So I decided that I was going to draw bikes in Nib too. A smart idea? MAYBE NOT! Why did I capitalize nib? I really do like the story, and I am pumped to get working on it again! Also-I'm doing Robot Dave strips again and I'll be posting one SOON
I think switching to the nib is a good idea, I can already feel so much more LIFE in those bicycles, and that is what I was going for, right? I got about 4 of these done this week and also some special treats I'll post later!
So, let's talk about biking. Or, more so, I'll talk about the 30 mile ride I did yesterday. It was broken up into two 15-mile segments. If you don't want to read all this, I would be sore, I just want to get it all down before I forget.
Jess Abston was having a party in Woodstock, and I had been desperately wanting to A) Bike to Woodstock and B) Bike during the night. It seemed to be perfect on a plethora of levels. When I started out for Woodstock, it must have been 2 pm, or so. This was a much later start than in my original design, but I figured that that would leave less time for hanging around Woodstock before the PARTY went down. There was a very ominous, gray overcast that did much to sully my mood about the whole affair, but I kept an unbecoming positiveness about the situation and stuck to my guns. I had waited too long for this Woodstock ride to let the POSSIBILITY of rain deter me.
The ride was spectacular. I'm of a very jaded opinion that the beauty of this state has to be EARNED and can only be seen properly through a thin veil of perspiration. The colors of the trees were rich oranges, reds, and browns. All of the green trees had, by this point, lost their colors. The literal explosion of color left me quite speechless. At times I would pass groves of tall birch and oak trees completely void of leaves. Their tall, slender trunks would lean in towards the road, as if listening, and waiting for something important to be said.
Eventually I reached a farm stand somewhere in between Queechee and Taftsville (?) where I took a quick siesta under a tree. I then went to the farm stand and for 50 cents got the most delicious piece of roasted sweet corn I had ever eaten. The roaster (?) took a raw ear and literally immersed it in flames for 5 minutes then asked if I wanted butter and spices on it. I said I did; at which he proceeded to dip the whole ear in a bucket filled with a liquid that I supposed to be water, but turned out to be butter, and then sprinkled salt and MAPLE pepper all over the ear. IT. WAS. DELICIOUS. When I take these long bike rides through Vermont, I rarely bring food because I count on the farm stands dotted all over the state that have better food than I could ever conjure. On my ride to Tunbridge last month, I bought two gigantic cucumbers from little girls selling them on the side of the road for 5 cents like lemonade!
I digress. As I was leaving the farm stand, the guy who roasted the corn asked me where I was going and which way had I come. I told him and then he informed me of a shortcut to Woodstock via this road that weaves between farms. According to him, the road was level and there was a covered bridge that led right to it. I thanked him and enthusiastically continued on. A mile later I found the covered bridge that he had mentioned and turned off onto it. The whole situation made me feel like a time traveler, I guess. When I reached the other side of the covered bridge, I found to my dismay that the road was a dirt road and it was graded as horribly as I had ever seen. My bike, by and by, is a 1972 Vista Islena Road bike named Scamander. I knew that his road tires, already worn by Vermont roads in general, would stand little good against this gravelly dirt road, so I turned around, went back across the covered bridge (which lessened my glumness a little) and got back on the main road.
This was the first great disappointment of the trip. As I got back onto the main road, it almost maliciously began to slope up at a fantastic grade. And as I worked and worked to gain altitude, I was able to see down across the river to the farm road that I had just turn away from. It looked like the most splendid ride, there were even horses making their way from the opposite direction. It was like the road was taunting me. Oh well. I made my way to Woodstock and subsequently to Jess's house, the rest of ride being more or less unremarkable. Scratch that. A) Woodstock, as a town, is lovely. B) The road that Jess lived on was one of the hardest and steepest to climb that I had ever ridden. C) Jess's actual driveway was so steep that at one point I could feel my front wheel begin to lift off the ground, and I had to lean forward to right myself. This track was a barely passable goat path, let alone a road.
Jess's house is fantastic. There is so much style and class in it already that it feels like a home. And the size. When I rolled up to the house, I was fooled with how large it was. Jess showed me around and then went to get ready for the party, and I took a two hour siesta on her floor. Then the party happened. I'll skip the details here because I want to get back to the biking part but a good time was had by all and I especially had a super duper good time. The only downcast on the proceedings, though, was that it had began to rain viciously. Almost every 20 minutes I would jump outside and gauge the situation. It didn't seem hopeful, though.
Around 11:30, I decided to head back. The rain had let up a little and I was determined at this point to do the ride. Alec loaned me his raincoat, I loaded my kit, and I was off. The rain and the darkness turned out not to be the great challenges of the ride. Instead, I had not taken into account how much my soaked kit would weight. The ride back was anything but miserable; downright fantastic! There is a really humble beauty about Vermont ROADS in general. The type that I don't think makes it onto postcards that frequently. When I reached Queechee and crossed the gorge, the sky opened up for a brief second and I saw three stars. It was bliss.
The best part about the return journey is that past Queechee I get to look forward to 7 miles of freewheeling through truly wonderful landscapes. The rain actually added something mystical ( I know that sounds dopey) to the ride. The rain made it look at a distance as if the mountains where caked in a sort of mist that undulated and moved with the wind. I arrived home safe and sound, though I can hardly ever recall being so wet. I wanted to write about this ride because winter is almost here, and I'm going to be one glum goose if I don't get to ride for, like, 5 months. So I wanted to write this so I could look back to it and remember the good ole times.
Faithfully submitted by Jon Chad at 11:00 AM