Friday, July 23, 2010


“Suck it, commuter!” someone yelled with that hearty sense of abandon that only comes from riding in a pack of bicycles that includes a bike trailer-mounted Conestoga wagon, the realization of one of those ideas that comes to a person on a solo bike tour, and which pays dividends as a keg hauler on the Oregon trail, or in this case, something akin to that classic adventure, missing, thankfully, dead oxen, but including, in exchange, fireworks, missiles at the moon, and countless opportunities for hunting game other than bison and probably even some likelihood of dying from dysentery, although no one, thankfully, succumbed, at least during my portion of the ride.

I broke two of my time-honored rules; first, declining to swim in the lake when the opportunity presented itself (due to the chill wind blowing off the water), and second, riding my bike even though I was unable to unlock it (tired old eyes leaving the Knarr prevented me from lining up the combination numbers just right; I remain in debt to my more youthful companion who was able to do so for me), but still everything turned out all right in spite of not making it to either the outdoor big screen presentation of the Tour de France nor the end-of-the-evening festivities with fire celebrating the completion of the long and lonesome trail.

My spoke card tombstone reads “Here lies Professor Dave, died of trampled by oxen” which, as it turns out, seems pretty accurate for how I felt this morning, although thanks to the healing powers of caffeine and sugar, I’m ready now another expedition, especially if it were to include the puffy pink sunset of last night’s adventure.

I drank my beer from a giant-sized can of Rainier, which made me seem like a midget when holding it, but when refilled from the covered wagon, I felt as tall and strong as those pioneers must have when they arrived successfully in Oregon City.


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