Saturday, November 30, 2013

The TDRSYCHAPOP Tradition Continues!

Take a look at the map of the US.  If you're not one of the many people that have a college degree but are still as smart as a bin of Play Doh, and since you're reading a blog (the fact that you're reading at all) it is probably safe to assume you are not one of those people, find the area known as Four Corners.  No, not the intersection of roads south of Sundance, WY for you western SD and eastern WY people, but the actual place where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico all meet.  Now draw a line,  bisecting that mystical convergence of 4 states brought to you by lazy boundary makers, that runs east-west across the US.  If you live north of that line your chances of the weather being nice on Thanksgiving Day are sketchy at best.  This year we had a nice Thanksgiving.  Second year in a row.  Thanks Al Gore!

So, you're wondering what the hell does a map of the US and some weather talk have to do with a bike blog that is unreasonably intermittent?  Well, let me explain.  Get your Sherman and Mr. Peabody on and lets jump into the Way Back Machine and go back 16 years and 1 day...

It all started on November 27, 1997 which happened to be Thanksgiving Day.  It was the Princess,  Cleaver, Al and myself (and probably some other people that my foggy memory can't retrieve from the hard drive) doing a mountain bike ride on the now defunct Pigmore trail with a loop onto the Centennial for good measure (oh how I miss that trail).  Here we are 16+ years later and I still think about how much fun that ride was and little did we know at the time the Thanksgiving Day Ride So You Can Have Another Piece Of Pie was born and carried on with as much regularity as this blog.

Life drastically changed for me shortly thereafter, moving us to Colorado.  I tried to carry on the Thanksgiving Day ride tradition with as much success as can be expected living north of that line mentioned earlier, but no where near the amount of fun as that first ride, especially since many of them were solo affairs.  But let's not rehash the distant past, but let's talk about the recent past, like Thanksgiving 2013!

Scoping out the weather forecast last weekend, it looked like Thanksgiving was going to be a nice enough day to let the TDRSYCHAPOP tradition carry on.  Last year we rode HLMP and we could do that if necessary, but I thought Bulldog would be a nice halfway point for the Spearfish crew and anyone else from Rapid to converge, so I did a little recon on Monday afternoon.  Bulldog was in PRIME shape and ready for a Turkey Day ride!

After sending out the Rambler signal via e-mail and top secret message service, it was set for 8:28 am (a JT inspired start time) with everyone encouraged to bring an adult beverage to share and I'd bring some bacon to share on the trail.  RSVP's were flooding in and it was shaping up to be a grand ride!

Above the fog.
I awoke to a foggy and a bit cold (22 degrees) Thanksgiving morning.  Not quite the weather promised, but rideable none the less.  I headed out early to hit the trail and get a few bonus miles in before the rest of the crew assembled.  I hit the trail in patchy fog and finger numbing temperatures, hoping that the fog would burn off and as I warmed up my fingers would too.  I was right on both accounts!  I summited Bulldog and dropped back down to hook up with the group to ride back to the top.

When 17 riders converged at the summit, we basked in the sunshine, temperatures that were about 15 degrees warmer than the valley below (thank you air inversions) and the fog didn't matter as we were well above it.  Bacon was shared, some beers were cracked, a bottle of blackberry schnapps was passed around to those of us that were of age, bullshitting commenced with a smattering of high and low fives, fist bumps and bro-hugs thrown in for good measure.
Bacon and Beverages...

As we jumped on our bikes for the awesome descent back down Bulldog, I realized that two powerful cups of coffee and one piece of bacon was decidedly NOT enough to counteract the effects of two big gulps of blackberry schnapps!  Slightly buzzed, we bombed back down the mountain.  Maybe not my fastest descent of Bulldog ever, but it was still fun anyhow.

Back at the trailhead, more adult beverages were shared, this time courtesy of Cleaver doing his best Smokey and the Bandit rendition, dragging some super delicious Pennsylvania Troegs beer across 7 or so state lines the previous day.  Once again, bullshitting commenced with a delightful furor.  After a few beverages were consumed, and the lies started to wane, the party began to disperse, punctuated with many more bro-hugs.

So, the TDRSYCHAPOP was a rousing success this year, almost (but not quite) supplanting that first rendition all those years ago as the greatest one.  As long as Al Gore continues to perpetuate his global warming myth, those of us north of the sketchy weather line will continue to give thanks on two wheels, and just maybe have another piece of pie.

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