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Old 08-15-2005, 03:07 AM   #1
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Sometimes a Ride is just a Ride

This is not one of those times. There’s gonna be a lot of story here so you picture monkeys might wanna just hit the gallery – here. But you’ll be missing out.

Before I get to this -




I have to preface with a bit of Gravity Lore which will help give context to this -

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Old 08-15-2005, 03:20 AM   #2
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It all started a coupla weeks ago in Pagosa Springs, CO on the trip dealt with in the thread 6 g's of Gravitational Pull – here.

Well, to tell you the truth, it all started the day g-pup was born, if not before, but the Pagosa Springs episode will serve nicely as an illustration to the point I will make later in this Ride Report. So back to Colorado a few weeks ago.




We were stopped in Pagosa Springs because, when it comes to road trippin’, I am the antithesis of my father.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:20 AM   #3
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Fair Warning - long, but important digression –

As a child my road trips were balls-to-the-wall flights across Western deserts. I would situate myself in the back of our station wagon. Being the oldest of six children the far back seat was my birth-right. It was the hottest place in the car, but it was mine alone. The rest of my siblings sweated and writhed on top of each other, while I sweated and writhed alone. I knew all too well I was settling in for the duration for my father would only stop for gas, and then only long enough to fill up. It is almost impossible to maneuver out of the far back seat, over 5 writhing, pissed-off children, and return the bathroom key before my father pulled off down the road bitching about the 60-cent per gallon price of gas. I was almost left behind in dozens of forgotten gas stations. Now I look back and think being left behind to toil the summer away pumping gas might have been a more pleasant alternative than the stifling back seat. We never stopped for anything but getting gas and letting someone puke. My father was a driven man, no pun necessary, but we were also perpetually broke. Not poor exactly, not even significantly deprived, but we all understood there wasn’t enough money to get the 8 of us through any of the enticing roadside attractions. Our lustful child eyes finally quit watch for The Thing in the Desert. We eventually quit wondering about the giant concrete dinosaurs. We would solemnly pass around the family 32 oz fountain drink, to gulp just enough to preserve our lives without filling our bladders, and console our need for travel experience with a welcome road construction and the ensuing conversation with the tired, sun-dried women holding the stop/slow signs on their long, pivoting poles. And we rode on, and on, and on. To this day I have a special place in my heart for construction flaggers.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:21 AM   #4
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Back to Pagosa Springs – So when g-pup had stowed his Game-boy and crawled from his birth-righted far back seat to investigate the minor wonder that is Pagosa Springs, I was ready to make this impromptu stop an event. Sure enough as soon as the pup laid eyes on the river full of frolicking bodies, he started in, “Man, I wish we could… if we ever come back here, I’d… it would be so cool if...”

Meanwhile I was already working feasibility studies in my head. G-Wife is far from my father in her travel habits, in fact she’s a stone-cold badass when it comes to managing “wander mode”, but she is infinitely more practical and pragmatic than I am, and I had to make sure this event wouldn’t elicit a “WTF” look that would harsh the rest of the day’s wanderings. I took the calculated risk. “g-pup, unpack your swim suit. I’ll blow up the air mattress.”




I saw a shadow of “WTF” flash across G-Wife’s face… but just a shadow.

15 minutes later g-pup was on the bank ankle-deep in the icy waters, just above the little shoot in the river that had called his name like a mythical siren. G-Wife and I stood on the opposite bank shouting encouraging instructions. The somewhat-reckless plan had been for g-pup to float down the river and through the shoot to then doggie-paddle his way to safety on our side of the river before he ended up in Baja serving drinks to tourists or working in a gas station. The plan eventually worked.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:22 AM   #5
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I say “eventually” because as soon as g-pup’s toes hit the snow melt, reality set in. You all know the drill. You entertain some wild hare about submitting your resume for First Mate on Team Mutiny, and end up dialing 411 for a cab 150 miles into your rain-soaked, warm-up ride ‘cause that puddle in your crotch has just spawned a healthy crop of butt monkeys. It’s the “This-looked-better-in-the-brochure” feeling that has plagued us all. Add to that the very-real (at least in your mind) possibility that you might die doing this, and you’ve arrived at the river bank with g-pup.

“The air mattress is sinking!” he shouted through shivering teeth. “How am I gonna get to the other side??!” “It’s sinking!!!” If the pup could bring himself to use the word “fuck”, we would have heard every form of it on that day. He was pissed, and scared, and really pissed at me.

“Fine, we’re coming over to get you.” I shouted.

“But I wanna do it!!” he shouted through his nine-year-old curses and tears.

“Then do it.” I offered.

Note to readers – go back and reread from the paragraph that begins “The air mattress is sinking!” and continue doing so until your head is just about to explode. This was the moment on that fateful day. It was not pleasant. It was torture… for all of us.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:23 AM   #6
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More back story – I have never hit the pup in anger… OK… “technically” only once, but it was so incredibly minor that I am the only one who will ever recollect (and regret) that it happened at all (plus, the little shit deserved it). In fact, I can’t remember the last time I even threatened to spank him. I have no moral qualms about the judicious use of corporal punishment. It’s just that g-pup is an incredibly sweet, obedient, and pleasant kid. He is a truly good soul despite my screwed up parenting. It is rare that I even raise my voice to him. Very rare. He is the type of kid who’s worst fear is hearing, “g-pup, I’m disappointed in you.” That phrase is so devastating to his tender person I could count on the late Jerry Garcia’s right hand the number of times I have had to employ it.

My father never hit me, but I would have preferred it to his yelling. He yelled a lot, and it almost broke me. On that day in Pagosa Springs I yelled at the pup… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So the pup finally pushes of into the water and starts his drift down the river. He was still yelling and complaining (go back to that paragraph and read it 3 more times for the proper effect). I tried to snap some pics, and then scrambled to my poorly thought-out, catching position below the shoot. The pup drifted on.






And as he drifted, he started to realize that the ride was indeed kinda fun. Then his attention shifted to maneuvering in the current, to anticipating the shoot, and to staying alive on this ride he’d jumped into.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:24 AM   #7
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The rest of the ride is pretty mundane except for the fact that a stranger had to pull him outta the river just below the shoot ‘cause I couldn’t reach him. But that’s how these things work out. Something, someone, is always there to grab you outta the current and haul you in. If the stranger hadn’t been there, I would have. Even if it meant throwing my camera to the rocks and diving in after him, the pup was gonna be all right.




By the time he was safely ashore with G-Wife and I, he was ready to go again. “Go dry off and get in the car.” I said as I deflated the air mattress, and his hopes of another run.

“But I wanna… do we hafta…?”




“Get in the car.” I ordered in my dad’s most pissed-off voice.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:25 AM   #8
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The pup got in the car and proceeded to dry off and change back into his travel clothes. I rolled up the mattress, repacked his bag, and help G-Wife get g-pupette situated. When he was strapped in ready to go, I started the car and got out. I went to his door in the back seat, opened it, and yelled at him.

“You will never disrespect you parents like that again!” I railed on him for the way he had voiced his distain. I hammered him about how we had made significant efforts to provide him with the opportunity to do what he said he wanted to do. I went on about how he had embarrassed us and himself with his frantic, childish, shameful ranting. Then I got to the real point.

“Didn’t I tell you, you were going to be OK?”

Now, trying to stifle his sobs of emotional overload, he hid his face in his shirt.

And for the first time in my life I pulled a “Foghorn Leghorn”.

“Look at me when I’m talking to you!!”

He looked me in the eye, and I proceeded to impress my point. Which was (to paraphrase), “When I allow you to do something, when I set up an opportunity for you, when I push you to experience something new, you do not have to be afraid. I will move the world to make sure you are safe.”

I got back in the car, and drove us to lunch.

Later that night in our hotel room in Durango, I asked him the routine question, “What was the best part of your day?”

He replied with, “When you quit yelling at me in Pagosa Springs.”

I said, “Me too.”

And we were good.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:26 AM   #9
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Here We Go...

This Saturday, for the first time since I bought DaiZy, g-pup and I rode together (which is the only reason I bought DaiZy).

Thumpty Dumpty, say hello to DaiZy.

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Old 08-15-2005, 03:27 AM   #10
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Actually, this trip’s preparations began on Friday when g-pupette and I made a run out to jonasf’s place to borrow his trailer to haul our bikes.

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Old 08-15-2005, 03:30 AM   #11
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Jonas provides the most complete service I’ve ever seen in any motorcycle shop.





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Old 08-15-2005, 03:31 AM   #12
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g-pup hadn’t slept Friday night ‘cause he was bouncing off the walls with anticipation of Saturday’s ride. He was up early (for the Gravitys) on Saturday to help load up.




As a final touch before we embarked, we christened DaiZy with appropriate tags. Pinki was silently weeping in the garage.

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Old 08-15-2005, 03:32 AM   #13
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g-pupette tried to stow away, but we caught her ‘cause she was stinky.

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Old 08-15-2005, 03:33 AM   #14
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Hitting the road to the Barstool Prophets’ Last of the Big Game Hunters.

“I have heard dandelions roaring out in my back yard…”




But mostly we listen to some sweet, sweet Michael Franti.

“’Cause the streets are alive with the sound of… BOOM bap.”



Just beautiful.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:36 AM   #15
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Nice tail.

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