Life Gave You Lemons? Make Vodka Lemonade

“When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade.” What if you don’t like lemonade?
Answer: Add Vodka. That was easy…

Whenever I’m in a funk I know that I can pack up my mountain bike hit a trail, disconnect from the world-at-large and reconnect with the world-at-small. There’s no time nor room to bring shit with you on the trail. Pack light and pack-out. Rules of the trail translate well into everyday life. Your concerns are immediate and you can’t lose focus of that. If you start addressing problems that don’t involve mud, roots, stumps, rocks, bigger rocks, what’s on the other side of that log and the 20 inches of leaf covered trail between them all, you learn quickly that you should have. Live and you learn, so long as you don’t bleed out.

I began my day in the dentist chair lying about my flossing habits. The hygienist began hers by countering my tales with fact. An hour later I was on the move and headed to my local trail.

5 miles if you loop it right and punishing. I was looking into doing a lesser trail today, but I crapped out on that one. Lemons and lemonade. Driving up the avenue I saw a guy in the middle of the road with a kitchen broom and a dust pan sweeping up trash. He was intent on beautifying that 5x5ft piece of land. I guess you have to start somewhere.

I got to the trail-head which is actually in a neighborhood next to a high school. I made the mistake of not changing in the dentists office, so I had to be quick in the truck. Applying chamois cream in a rushed manner doesn’t image well, especially next to a high school. I figured I could explain later if need be, to the judge, right before sentencing. Say some shit about a sweet set of trails in the reservation and the advantages of creaming your nether regions before a ride.

The trail starts ascending. Not steep, but the ground is loose. Keep the pedals moving and the ass in the cockpit. I never really fear falling off the ridge. If I did, I would. The drop could still do damage, so to Gary Fischer I pray. The bike tracks well even when the wheels start to wash out. As soon they bite down, progress continues. It took awhile to believe in the concept that even though your wheels are pointed in a direction that could cause you harm and or death that they will track and deliver you. I guess I do have faith. Fascinating this concept of faith…Live long and prosper.

Today’s lesson on the trail involved choosing lines that at first, second and third glance look harrowing, but are the only way to line yourself up for what’s up the trail ahead. I’m no fan of riding up something that has a drop, but every once in awhile, that’s the only way to transition on. I really didn’t apply that to my life in general as processing it at that moment may well have sent me into a tree and or rock, but surmounting the obstacle definitely stuck with me.

As I began my loop back I ran into a deer, though not literally. She was a biggie. She didn’t flee into the forest, so I passed very gingerly. We had an understanding. Next up on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom were two giant Wild Turkey’s. Not the easiest on the eye, but I’m sure they’d say the same of me. They didn’t hang around checking me out and I didn’t have time to appreciate them as a tricky set of jagged boulders lay directly ahead. I ended my morning jaunt as I had started it; climbing. The trail would have been much more fun bombing down it, but going up takes more skill, balance and patience. Can’t always eat cake, so I had my peas. I hopped back in my car, cranked open the windows and felt all the spots on my legs where thorns had torn into my skin. Stuff happens.

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