Did you want banter with that?   by HLM   8/19/03

Tuesday: E-mailed a few people, checked the forum (no rides), settled on Case at 6pm with small group. PMD is concerned about time and increasing lack of daylight, leading to a 5:45 meeting time. NB decides to stay home to visit with sister who stopped by on her way from Texas to Vermont. Last minute PMD calls and bails. Followed shortly by call from LUTC who gives himself a 50/50 chance. Who knows about HL. Rookie is too busy working. Haven’t seen PM on a trail in weeks – probably my fault – I’ve been busy watching the pavement go by.

Arrive at Case 5:48 – no crew. Wait. Wait. Wait. Depart at 6:15. Riding through the woods alone. Climb up main trail from new GSC lot just below anaerobic threshold – no one to make me suffer any more or any less. Soft right, descend, left on Fort Trail, up and onto the Metavomit. Legs pumping. Mind racing. Lots of contemplation about stunts – to ride them or to ride by them. Slug Rock doesn’t look too bad. Easy up, kind of slimy. Start thinking about bugs and slugs having a heyday chowing on my decaying corpse at the bottom of slug rock when I crash. Followed by image of slug rock rolling over on my arm and being stuck there for four nights with nothing but my Camelback and my Swiss Army Knife – should have brought more food. Cut my arm off, repel back to the car and its on to Leno!  MUST STOP THINKING. QM the down, dismount. Foot slips walking down and proceed to land on my ass. Slug Rock starts to roll, but I pull my arm out just in time. Should have just ridden it.

Continue on. Pancake rock goes by. Cross more ravines. Seesaw is dead. Gilligan’s Bridge is out. Mental M continues. Start feeling depressed on the down strokes due to being blown off by everyone. Decide to form a support group for Lack-of-Tuesday-night-ride Survivors, then realize that no one would show up. Get more depressed. MUST STOP THINKING! Pedal Harder!

Left up Spur. Rolling rocky terrain park. Startle deer.  Remember that "When Animals Attack" video and imagine having the shit kicked out of me by Bambi. More images of bugs and slugs chowing on my gored and hoof-marked corpse. Give Bambi a wide berth and pedal on. Look over my shoulder a few times for angry deer with big rack and glowing red eyes. Right on Red, Left on Blue. Convinced I’m being stalked. Finally run into some people. Have conversation out of necessity for human contact. Warn them about the deer. Feel like I’ve been in the woods for days.

Back to the trail. Almost eat it on 5-foot rocky vertical up to Overlook. Start thinking about Deep Survival Instincts. Decide that the deer was real, but those people were figments of my warped subconscious mind. Consider riding at Case until I have some sort of spiritual vision. I could relocate to Case full time and become the stuff of urban legend: The Wolf-Man of Case Mountain. Figure I could get by on Cliff Bars that fall out of people’s packs. Scour the neighborhood gardens for food in the summer, as long as I could avoid the angry deer population. Squirrel stew all winter long. Scurvy might be an issue. Hibernate? Migrate south for the winter? More images of the disheveled and morally bankrupt society that I left behind: Statue of Liberty half stuck in sand, me on a horse trying to outrun the man-apes with that hot chick Nova hanging on for dear life. Contemplate how many years it would take without human contact to lose my language skills. No language, no continual barrage of meaning, just random images without form and substance.

Descend back to car. Total ride time: 52 minutes. The human mind is a scary thing. Never MTB alone!

Ride rating: Three buckets of blood sucking slugs infested with maggots (the kind that CSIs use to figure out how long you’ve been dead), mixed with a healthy dose of Ritalin (my script just ran out).