Friday, October 16, 2009

An' Annuver Fing...More North East Kingdom

Awesome things come in threes I guess. Last weekend was the Providence Cyclocross Festival/Interbike East. It was also The weekend of The Big Kahuna, something I was truly sad to miss, last year was such a blast. Alas (I hate it when people use that word, they are the same people that think they sound wicked, wicked smart when they say the proverbial — this, and the proverbial — that. Maybe the first person to say "I'm going to go take a proverbial crap in the proverbial toilet," sounded wicked smart. The eight million people who have employed that device since...they sounded like wicked pretentious-philistine-douche-bags.) I was unable to make it, I had pre-pre-existing plans to go mountain biking with my mom and my entire immediate family in The North East Kingdom of Vermont. My mom had booked an apartment sized unit from The Village Inn right in East Burke, the center of the action. 

Now you don't want to confuse the North East Kingdom with The North West Kingdom. The North West Kingdom is where Miriam and I live. It is the north western corner of Somerville, bordering on Arlington and Medford, just a stone's throw from those two bordering towns. I have not verified that it is, technically, a stone's throw from those two towns. When I used to live in a dark, unwashed corner of the world called Allston Massachusetts, I would joke that I lived "a stone's throw" from The Sports Depot (an awful sports bar) and this I knew for a fact. It was, as I said, a joke, I never actually threw stone's at that sports bar, but there were late evenings when I most certainly wanted to. 

If you do confuse the NEK with the NWK, the worst that's going to happen is that you'll show up to me and M's house and we'll take you for a ride in the Fells, five minutes away. It may not be The NEK, but it'll do. 

M with Burke Mountain in the background. The Superfly takes a breather. A little greasy but not muddy per se. Three bikes on the roof and I'm a happy guy. 

The whole family was there, including those who don't even ride. We did get my brother in law, Tom and my brother, Brad out on a ride. Tom came down to the pump-track to watch Noah (my nephew) and my sister rip it up for a bit. Tom got to see Noah take a massive spill ("what was that about football being too dangerous Jules..."), but he also got to see how stoked the kid gets on the bike. 

Let's talk about my brother and sister for a minute...they are prodigies. They are so inherently gifted at riding bikes, it makes me want to take up speed-knitting. Miriam, my mom, and I are, admittedly, not too horrible at riding bikes, I'll give you that, but we work really, really hard to be as good as we are.These guys DON'T RIDE BIKES, and they can get on a bike and absolutely kill it any time they want. My sister doesn't know what her granny gear is for chrissakes. My brother hasn't ridden a bike in four years, he doesn't work out, he doesn't cross train, or any crap like that. He walks around New York City and he goes dancing until the wee hours of the morn. Apparently I should consider taking up dancing, because the kid is FIT. It would be one thing if he came out and rode a geared bike around, you could fake that, but he was riding my single speed Ferrous. When the going got tough, he ground it out, standing and muscling up some no-joke climbs. He would also try anything  — riding over slippery bridges and into water-filled ditches and laughing his ass off when he crashed. 

Brother Brad looking pretty natural on the bike. I'm pretty. B gets acquainted with the practice of "long walks up steep mountains next to [his] bike." The weather was supposed to kind of suck, but we saw more sunshine than rain. 

The simple fact of the matter is that I am the least talented of my siblings. If these guys actually rode bikes instead of raising amazing kids while working full time and being big deal New York artists (and dancing all night), they would be wearing stars and stripes in no time. 

No, this is not photo-shopping magic. Yes, it really was that beautiful. 

Well, I'm out of time and you're probably more than exceeded you attention span, so I'm going to go now. I am planning on writing a more Reuters style NEK handbook style thing for the 29er Crew Blog, for people who may not know anything about The Kingdom or how to ride it. Of course that'll have to wait until after the MRC Cross report from this coming weekend. I am going to die.

Brad has his first "SPD moment", picking a nice, soft spot to land. The first time he started to fall, I ran over and grabbed him, I wasn't close enough the second time. The foliage was just beyond peak, but the trails were strewn with the brightly colored, fallen leaves — corridors covered in red and carpets of yellow. The warm up on Darling Hill, "how're those bacon and eggs sitting in your belly there?" Brad...Rock Star. 


bryan said...

looks like a good time. i miss you thom, we need a man date.

rick is! said...

nice, love it when a whole fam rides. glad you guys had fun.

the original big ring said...

I hate you (I really do love you), for being able to ride this weekend . . . and especially so at Kingdom. Two stellar days here in Aylmer, Ontario - home of the Ontario Police College - where I sat inside most all weekend studying for midterms (tomorrow). Fuuuuuuugggg. Eyes finally healed over from being pepper sprayed (worse thing on the planet that you could do to someone) and aren't red and sting everytime I blink. Why the fuuuuggggg am I doing this again!?!?