Today was my birthday. I always take my birthday off work, because I want to do exactly what I want to do, and I don’t really like a workplace fuss. Yesterday I was almost giddy, hitting DECLINE on 5 meetings that would have taken 6 hours out of my workday. Birthday. And cut across lunch. And no time to ride.
(oh my god, another one?)
(what the… that’s lunchtime!)
(oh yeah, there’s the regular other Wednesday meeting – crucial that I be there for UI approval before launch)
Instead, I took my dog out on a leash-free mountain biking excursion in Marin County.
Two and a half hours of riding the brand new bike (Well, the frame is new… to me. The headsets is new! And the cables!). Even the bartape is old, but I flipped it around so the faded/unfaded markings make a zebra stripe. I like it.
Up on Mt Burdell, there are nice roads going across the face of the hills, and then steep climbs to get to the next level. There are some singletrack steep descents that are not signed against bikes, but technically the dogs should be on leash for them.
The Gryphon rode great, the smooth Schwalbe tires hooked up on the dirt climbs, and baby heads were no problem. I was pretty surprised at the traction on the rear Marathon, but the dirt conditions were about perfect. Crusty, not dusty or muddy.
Halfway up the first climb I realized I’d overdressed, and shed the gloves, balaclava and outer layer. Rolled them up inside the sweater and tied them to the bars.
We met a couple dogs, and my dog was great with them, and met some cool people hiking up. Bike people. Ibis Mojo, Santa Cruz Bontrager Race, early Litespeed kind of bike people. This Singular Gryphon is a real conversation starter. Another guy we (I) talked to was riding his passed-away friend’s passed-on hardtail Fisher. He takes pictures on his rides on the bike and sends them to his friend’s mom. I love that.
A fellow with the dog that I talked to (“Gaucho’s” owner), said the Rangers mostly come out when the cows are in the open space. I asked him how you know the cows are out, and he said, “You see them.” Oh, yeah, right.
Chick (the dog’s name is Chick) was tired, and I think she hurt her paw. I was a little sore, and the headset needs a bit of tightening, but I call it a very successful first “real” ride on the Singular Gryphon, and I’m so happy to have a place to ride with the dog!
In the rest of the birthday day, I got some new clothes, and my 13 year old took me out for fries, and a stranger in Safeway bought me a sixpack of Lagunitas IPA. She looked at the backed-up line of people buying beer and wine, all guys, and said, “I bet I’m the only one buying this because I’m mad at men.” I said, “I’m getting this because it’s my birthday and I bought some beer, thinking ‘I’ll get something I’d never get. Something special! And it tasted terrible.’” She was like, “Oh, that’s awful!” When the checker rang up her KJ Chardonnay, she told him to ring up my beer, too. I said, “Thanks, that’s sweet. I hope your bottle works for you. And kills all men.” She laughed.