Monday, February 14, 2011

Riding Rocks: My Bike Ride To Revelation

I just couldn’t muster the motivation to drive out to Smith Rock and climb yesterday. Instead, I threw my climbing gear into Kalea’s car and put my bike shorts and jacket on and rode my bike out there. The 30 mile ride took me a little more than an hour and a half. I think I had a bit of a tail wind, because that puts my average speed at about 20 mph. That is kind of fast for a solo ride when there is only one gear to choose from. 
Kalea was out there with some of our friends (I tried to race them, but they were much faster in the car), so I grabbed my climbing pack out of the car, left my bike in the car and ran down into the park to meet them. At this point, it had been drizzling for 15 minutes, or so, and many of Smith’s less hardy climbers were leaving. It seemed like lot’s of folks were looking rather long at me as I approached and passed them clad in cycling shoes, tights, neon yellow jacket, cycling cap and well used climbing pack. Maybe I was just being self conscious because I imagined just how ridiculous I really looked, but I’m pretty sure lots of folks were, at least, really amused by my garish climbing attire. I found my wife and my friends near The Testament Slab where a couple of climbers were working Barbecue the Pope. Bailey and Matt were in between laps on Panic Attack when I showed up. Take cheer, Readers. This scene wasn’t nearly as gruesome nor morbid as it sounds. There were no popes actually being barbecued and Bailey and Matt were perfectly calm as they changed belays. 
After brief conversation (most conversation is fairly brief for me), I put my harness on, flaked the rope, tied in and began an ascent of Revelations. It started raining as I made my way to the first bolt, which is 20ish feet off the deck. Rain is kind of fun to ride in, but it isn’t any fun to climb in. The rock is not nearly as sticky when it’s raining and you kind of get an uncomfortable slippery feeling as you make your way up the rock. I made it to the top with little event and quickly clipped the anchors and was lowered off. It rained more on my way down and then stopped right when Jamie started climbing. I gave her a belay to the top and then we all packed our gear and headed for the car. At this point I didn’t really feel like riding back to Bend, so I just hitched a ride with Kalea and Jamie (Kalea was nice enough to offer). We stopped at the Terrebonne Depot, which I recommend to anyone who hasn’t been there, and I received several longing--er, I mean long looks from patrons as I entered, still clad in tights and a neon jacket. I quickly ordered an ale to re-hydrate and a burger to still my raging hunger. 
I fell asleep on the ride home and woke up at Joshua and Mandy’s where we watched the Cosby show and coddled baby Ezra. That was fun. I think I’ll ride out there again someday.

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