A place to share words and pics. Mostly bikes, but my photog eye does wander.

Bikes let the good times roll. In solitude or with friends. For a half hour or 8 hours. Pedals become the gears that turn the earth as the sun seems to track their motion, day after day. Miles become food, and you're hungry. The bike stops being a vehicle, or toy, or transportation and becomes an extension of will, allowing you to journey beyond the pain of self into the realm of almighty, joyous nature, she that feeds our souls. Pedal yourself into the maw of creation. Pedal yourself silly.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Solo Night Riding with the Trickster

I had a hankering for a tough ride, and looking at that little mountain to the west of me - South Mountain - I felt like gobbling it up this fine evening. No C2C2C mind you, but just a journey deep inside the belly, up Mormon, and up further still up National, until the saddle just before Buena Vista. I'll get a view of the towers. Typical ride, other than the fact that I was solo, in the dark at about 9pm rolling around the techy parts of the mountain. There was a threat of monsoon rains all day for the evening, but they missed about 25 miles to the east, so the whole mountain was mine, and with temps that dropped at least 15 degrees. Yes, this apple was ripe for the pickin'.

The cityscape is pure flat desert. The Grid. Light bikes roll around between the predictable squares. Lights zoom in from the sky. Hues of blue, red, yellow and green. Human self-organization - I see proteins, a nucleus, messages, metabolism, catabolism, evolution. Isn't everything just a model of what is above and below it? We ebb like stars, die like black holes, change like the wind, and self-manage like an ant hill. Symmetry of form, symmetry of function. The entire physical universe is alive.
The night life is half the fun. Caught this Sonoran Ground Snake cruising down the trail. Never seen one before. I chased and took pics for a good 10 minutes. I was in no hurry. Strava was tucked away deep in my pack. My eye was on my lens tonight.

In the darkness, come playful light. Time moving, non-moving. I was there, but captured not. Ghost wheels carry me past.

The Octocog was poised for the night. My creature of the garage works as if it is normal. As if it is not function groomed to a form. It's been liberated from its Mono ways. It plays as if it's more than 8 times what it was, which it is.

A what? Imagine my surprise to find a toad on National. I had no idea.

The saddle. Towers in the background. What better time to dance the light away!

The clouds drifted silently across the moon all evening, showing small hints of red along the fringes. Parts of the city were getting hammered up north, but tranquility was mine here, alone, yet not.

Lights from the sky streak down across my darkened canvas. Patterns. Waveform. You think lights are attracted to lights?

So I make my way back from the saddle. The water fall is on my mind. It feels very attainable. It feels easy thinking about it. The line is clear in my mind's eye. The nerves are placid, the sky dark, the light focused. I think, "Shall I?" I don't answer. The feature shows itself, I roll to the top and without hesitation am rolling down the spine as I figured it would go. I've got this. My first water fall run. Whoa! What am I thinking?! Then the transition after the spine get dicey and I stall out. Re-situate and then roll the last half. Not bad. Now I've got a real appetite for it. 

I'm now past the Mormon junction on National coming up to the steps when I hear a guttural growl to my right. I try to place it - Coyote? Cougar? Javelina? None seemed to match. None other than the Trickster matched as it was slobbery and strangely human-like. Then....laughing? Too anthropomorphic, but not quite human laughter...the dark has caught me. The Trickster is already working my mind. My helmet light darts back and fort like a beacon of my location while I remain still as can be to hear another sound, to place this unknown from me, but nothing. Then the chills. "Go! Gotta get out!", is all I feel. Feet seem to follow me. I hear rocks falling behind me. Was that shadow moving fast, climbing the ridge? Is something following me? I try to let the techiness of National distract me, but the moves are too practiced, I can multitask the growing irrational fear. Care to it and make the Triangle. There's a strange satisfaction in running from unknown spirits yet hitting your marks. I glow in my own concentration. Finally reason fills the space between my ears again as I roll off National. See, there's only Nothing in the dark. I've been running from Nothing. The Nothing that gobbles you up, and leaves you empty. Fear drives solutions, but shouldn't manage outcomes. This is for the will. I made it back to the car.

1 comment:

  1. Love the Octocog under the moonlight pic, that would make a fantastic poster! Your words run deep my friend, nicely done!