Long ago the Maori dubbed New Zealand the "Land of the long white cloud". Now, whether this was a referent to the weather in that particular part of the world, or to the infiltration of a host of Europeans to those tiny islands, we may never know. I'm of the mind that it had to do with a mix of cloudy weather in the north, and the sunny, but snow-packed spine running down the south. And I'd also like to think those good islanders saw the value of single track, and began in earnest to carve out the thousands of miles of trails that adorn NZ, perhaps divining the invention of a certain two-wheeled contraption one day.
I was thinking of that "land" en route to Polly last night. Aside from it being at the bottom of the world, and possessing a fraction of the population here in CA alone, they are quite similar. We have our rainy north, sunny south, and the snow-capped Sierra spine that our own B has religiously covered over the last decade. Our forebears carved trails for mining, mail, or general transport from the East. We are equally littered with fine single track, and only a rare few truly exploit it.
As I rolled up into the pines amidst fading light, I thought about the legacy of the greater Polly-Strawberry-Tahoe-KW complex, and more importantly, our role as explorers. In some form or other, FT3 has covered more miles, more long rides on their bikes than our ancestors did in search of food, shelter, or treasure. In fact, some of our longer rides have resulted in the urgent search for the first two, and many have ended with the treasure that is Black Butte Porter.
To that end, I decided our little patch of God's green should be dubbed the "Land of the long, long, ride". Whether it's B's SB-KW route (including the infamous 3 day tour with extension), any trip down the XP, the often metric century Sunday rides, any ride up ME to Tahoe via KW, or Cappy's tuesday alternative (and always dynamic) Ptown to Cronin loop, these are not for the faint of heart. After nearly 6 months off the bike, my little roll-up for tacos may have felt like a long ride at times. In fact, it was simply a reminder that, after being KWalified, I have a long, long, way to go.
Cheers to all for the tacos, beers, applause, and a ride home. Know that it was good to be back among members of the pithy. As for the business of a RR, I'll leave that for some co-opting blogger to fill in. I can only say I appreciated THTH's attempts to long-taco us into the evening, despite getting shut down by The Mother and her cub. First time I've seen a pay-session sans beverage. Apparently, I've been away too long.