Hurl took a left where I expected a right. I hit the brakes and shoved my weight to the side, trying to prevent the loss of all my momentum, but it was already gone. I heaved the bike up the hill watching him scamper away. Hurl dives to the right once more. A large garbage truck blocks the narrow road, up and over the curb with an expert bunnyhop goes the Man on the Soulcraft. At this point, I’m officially ‘off-the-map’. Good shit.
Live in any place long enough and you start to get the ‘routes’ down. Depending on your allegiances, they may change. Everyone in Town knows the Wayzata route, but everyone has their own flavor. It’s funny to watch the assumptions of first time riders. A left where you expected a right. The loss of momentum. The yelling/gesturing/regrouping. Sometimes the affected just gives up, or doesn’t find their way back. Back to their own safe zones, or to the cell for rope home.
Last Friday Hurl took me on the full Slick 50 route of two years ago. My first Slick 50 and some of the first Musette posts came of that. His collection of alleyways, dirt and gravel is mighty impressive, and occasionally intimidating. As a light rain passed overhead I stared down a switchback I wouldn’t feel comfortable in ideal conditions. A switchback I had never laid eyes on before. Hurl slid through the corner, following the fall line of the rain. I quietly cursed him under my breath. This wasn’t my Lilydale. This was solidly his own.
Soon enough, my bearings were found and that vivd feeling of Lost had left my senses. My heart beat just a bit softer and my eyelids slid down, my eyes no longer bouncing around looking for any sign of the ‘normal’. The rope had been found and the route was known.
And I had collected a new flavor of rights, lefts, downs and ups.