The Hub and I had a dream date day on Saturday. Well, dream for me, nightmarish for some... We braved the world of rental bikes again (this time at a Serious Bike Shop instead of a tourist rental shack) and actually got fairly adequate bikes for $7 less! Still a small fortune in rentals, but, well, cheaper than crack. You have to pick you addictions. So anyway, we went on the lovely 007 trail out of Bass Lake, something I used to ride in the good old days when I was a local backpacking guide. It was interesting to ride something that I had ridden in my fledgling mountain biking days, I remembered the trail as being rather tight, technical, and rocky, and was curious as to what my current judgement would be. Was I a total wuss back then, or was I stronger due to youth and a summer spent schlepping food for 15 people over high mountain passes?
And unfortunately again, I have no definitive answers to Life's Big Questions, as one outside influence has completely changed the experiment. Motorcycles. Poor 007 never saw what hit him. He's kind of a wreck. What used to be a fast fun swoopy single track with hoopty jumps and challenging rock gardens is now a 6 foot wide, 11 mile long sandbox full of boulders. Don't get me wrong I still had an awesome time, managing to scare myself careful, maintaining the rubber side down, surprising my self with some quick thinking and bike handling skills, all while getting a great workout. But I feel the need to mourn the passing of an old friend. It is the beginning of the biking season here and the trail is looser than my bowels on a race day.
The recommended route for 007 is to ride up the paved/dirt road (for an hour and a half!) and take the single track down. Now I'm not assuming that this is due to any altruistic biking reasons, it would just be a heck of a schlep up the single track on a bike. But the folks with petroleum power don't suffer from the same compunction. It seems that it is even more fun for them going up than coming down. We pulled over once to let a group of no less than 5 motorcyclists pass us, and not only were they spewing dust and diesel fumes, but their tires were cutting deep sandy ruts while spraying baby head rocks into the trail every time they goosed the engine. I know, I know, its the age old argument, who gets to use the trails? The hikers hate the mountain bikers, the mountain bikers hate the motorcyclists, the horses are scared to death of everyone, and I don't like anybody very much.
So there we go, I don't have any idea how I rate against my 24 year old self, nor do I have any answers as to who gets to actually use the land of many uses. 007 is still fun and formidable, but he has lost some of his grace. Oh look I just proved the old adage that you can never go home again. Durn, why didn't you tell me that before?
OH, HEY! I started this entry out with the Dream Date, I forgot all about that! So after our butt-whooping Exercise Event, we moved onto the Reading Books and Swimming in Bass Lake phase of the day. Glorious. 'Nuf said. Then on to, you guessed it, FOOD! We went to a superb sushi restaurant called Oka's where, oddly enough, they have fabulously fresh fish in the middle of the mountains. And there we proceeded to stuff ourselves silly. Yay! And here's the even odder part, we ran into two (of the four) couples that we know, way out in Oakhurst! (For those of you who aren't familiar with the area this is about an hour and 20 minute drive from El Portal.) So we had a fabulous double date with one couple while the other celebrated their one year anniversary with their extended families. (Congrats!) And we still aren't done! Nope, one more activity for the Dream Date Day. We continued our double date over to the local movie theatre and saw Cinderella Man. Which was possibly just a teensy weensy bit shy of the massive amount of hype, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. Topped off with the 80 minute drive home and a quick bath we slept like logs. Can we do it again today, huh, huh? Can we?