10 November 2008

A Case For Leaf Blowers

I have to say that, generally speaking, I am with Rick Smith who seemingly has a an inbred hate of leaf blowers. For the most part they annoy the hell out of me but after riding this weekend, the first serious ride in three weeks due to colds and scheduling conflicts, I think I might be able to form a case FOR the infernal things.

I did have an awesome ride, on so many levels. It was about 37ºf outside (just under 3ºc if my math skills are correct) and barely drizzling almost the entire time. The leaves are now down, all of them, which makes for really interesting riding to begin with. Add to that the fact that I was riding in and around a very old quarry. For those of you who might be Mormon, or have interest in the Mormon faith, the park was Chapin Forest Reservation. The significance of Chapin to the Mormon faith is that the city the quarry is in (Kirtland, Ohio) is where Joseph Smith (the founder and first president of the Mormon Church) erected the first Mormon Temple. What is now the Chapin Forest Reservation, was originally where they quarried the stone in 1833 to build the Temple.See, told you so.

Digressing, and back to the point of the story. If you know me you know that I tend to be a little bit befuddled a lot of the time. So a few things I didn't think about in planning out this ride today were these.
- It is almost impossible to see out of glasses once they have been rained on for hours on end.
- It IS in a quarry. You know, where they used to get stone from. Because quarries naturally have a lot of stone, and small stones at that, the stones, are EVERYWHERE.
- The aforementioned stones, when covered by about a thousand acres of wet leaves, are completely impossible to see.
- Because the cut stone out of quarries, there are huge drops where the stone was cut out of. This makes for trails place right along side hundreds of foot drops.
All of this figures into me getting my butt kicked trying to climb. A combination of wet rocks and wet leaves on rocks isn't such a cool situation to be riding on. Just how many leaves, you ask?About that many. I didn't fall there, just lost traction. Where I almost fell was a drop into a cavernous gorge between rock. Didn't get a picture of that, but it's not important. It was, however, the only time I almost fell. The bottom line is this, in the end all of the riding was totally worth it! It's been far too long since I was able to get out for a ride, and I almost forgot how amazing it was. When all was said and done, it was worth it just for views like this,and this.Had it been a clear day I could've seen all the way to Downtown Cleveland, about twenty to twenty-five miles away, but I could settle for this.

Not to mention that through the whole ride, after many laps around the park and many hills later, my legs felt awesome. I felt as though I had been riding all along. My weight is still down, and dropping which might have something to do with it. I just felt awesome, it was almost spiritual. All in all I can't think of a better ride after being off the saddle for dang near a month. It was good to be back on a bike.

1 comment:

Bluenoser said...

Nice post phunster. At 3°c things are just about right for riding hard.

-B