For a while now, The Logging Road Cyclist has not been much of a cyclist of the logging roads. There are a number of reasons for this: an excess of stuff at work, the acquisition by the Long Suffering Girlfriend of a live-in granddaughter, the building and maintenance of bicycles, some logging at The Forest Estate with the various concomitant tasks thus entailed, an obsessive re-watching of The Sopranos. The granddaughter in particular has placed some demands on TLRC’s hitherto mostly open life schedule. He found himself, at various times, waiting in the middle school parking lot with all the other parents (most of whom, truth be told looked like children to him), attending a meeting about a forthcoming school trip, hauling her around to after school activities, even indulging in the occasional coffee/scone date. While certainly out of the usual course of events, TLRC found himself enjoying his new responsibilities.
At the same time, he felt his usual Autumn timidity. No lightweight, TLRC winter rides with the best of them, but something happens in the transition from bright, hot summer days on flowing trails to moist cold ones on unforgiving rattling roads. He tends to withdraw for the first few weeks of poor weather, indeed finds himself making excuses for not riding at the merest hint of a cloud.
Thus TLRC. He has, it must be said continued his usual local training schedule, while eschewing “TLRC” rides. Finally, he bestirred himself and a good goal, it seemed, was Grass Mountain. TLRC usually does this ride at least once a year, but for some reason it fell off the 2013 schedule, and so it was time for a visit. Plus, it seemed a good ride to give the New Bike a longer shakedown:
This bike was great on a short local ride, but it needed a longer test, so off to Grass.
The weather had been mild of late, so TLRC was not expecting much in the way of misery. He has, however, learned the hard way not to underestimate the potential for it on damp days on the higher Coast Range Peaks. Grass Mtn did not disappoint. Climbing up the steep grade out of the Alsea, conditions deteriorated to steady rain and gusty winds. Soon things were looking like a winter day, welcoming the New Bike to it’s future:
Not having been out for a while, TLRC pondered the nature of his hobby. Heading further up into the blindness of a Coast Range storm, hoping he remembered all the right turns, he thought how sketchy this was, all by himself out there, and the fundamental weirdness implied by the pleasure he took in it. Doubtless as the season progresses, he thought, this will all seem more normal…
The summit forest was as serene as he remembered, and he enjoyed the walk. His soaked and squishing shoes faded into the background as he marveled at the ease with which the Lynskey was hoisted over the various downed logs and road “decommissioning” tank traps. The summit meadows held psychedelic treasures but no view.