Slight tension on The Tension

Fish tacos are not the optimal pre-ride fuel. Not when it’s 98 degrees out. And the trail is loose, rocky – and steep.

Boots got to the top of another rise and fake-barfed water as I joined her. You know, a little ribbing for barfing on a previous ride (and sharing it here).
“You wanna see the fish tacos I had for lunch?”
“Eeeeeeewwwwww, no!”

Social bike rides are great. Not a helluva lot of speed, and you usually go as fast as the slowest rider. And at some point, everyone is the slowest rider.
This trail was brutal. I mean, I adore the men and women at the Bureau of Land Management for building a whole host of trails in Upstate California, but this was brutal.
Trail building by bulldozer.
“Is this a trail, or a fire break?” the Chancellor mused.
“I think this will blend in – when your kids are grown up.”
Cat 6 grader marks. Sharp rocks and loose dirt where your tires sunk in a good inch. The trail desperately needs a lot of rain. And that means wintertime.
Like four months away.
I am a giant whiner.
Next rise, I bailed.
“Sorry guys, just not my scene.”

I like to ride alone. I saw three doe, a giant garter snake, a small rattlesnake (which I nearly ran over), two friends who stopped to talk (one lunch invite) and an otter. I got to go at my pace.
I got to think.

And I have come to the conclusion that I feel somewhat compromised by The Tension from time to time. I mean, writing stuff down that is my life.
“You made it into a story I wrote,” the rider said. “It was about sharing. I’m not a big sharer and I’ve read your blog – I don’t think you’re a natural sharer – but it’s helped me share.”
Naturally, I’m fairly a private person. But this has been good for me.
I just get the feeling sometimes I can’t be as free as I want.
I mean, you want freedom, read Peas; chrissakes, that woman can write – really well – about anything.
I fear that I will make someone angry or someone sad by sharing everything that happens day-to-day. The highest highs and the lowest lows.
Even when those parties say they never read my blog anymore (but seem to know everything, every fucking detail, of my life).

And as I pushed through the northside river trail hills, I decided that I have struck a good balance here on The Tension. I mean, my life is messy and I create my own mayhem, which is fair game. Outside influences? I’ll let you know that the encounter is on the record. You have the option of telling me it's off-the-record.
It’s only fair.
Not everyone wants to share.


Hilda said...

Nice piece. I have no hard feelings about you sharing my fake water-barf; and I'm still thankful you did not share your partially digested fish-tacos with us. But, I do disagree about this statement: "Not a helluva lot of speed".... The Chancellor and I raced several times on the way back. Remember, this was my FIRST RIDE IN TWO FRIGGIN' YEARS! You want speed? I'll show you speed!! ;-)

-- Boots

The Chancellor said...

You bailed 100 yards too soon - the trail hardened up - which is to say they haven't buried it in loose gravel.

Good call on the "on the record off the record" option too - you're a writer, we should all know you're always "on the clock".

As for Boots - The Force is strong in that one!