-cutoff, on which he himself fell down-slope to a rocky halt - his ass having flashbacks to last-months attempt as he failed in the exact same spot/same manor. It was like watching Darwin award reruns.
Not going into too many additional details, we carried onward, riding much dusty trail. MaxiCrash lived up to his name and had no less than *23 open wounds oozing red goo, which he would often look upon and verbally throw-up about. But we just kept riding, knowing that we needed to get him back to the beer fridge before he passed out from lack of fluids.
Upon arrival at the Pirates Lair we were ambushed by the likes of HandleBalls, sans booze or bike, as he jumped out to scare the crew as we rode by. He was telling tall tales of his recent adventure of cross country bike-packing on the Katy trail, a boring and hideous excuse for a bike ride that turned his knees into swollen cantelopes, which was his excuse for not riding with us tonight yet was hardly an excuse for the lack of beer hand-ups as we killed the Lawrence hill on our final approach.
We were successful in our endeavor of dirt loving good times. There was many a good wreck, or rather we saw MaxiCrash eat dirt more times than Micheal Jackson grabbed his package in 1983. We swilled a few beverages to rehydrate ourselves and talked about fat bikes and folklore. Once again, a good night on the bike - even with one missing spoke...