Forget everything you thought you knew.
Last Tuesday's gathering was no snafu, just a pleasant evening full of surprises and deviations from the norm. If you were unable to join us, allow me to provide some pertinent details. (As this is only one rider's perspective on the night's unfolding events, take it with a grain of salt - and a swig of something tasty, if you like . . .)
As pc was busy earning DTI points walking with the family on Placerville Drive dangerously late Tuesday afternoon, he ran into RG on a skinny tire excursion. Coincidence? Whether auspicious or portentous, only time would tell.
Driving up to Pollywood at a reasonable rate of speed, but as fast as his pickup would safely allow, pc attempted to make contact with three different riders on his cell phone to alert them of his extreme tardiness. Cappy's phone was already stowed. B and Newb, ironically, answered, but neither - as it turned out - were able to make the ride. Communication unmade, pc continued down Sly Park Road with faith that fate would make the right decision. He pulled into the Knot lot's back entrance just as the riders were heading out the back door!
Undoubtedly, the eight riders were momentarily peeved at this unexpected delay, but they agreed amiably to wait another three minutes to let the new addition gear up. In his haste, pc had left his kit on the kitchen table. But shoes, helmet, bike and even lights made it to the trail head, so with corduroys tightly pegged mid-calf, he joined the crew. Pumped with adrenaline and serendipity from the near-miss, said rider - amid hipster jokes - flagrantly violated protocol and charged down the back door trail ahead of Lars and the pack. Have he no decency?
Our Dear Ride Leader selected a lovely loop around the sparkling lake shore, and all delighted in both the fun and beauty of the route. That's where things started to get fuzzy. Eventually, the group ended up emerging into civilization at the end of a cul-de-sac, climbing up the formidable Cubic Zirconia Drive, traversing over to Monarch's lumber Path, and spilling out onto the middle school's field before making a circuit of the adjacent singletrack loop. Cyclocross, anyone? Mildly disoriented but oddly titillated by the singular route choice, the nine climbed more pavement before ascending the dirt trail leading to . . . ride leader's lair!
All graciously accepted the offer of shots before scurrying off into the darkness, wary of lingering longer than the customary 180 seconds allotted each stop. Lars, naturally, retired for the evening. Stryker peeled off.
The seven felt relief at the return of dirt between their knobs. Powerline was a hoot. A bit more singletrack was devoured by the hungry pack, but they didn't delay in getting back for actual mastic-able sustenance. Some joker arranged the tables into square just to shake things up. Two riders, apparently unaware of the day of the week, ordered fish in their tacos. Two baskets of fresh chips appeared, along with bowlfuls of salsa left over from the weekend's hedonism. Apparently, there was some extra carnitas, too, as each basket contained a special package of juicy pork filling.
The women of the establishment, fed up with weird-o's and laughable gratuities, turned off the lights early so as to not attract any more moths to the knot, adding to the feeling of exclusivity in the room.
Reflecting on the unusual evening and conjuring the spirits of those unable to attend the festivities, satisfaction set into the group. Auspicious, indeed . . .
Different is good!