My bike suddenly left the pavement and started rolling along a dirt surface. It was dark and my only existence was a ten foot wide beam of light. I stopped and drank my last bit of Carbo Rocket. I swung my light around to get a bearing. All I saw was a fence, some kind of field, and a rather well traveled gravel road. I turned my bike around and headed back the way I came. My thoughts drifted back to the night’s activities.
I rode out to the Missoula Thursday Night Ride with Jill who was on her newly configured single speed. I matched gears and vowed to stay in the same for the duration of the evening. We met up with 11 others and waited for Tom Robertson to show up. He was going to take photos for a upcoming spread in Headwall Magazine.
Soon he arrived and we headed into the hills. Tom was riding a double speed but to change the gear you just loosened the rear wheel and moved the chain. We all looked on with great interest.
The single speed worked me over and probably provided for some great muscle bulging shots for Tom. Jill was finding out that following geared folk was not a good thing to do. The sit-and-spinners go uphill too slow and they tend to slow down at the bottom of a steeper. On a single speed you have to attack the hill.
It was a good ride and we adjourned at the Rattlesnake Gardens for some grub and brew just as the sun left behind the horizon. On the way home we rode Norman to his place of being and then proceeded on to Jill’s. When I ran out of bike partners I turned my head light to the West and started peddling. I had much to think about. What to do this weekend, how the heck I could build a single speed MTB, my next ride, how much fun I have been having this off season, and some other … “stuff”.
Ah, finally I was piecing together my location. Just then I passed a street sign and I strained to see the name of the route I was on. Mill er Cree …. Oh Miller Creek and Vintage Road. Holly crap how did I get here?
I drifted back to my thoughts while listening to the hum of my bike tires on the pavement. I headed home to Missoula. Another great Thursday night.