Sunday, October 05, 2008

Trail rides and a tired pup - And a passing of a good friend

It's been a while since I made it out on the mountain bike; 24 hours of big bear was the last time actually. The bike spent some time at the shop getting the brake line replaced and and then Jerseyman training and the rest of life got in the way. The last few weeks I've been itching to get out and ride and finally today I had the free time to do so. A few dry days after heavy rains and mid-seventies with a light breeze made it the perfect day to get out there.

I decided to go to Rosaryville which I've decided is perfect for a rigid singlespeed set up. I also wanted to bring Cass along and see how she'd do as a trail dog and since I've never seen more then 5 or six other people in the park thought it'd be an ideal place to try it out. Turned out Rosaryville was a pretty happening place to be today with the conditions edging up on perfection. I took her out anyway at a slow and watchful pace and after a minute or two or running around she settled in behind my wheel and didn't leave it for 15 or 20 minutes into the park.

I turned around then and started bringing her back and eventually could see I probably should have done about 5 minutes less out as she started drifting back as I slowed down more and more to wait. She gained some fans though along the trail as all 6 or so of the people we saw cheered her on. She did great with getting out of the way as we let them pass as well so I'd say the first time out was a big success. Plus she's sleeping heavily now and you know what they say about a tired pup...

After I got her back to the truck I decided I could use a bit more riding and so I moved the truck to a heavily shaded area and opened all the windows so plenty breeze would go through the cab while she slept. I hopped back on the trail going the other way and 20 minutes in decided instead of turning around like I'd planned I should just ride the entire loop. My flow was excellent and the shorter slower riding with Cass seemed to work out the rust like a dream. The trails were in fantastic condition and I was flowing through everything.

Before I knew it I was back in the parking lot waking up a sleepy pup in the truck. I got everything packed up; let Cass drink the rest of my water (she'd gone through all of hers already) and heading for Chipotle and home. After I ate in the car with Cass and started driving home I felt a warm rush of liquid along the side of my leg as Cass decided now was a good time to throw up the loads water she'd slurped down along with the grass she'd decided to eat (ok and probably the little pancake I gave her during breakfast too). Plus, instead of on her little platform bed I built in the back of the cab she stuck her face up between the front seats and poured it all out over the center console, into my cup holders and along the side of my leg. I love a dog with a self preservation instinct... :)

The truck is now cleaner then it's been almost since I first bought it at carmax a year ago.

In other dog related news, my childhood dog Christy had to be put down by my folks at just under 15 years old. She was a black and white springer spaniel that we'd picked up on good friday when I was in 6th grade as my dog and had a great life. She couldn't go with me to college and from then essentially became my folks dog but I always loved her to death. She's been struggling more and more the past few years and apparently last weekend while my folks were at my race her liver shut down on her and she stopped eatting and couldn't do much. They said they thought she had liver cancer that was heavily ingrainded and she'd die within a few days no matter what they did...

Christy never really got used to Cass but of course Cassie always liked her.

I know it's just a dog but it still sucks. Poor dog, my father told my mom she was the prefect dog; she was, at least for them. The two of them will struggle with it for a while probably. She was so ingrained in my dad's daily routine, and my mom always loved her company, especially since she doesn't work now. I sense there may be another dog in their future, though we'll see about that.

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