TMR - Snowy Day in KCMO - Looooong as Usual

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by L Hays, Mar 1, 2003.

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  1. L Hays

    L Hays Guest

    I was putting away the carpentry tools yesterday after a full day of rebuilding the hearth and
    mantle in my not-so-decrepit turn of the century abode when a knock sounded at the door. It was my
    buddy from down the street who is one of our local trail stewards and a partner in mayhem. He asked
    what I was doing this weekend and wanted to know if I wanted to break some trail with him. He wanted
    to finish up a loop that we have been trying to establish in a park given to my local chapter of
    Earthriders for use. I carefully looked over at SWMBO and said "Definitely, what time are you coming
    by?" I could have swore I could have heard a little voice saying "What about the house?" but it was
    all just my imagination

    Being unemployed sucks, but I'm nearing the end of my severance period and I'm forced to finish all
    of these house restoration projects before rejoining the ranks of the 9 to 5ers. I've been busting
    my ass trying to get my projects finished and I needed what I've called my shot of therapy; walking
    through the woods and bringing trails to life.

    Tool (not his real name) swings by my house at the crack of 10:30 and we load up. He brings the
    trail dog, Moab, and I bring my youngest son.

    We had received a light dusting of snow overnight and the ground still held on to a couple inches
    here and there where the sun just couldn't get to it to melt it. We have had about 8 inches fall
    within the last 2-3 weeks and I'm just now adjusting to this crap. Thank Gawd for spring.

    As we are driving over to the trails, I saw a pain in Tool's face as we listened to Stone Gossard's
    solo effort called Brad. I had to ask why the somber mood. Unfortunately my buddy lost a friend in a
    ice-related car accident a couple of days earlier and he's understandably taking it hard. The guy
    was our age (early thirties) and he and his wife were both lost in the accident. He tells me that he
    needed to get out and hit the trails for therapy. I was touched that he thought of me at a time like
    this and was also intrigued by his use of words ( Hey Tool, the therapy thing is my line).

    It was a cold moist morning that held the promise of some more white stuff lay crowns of ice upon
    our covered heads at any time. 27 degrees and perfect for digging. We had a section that needed
    bench cutting, then traverse an armored creek crossing, then clear a series of 180s. The pooch Moab
    was driving us crazy with sticks he wanted us to throw and my son was being a little trooper trying
    to use a rake 4 times his size. I'm real big on those moments where not much or nothing has to be
    said but you are still communicating. I've mentioned it in other reports, mainly because it only
    happens three times in my life:
    1. When you are so in love or in touch with someone that you don't need to speak because you are so
    content with whoever you are spending time with at the time (wife, kids, etc)
    2. In the woods. That's it... in the woods. I surround myself with like-minded people who enjoy the
    surroundings as much I do. My trails/mtb club has introduced me to so many people I get along
    with because I probably haven't spoken more than 100 words to them. But the 100 words that were
    spoken, were mind provoking, creative words (Start the bench cut here, do you think the trail is
    flowing enough?, where should it go from here? Did you see that deer?)
    3. While on maneuvers in the woods with a squad of close-knit scouts, en-route to an OP and soaking
    in the sounds and smells of the woods around you.

    But, I digress... The bench cut went smooth, and the pulaskis broke ground with ease. The DR mower
    kept stalling every 15' or so and I could hear Tool screaming blasphemy at the gas-powered devil
    he had counted on to cut this trail. I couldn't get the blower to start, so I ended up raking a
    section that was probably close to 1/8th of a mile. I was just raking along as my son plodded next
    to me asking various questions and singing songs to me that he had learned at pre-school earlier
    in the week.

    We finished up what we could and walked a little of the trail together. We discussed future routes,
    plans for the place and I threw a couple of ideas at him. The trail we were working today is a
    little out of the way and I don't know how much of a "regular"stop this will be for riders in the
    area. I asked if he would consider using the park as a testing ground to try out different
    techniques of TM. Armoring, bridge building, etc. He mulled the idea for a couple of minutes and
    said it was a definite maybe. That'll work for me.

    We wrapped up because the weather had done just what was expected and proceeded to dump fat flakes
    of snow upon the trails. We scraped the mud off the tools, boots, and paws, and headed out. In the
    end we estimated that we cleared about a little more than a 1/8th of a mile. This was done in about
    3 hours with only about 100 words between us. I looked over at him and the pained look was gone,
    replaced with a faint hint of content.

    We drove to my house, silently.


  2. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    L Hays wrote:
    > I was putting away the carpentry tools yesterday after a full day of rebuilding the hearth t

    thank you.... beautiful.

  3. Michael Dart

    Michael Dart Guest

  4. Lance says:

    <snip volumes>

    Productive, unpaid, enjoyable work that improves things - nature's best therapy.

    Thanks for reminding me. ;-)

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