26-52-2013 - Purple Haze and Halfway Done

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

~ Jimi Hendrix

June 30, 2013 – Again, where did that go? We are officially halfway through the year. How did that happen?

We jumped on the bikes fairly early this morning and headed North. There was a track day and some races happening out in Mission today, but with the forecast heat, simply put. . . forget that! Sorry friends at the track, but it was too damn hot to sit in the sun in bleachers for even a portion of the day. My blood would have boiled today it was so hot. Melting would have been within the realm of expectation. Again, no thank you. I don’t need heat stroke.

I’m not a sun worshiper. In fact when the sun is high and the temperature is too, I am anywhere but in the thick of it, I would rather be in the cool air. How does it go? Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun? I may have English blood, but I try to not think of myself as mad. But if we’d been at a track I might have gone that way.

So we geared up and headed North fairly early. We stopped for a coffee in Squamish and shook our heads at the riders hanging out there. One girl in particular simply baffled us. She was riding a sport bike, and she was wearing a helmet, runners, fuzzy shorts, shin guards, a tank top, and a full back protector. So in essence she was saying that she cared about her head, her knees, her spine, and be damned with the rest of her body.

At first I estimated that about 25% of the riders on the highway had full gear. A bit later I figured that I was probably overestimating.

It horrifies me how many people ride without any protective gear beyond a helmet. I’ll admit that when I was younger I was also pretty sure that I was invincible and nothing bad could ever happen to me. But then I realized that I was wrong. It didn’t take much more than a minor ski accident to convince me that I was actually mortal – I have a screwed knee for the rest of my life, and the accident really wasn’t very impressive.

When we returned home we just both shook our heads and said “Way too much skin out there today.”

On the first run through Squamish (on the way up) we were waiting for our drinks and a woman said to us “I saw you all go by and was jealous, my husband and I used to ride until we had kids and things took priority”. We chatted for a bit until she said again “. . . the group. . . rode past”

We clarified that we were riding alone, just the two of us, no group. She suddenly became a great deal chattier and told us of the things she’d watched the group of young Asian riders performing and how she was quite sure she was going to see “it” happen in front of her.


We all agreed that we just see the issues inherent in groups. Egos. Performances. Something to prove to who knows who, or why. Not us, not her. A good conversation that got better when we clarified that we generally just ride alone, together, or perhaps with another couple of riders.

Rarely, if ever, more.

Keeps it sane.

A few weeks back we rode to Whistler with a couple of other riders, it was fun and made me think maybe I’d shunned something I shouldn’t have. Every Monday night there is a group ride to Squamish for coffee and conversation, and then back into town for ice cream/gelato. We almost did it the day after we rode with the others, but then decided to ride up ahead instead. We passed the group on the way back down, and on getting home I checked the FB group and discovered a rider had high sided over the median on a corner on the way back down. A rider pushing himself too hard and probably trying to keep up to more experienced riders or trying to show off. Trashed his bike, left in an ambulance, but alive and in relatively good shape.

Nope, we’ll stay away from larger groups and egos and show offs, and we will ride our own ride, occasionally with people we have come to have some sense of trust in. But no large groups. Nothing attracts us to those.

Lunch in Whistler, then back to Squamish for another refresher, then back to North Van for a quick change and two open houses. . . one of which. . . maybe. . . we really like. . . and has a lot of potential. . . and could. . . be the one?

Agent is back in town Tuesday and we will talk then.

But it “feels” right and the location is great. It has some shortcomings, of course, but they are surmountable.