Monday, May 10, 2010

Ridin' Dirty - Seattle to Everett Night Ride

He's like the wind

Hopelessly lost, Mr. Q and I rode figure-eights around the Lynnwood Transit Center at daybreak Sunday. This went on for 45 minutes.

We had achieved our modest charge of night riding from Seattle to Everett and until now were making decent time returning home.
Mr. Q stopped occasionally to look at the print-out map of the Interurban Trail, disjointed and exasperating.

He wants me to look at the same inch of the map I've poured over thrice or more, the vague, perplexing map of dubious utility printed off the Internet -- at least he brought a map. I don't want to look at it. Then I grab it from him, but still, it means nothing.

"I think we're right here," he says for the fifth time, pointing. "But ... it just doesn't make sense."

No compass, we had the stars to steer us. But now, with the sun coming, exhausted, vimless, after six or so hours of riding, we lost the trail. We did so despite Mr. Q's most capable sense of direction, although he drank more El Jefe than me.

We had lost it before, many times. In fact, last night's ride was a phantasmagoria of missed trails, back tracks, checking the map, looking for street signs -- confusion heightened by foul-tasting CORE El Jefe grape (I retract what I said about it being delicious, that shit tastes like barf) and a pretty nice joint (no Swisher available) -- searching for randomly placed Interurban Trail signs.

But this time was different. We were fucking lost. Plus I had a rapidly deinflating rear tire due to someone's generosity with a liquor bottle broken in the bike lane of some neverbeforeseen section of SnoCo road. Plus Mr. Q had a flat rear tire as well, although he ended up riding home on it.

Our asses were kicked. We headed out at 10:30 the night before. Google bike maps estimated travel time at a little more than two hours each way -- it took us four each way.

We have to head to Aurora Ave, I said, and pedal our little asses off until we reached familiar turf.

It wasn't the riding that kicked our asses, it was the not riding. The stopping every few minutes, trying to find our way.

"Dicking around," Mr. Q named it, what logjamming is to freight train riding, except bad. "We've been doing a lot of dicking around."

Dicking around bleeds the morale of the night rider. One needs to mob, to roll hard, to put some distance on one's tires, to feel the muscles around the thighs and knees burn, just a little, and know there is plenty more power coiled in there; to meld with the machine, and fellow night rider, too stoned for words.

One night last year, after riding hard the I-90 Mercer Island trail from Seattle to Bellevue, we arrived at our special bridge and the hot blood under my skin contacted the cold air, and with the alcopop and grape Swisher, it felt like my shirt was overflowing with champagne, just bubbling up over my collar and shooting out my sleeves. It was such a sweet sensation, orgasmic, I'll never forget it.

Take that away, and you lose something. Something I didn't realize you could lose. Not that I don't like exploring, finding new routes, just not last night.We had a lot of ground to cover.

For this I blame the people of Snohomish County. Your trail fucking blows.

Great ride, all around, though, about 60 miles altogether, although I couldn't retrace the route. Actually filed a report from the road, as allowed by my new picture phone. See below post, which isn't that great.

We stopped at a donut shop on Broadway, Henry's Donuts. Nice guy at the counter overcharged me, then realized it after I paid, and refunded me nearly two dollars. Based on that single experience, I can only conclude that all Everett people are honest. Everett's chamber should adopt as a new slogan, "Everett: We got your back."

good crullers

In contrast to the lovely experience with the single Everett person with whom we interacted, Lynnwood wasn't as welcoming. We got lost there on the way back, but on the way northbound, we were menaced by a bunch of buzz cut dick heads in a jacked up pick up. I found it kind of flattering, but at the same time relieved that I didn't have to unsheath the Howitzers and mess up their faces.

Any day that I don't have to use my AK is a good day.

Back at the Lynnwood Transit Center, Mr. Q conceded that the trail was a lost cause. I changed tubes at a 7-Eleven and we headed for Aurora. Didn't take too long after that, but by the time we arrived at Mr. Q's the sun was burning in full glory -- beautiful day, Mother's Day -- and we were no longer night riders.

"It's late enough that we look like go-getters," Mr. Q said. The only others out and about were squares, jogging, leasurely riding their hybrid bikes, most likely sober.

"We could be on our way to church," I said.

We rejoined with the Interurban near the county line. We knew the way, wouldn't be long now.

Mr. Q was riding in front of me, in Edmonds, when he hit a patch of dirt and gravel. With horror I watched as his trusted bike slipped out from beneath him, sending him crashing to the ground, sliding on his right shoulder, head first, to the curb.

He got up, a surprised look on his face, and said he was OK.

There was a cop, at that very moment, parked about 10 feet from us on Aurora Avenue, just idling.

"Let's roll, there's a johnny," Mr. Q said.

Instead, we opted to act the role of squares. If the cop got close it wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes. He didn't get out of his car. We rolled away like we were, in fact, on our way to church.

Mr. Q gave me a ride home, didn't make me pedal my chafed ass back to the University District.

Took a shower, fell into bed, went right to sleep.

I found chocolate covered peanuts in my pocket today. I'm eating them right now.

1 comment:

  1. The only others out and about were squares, jogging, leasurely riding their hybrid bikes, most likely sober.

    Sounds like Hunter S.