Photo of The Day

Photo of The Day: Bike VS Canoe

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My friend K.C. lives in a small Wyoming town and drives a 1980s-era Land Cruiser, tan in color with no extras if you're not counting the beefed up suspension and 33" tires. On his way out to the lake for an afternoon of paddling his canoe, he sent me a text message. Three words and a picture of his simple, classic Cruiser with his forest green canoe strapped to the top captioned, "JUST ADD WATER." Since a picture is worth 1000 words, here's the visual.

He does this. He inspires a very green colored jealousy with his short bursts of stoke via text. And I love him for it.

My pregnant wife took my daughter to visit family on the other side of the country this past week, leaving me lonely — and yet so free. So I tossed my bike on the truck, drove two hours to do a six-mile trail over the stunning views near Sedona, and got a drive-thru cheeseburger on the way. Life on the edge, y'all.

The trail snaked through a forest of ponderosas and junipers and was so bejeweled with a maze of boulders that I wondered if I was too old to be doing this. I kept on going, though, and I teetered along far slower than I had envisioned my ride was going to be. I took a couple of spills, walked it a few times, but finally reached a stunning vista at the top of a cliff that overlooked Sedona and the popular Schnebly Hill Road. I stopped and sat down for a break.

Then I thought of K.C. and his canoe and his Wind River Mountains over 900 miles away. I had set out with my bike probably the same way he sets out with his canoe, just a way to suck up a few extra ounces of fun that the stretching summer days offer. Snatch a couple of quiet hours outside, nothing more. Perhaps alone, or perhaps with another kindred spirit who's okay with long silences and a few no-see-ums buzzing around the ears.

At my vista in the fading sunlight I wanted K.C. to know. I saddled up to finish my ride, made it through the last rough stretch of bouldery trail and hit the much flatter graded gravel of Schnebly Hill Road. I shifted gears and put some steam to my legs and that was about the point I heard something strange.

Pop. For a half of a second, maybe more, my legs cranked but wouldn't bite into the gear, and I knew what that meant. A snapped link. Plenty of cyclists know to carry a chain tool for these episodes. Mine? Yeah, it was back in the truck a mile and a quarter away.

I flipped the bike to fiddle with the chain, but not a minute passed before I realized I was simply hosed. I stood up, crossed my arms, stared at the bike, understood I'd be walking back to the truck, and so I made the only declaration that this moment could call for: "I need a canoe."


+5 / 0
# Aaron 2012-07-02 17:59
:-) Nice post! I am about to spend a few days alone since wife and son are to be out of town. Thinking of headed up Flagstaff way with my mountain bike and new RTT. I'm looking forward to it and your post makes me even more excited! Thanks
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Mark Stephens
0 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2012-07-08 19:45
Bitter sweet, isn't it? You in the Phoenix area?
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+3 / 0
# Aaron 2012-07-09 17:04
Yes. Bittersweet is a good word. I was anxious to come home then realized they would not be here. I'm in Tucson. Trip was great!
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