What with winter all settled in, like a puffed up salamander here on the Central Coast, a ride may require more than it's own reward to really pay off. Know what I'm sayin?
I'm sayin that smelling the Wild in and of itself will, sadly, lose it's draw if you are wet, windblown, uncomfortable and/or bloated. So here's where Velocache really shines. Like a greasy $1 dollar bill crumpled in the gutter, it gives you an unreasonable lift of spirits and motivation all out of proportion with it's reality. Let Velocache be the wind beneath your wings that's really needed to get you out! and on the bike in this bleakening season.
This is the cache that sent me up and along the ridge to Dana's Drop, and I haven't ridden that in at least a year. So that's cool. It's a sandy rut these days, but it leads to some worthwhile get through trails. I popped out onto rushy rush 68, which I crossed and climbed towards the steps from the West.
This quickly became steep to the point of ridiculousness.
The steps from above did not appeal,
so I engaged in some bushwacking like you read about to reach the Scenic Trail and come at the treasure from above. I appreciate a clever turn of phrase, so I knew to look to the left if viewed from below, which would be right for me...
You know the treasure will be cheap and tawdry (and occasionally even offensive) yet it still holds out the possibility of revealing itself a poorly framed xeroxed copy of a badly airbrushed T-shirt featuring the visage of Charles Bronson, or some other inspiring jackpot. It is this sliver of possible brightness which you must cultivate into the burning flame of an actual bike ride.I knew it would be quite a climb to get back up, so I delayed opening the treasure until I got to that one spot overlooking the bumper to bumper on 68. It's a nice spot to soak in some rays.
On a related note: Gary Fisher, like Nick Nolte, gives me the heeby jeebies. I first became aware of this in the gay 90's, when Fisher had 70foot long banners of his face hanging above the booth at Interbike. That was notably over the top. Then there was the claims at being the Godfather of Mountain Biking- hurk!ohgodholdmyhair- like it wasn't some kid riding his bike where he liked (if you're a romantic) or cyclocross nutters (if you're an anglophile) or the fucking cavalry (if you're a buffalo soldier) or Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Charlie Cunningham, et al (if you're from NorCal , bro). Then it was inventing the 29" wheel (which at one Sea Otter I actually thanked him personally for popularising, since I am a gentleman, if a slight cad) when we all know it was Wes Williams. Booyah. Finally (I can only hope) it is the increasingly "bespoke" ensembles of facial hair and tailoring.
So that horrible t-shirt scared me more than any Omen reference or 80's Christian Metal. I will consider it a personal slap in the face with regard to my ability to fly in the face of fashion and wear it as a symbol of my continuing resistance to the stupidification/marketing of the next big thing in bicycling. It shall be the podium from which I launch my diatribe at the unsuspecting when they notice in passing polite speech my garb. A springboard to a meaningful discussion on what is Good and True in cycling versus what is an unsavory cult of personality, what is a false usurpation of our common history in cycling, what is madly scrambling for the new at the expense of the proven.
The really horrible part is that he has had a lot of very good ideas on bikes and bike design, and has promoted some worthwhile niches- not least 29" wheels and commutative bikes, which are both dear to my heart. But, look again at the shirt. It's that kind of unabashed hubris which calls for a real dislike. So I still shudder at the sight of him. And that makes this a Velocache win, I suppose. Especially since when I first saw it I thought "That's not a very good likeness of Phil Collins."...
and I shuddered.
Velocaches In Play
#4 FOUND! Awaiting pictures...go to http://burnhamcoaching.blogspot.com and register a complaint!