Short stories


Enjoying the view on 17mile drive

Enjoying the view on 17mile drive

You can never remember everything. Well, maybe you can, but I can’t, so here are a few moments that could have slipped through the cracks of my previous blogs.

One of the best things that happened while we were at Sea Otter took place on the day I didn’t write about – Saturday. There was no racing, so we rolled out for a light spin. Only this time we had an elite group: Craven(DS), Brian(soigneur), John(Fleetwood CEO), Scot(master of custom insoles) and his girlfriend(ex World Champion for Masters), plus of course all the Hincapie boys. Not only was an exquisite group, but also the road we took was phenomenal. We rode down the 17mile drive – a coastal part of tarmac twisting and turning through tall trees, huge houses and between a lot of tourists. The houses were more the size of small towns then anything else. Enormous. Also saw some calm looking golfers hitting balls on the sides and even deers on the golf courses. Business as usual.

Just rolling along the coast

Just rolling along the coast

While we were still in Redlands after the race there was an incident when it wasn’t too far from fists flying in the air. My bike was on the porch of our host house around 10m from the fence and a guy came in and was about to take it, but TC came running down the steps full of adrenalin. Some word exchange, some t-shirt lifting and the guy was off. Probably to no good again, but after a quick call the police came and caught him somewhere down the road.

Last evening in Redlands we hung out on the driveway and cheered on the local cyclist club heading out for a group ride. It was a 10second affair, but we had everything prepared like it was a race – music, lawn chairs and even signs. They had cheered on us while we were racing, so we decided to repay the favour. Still we through around a football and Craven even brought out a baseball bat and we fiddled around with that. A nice calm evening to end the crazy week that had passed.

While racing in Sea Otter we had some other obligations as well. They weren’t really obligations as just a matter of spending time giving something back. On two occasions we sat down at the Michelin tent and gave out autographs. There weren’t many people that exactly knew who we were, because it was mostly a MTB scene, but still a few showed up and left with a smile and a signed picture.

Someone is always watching you on 17mile drive

Someone is always watching you on 17mile drive. Notice the camera in the fence

Camping is always fun, but in RV’s it is even more relaxing. What made it even better was the fact that we had two grills cooking for us every night. Steak, tuna, pork tenderloin, grilled veggies, what more could a cyclist want! Thanks to the cooks who made every meal over there a delight.

At festivals like Sea Otter there are plenty of group gatherings every evening. One of our sponsors Lake had such a gathering on Saturday in a house they were renting and what a house it was. The driveway to the house already signalled that it won’t be your average home. With tall windows and a view to the beach of Monterey you were able to lose track of time while gazing in the bright lights. The house had at least 10 bedrooms and it felt like almost every room had an Asian statue of some sorts or painting. But still the view through the windows is what I will remember.

When our bags were packed, tummies filled and we were almost ready to leave the Sea Otter expo me and Joey took one last tour around the tents. We were stopped by our amazement at some funny looking bikes. Full carbon, but with super wide 5inch tyres. Of course we could not resist and took them out for a spin. A weird feeling to say the least, but the grip, the comfort and the fun you have on it is amazing. Felt a bit like riding on a couch that could corner on gravel roads like a rally car.

Maybe that's a little bit too close?

Maybe that’s a little bit too close?

Unfortunately there have been also some not so good encounters with a few drivers. Still there are people that don’t care at all about other people safety. This one time we were riding on the PCH when a car came really close to our group. The side mirror hit my elbow and was it not for a few millimetres and a bit of luck on our side there could have been some Hincapie boys lying on the ground. Yes, there is a lot of traffic on this road, but fortunately this time we were lucky and got away unscattered. The second time was just a few days ago. I had had a puncture, but was without a pump, so I hitch-hiked a ride back to our house and when I went out for the second time again a car came a bit too close. This time I was riding by myself on a small, quiet road, with no cars insight, just for one. On this occasion I felt the side mirror hit my back and my shoe got to feel the black rubber on the pickups wheel. Yes, it was a pickup. I am starting to really dislike these cars. Again a guardian angel was looking after me and I came through without any road rash. Just be careful everyone.

There are all kinds of moments – some that slip your mind, some that you remember only after a while, some that you never forget and a few you never tell.

Stay safe,

T.s.

Some really weird looking trees

Some really weird looking trees

Nekad nevar atcerēties pilnīgi visu, kas ir paskrējis garām ikdienā. Labi, varbūt jūs varat, bet es to nespēju. Tad šoreiz piedāvāju atskatu uz pāris notikumiem, kas varbūt ir izsprukuši starp iepriekšējo rakstu rindiņām.

Viena no lieliskākajām dienām “Sea Otter Cycling Classic” bija mūsu atpūtas diena. Tā kā nebija sacensības plānā, bet izkustēties visi gribēja, tad ekskluzīvā kompānijā kopā ar Kreivenu(Sporta Direktoru), Brajenu(masieri), Džonu(“Fleetwood RV” galvu), Skotu(personalizēto pēdiņu guru) un viņa draudzeni(izbijušu Pasaules čempionu “Master” sieviešu klasē), protams, arī visiem komandas biedriem devāmies izbraucienā pa vietējiem ceļiem. Ne tikai kompānija bija izcila, bet arī izvēlētais maršlruts – 17 jūdžu ceļš. Šis asfalta gabals vijās gar pašu Kluso okeāna krastu, starp milzu mājām, īpaši augstiem kokiem un daudz tūristiem. Pārāk daudz. Mājas, kas atradās pie šī ceļa, vairāk izskatījās pēc nelieliem ciematiem. Protams, arī pāris golfa laukumi bija paslēpti aiz bieziem krūmājiem, kur spēlētāji mierīgi sita bumbiņas, kamēr brieži pastaigājās turpat vien. Nekas īpašs tā teikt.

Kamēr mēs vēl bijām Redlands, kad sacensības bija jau noslēgušās, piedzīvojām nelielu atgadījumu, kurā nebija pārāk tālu, lai kulaki jau pa gaisu lidotu. Biju atstājis riteni uz lieveņa pie mājas durvīm, kādus 10m no sētas, te pēkšņi parādījās viens vīrietis rokas stiepiena attālumā no riteņa un grasījās jau sēsties virsū, kad Tomass jau vicoja viņa virzienā ar milzīgu daudzumu adrenalīna. Pāris vārdus pārmijuši, vīrietis veikli aiztenterēja tālāk pa ielu uz priekšu. Gan jau ka prāts viņam tāpat vien turpināja nesties uz ko nelabu. Par laimi, tika sazvanīta policija un ātri vien pāris kvartālus tālāk šis zellis tika noķerts.

Some nice houses on the coast

Some nice houses on the coast

Noslēdzošajā vakarā Redlands mēs kā īsti amerikāņi pasēdējām uz garāžas iebrauktuves/ietves un uzmundrinājām garām braucošos vietējos riteņbraucējus, kuri devās visi vienā grupā kopējā treniņā. Protams, tas bija īslaicīgs prieciņš, bet mēs bijām sagatavojuši kā priekš sacensībām – mūzika, pāris krēsli un pat plakāti. Vietējie bija pienācīgi mūs atbalstījuši visu sacensību garumā, tad mēs atbildējām ar to pašu. Pie reizes pamētājām apkārt arī futbola bumbu un Kreivens pat izvilka beisbola nūju, ar kuru mēs arī paākstījāmies. Patīkams mierīgs vakars, kas noslēdza trako nedēļu, kuru bijām tur pavadījuši.

Kamēr piedalījāmies “Sea Otter” sacensībās, mums bija arī citi pienākumi. Tās gan vairāk bija kā laika pavadīšanas iespējas darot ko lietderīgu, nekā pienākumi. Divas dienas sēdējām “Michelin” teltī, kur sniedzām autogrāfus publikai. Ne pārāk daudz cilvēku, gan iznāja, kas mēs īsti esam, jo pārsvarā publika bija vairāk tendēta uz MTB, bet tāpat pāris cilvēki pienāca un, saņēmuši parakstus, devās prom ar smaidu uz sejas.

Atpūta dabā vienmēr ir jautra, bet, ja dzīvo kemperī, tad vispār nav par ko uztraukties. Omu labāku padarīja fakts, ka katru vakaru mums bija divi grili, kas rūpējās par to, lai vīri būtu paēduši. Steiki, tuncis, lasis, grillēti dārzeņi, ko gan vairāk cilvēks var vēlēties. Paldies arī pavāriem, kas mums ik vakaru centās piebarot līdz malām.

Just riding along

Just riding along one of the golf courses

Šāda tipa festivālos vienmēr ir vakara burziņi. Viens no komandas sponsoriem “Lake” bija noīrējuši māju un Sestdienas vakarā arī mēs bijām ielūgti. Jau piebrauktuve, kas veda uz māju liecināja, ka tā nebūs nekāda parastā mājiņa. Plaši, augsti logi ar skatu uz pludmali. Varēja pavisam pazaudēt laika izjūtu pētot mirdzošās lampiņas tumšajā vakarā. Mājā bija vismaz 10 guļamistabas un pavadīja sajūta, ka ikkatrā istabā ir vismaz viena statuja vai glezna no tālajiem austrumiem. Un tomēr, skats no viesistabas būs tas, ko atcerēšos ilgi.

Bijām jau somas sapakojuši, pusdienas paēduši un gatavi doties prom no “Sea Otter” festivāla, es ar Džoiju nolēmām doties vēl vienā apgaitā caur telšu pilsētiņai. Mūsu skatiens un gaita apstājās pie kādiem jocīga izskata velosipēdiem. Velo viss no karbona, bet ar īpaši resnām riepām. Protams, nevarējām neizmēģināt kā tie ripo. Patiešām jocīga sajūta, bet saķere, komforts un lietas ko var ar to izdarīt ir aizraujošas. Sajūta bija nedaudz kā uz dīvāna, kas līkumos varētu nesties tikpat ātri kā rallija auto.

Diemžēl man ir arī nācies saskarties ar šoferu nedraudzīgo pusi. Ir tomēr cilvēki, kuriem pavisam nerūp citu drošība. Vienu šādu personu man nācās sastapt Kalifornijā uz PCH(Pacific Coast Highway). Braucām mierīgi visi vienā grupiņā, kad pēkšņi ļoti tuvu garām pabrauca vieglā mašīna un ar sānu spoguli aizskāra manu elkoni. Jā, satiksme uz šī ceļa ir liela, bet atliktu triecienam būt nedaudz lielākam, manai meistarībai nedaudz sliktākai un vismaz pāris riteņbraucēju gulētu uz asflata. Šoreiz tikām cauri sveiki un veseli. Otrā reize bija tik pirms pāris dienām. Jau treniņā biju sadūris riepu, bet tā kā biju aizmirsis pumpi, nācās nostopēd braucamo, kas aizveda mani atpakaļ uz mājām. Biju devies ceļā otro reizi, kad atkal automašīna nepavisam nemācēja ievērot distanci. Nezinu vai pikapa šoferis vispār to pamanīja, bet sānu spoguli šoreiz izjutu uz muguras un kreisā kurpe izjuta auto riepas siltās gumijas. Jā, pikapi man tiešām sāk īpaši nepatikt. Atkal man uz pleca stāvēja enģelis un tiku cauri bez nevienas skrambiņas. Šoreiz gan tas notika uz ceļa ar īpaši mazu satiksmi. Tādēļ esiet uzmanīgi, vienmēr.

The only bruise from a "car crash". I got more then lucky

The only bruise from a “car crash”. I got more then lucky

Visādus mirkļus mēs ikviens piedzīvojam – dažus piemirstam jau uzreiz, dažus vienmēr atceramies, dažus atceramies tik ar kāda cita palīdzību un citus, kurus nevienam nestāstam.

Esiet uzmanīgi,

T.s.

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One thought on “Short stories

  1. Great to read all the short stories even though the part of the side mirrors and wheels is really scary! Hope you will be even more lucky in the future and not meet any more of the reckless drivers.

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