brad’s gooseberry 100
September 28, 2009
Friday night, I climbed in the car with Karl and Brad to head down to Gooseberry, to do Brad’s Gooseberry 100.
Brad is the evil genius behind CarboRocket. He also owns a few acres right up on Gooseberry Mesa, a solid stone’s throw from the Windmill, where’s he’s built a giant deck, which he’ll deck out (get it?) with a giant yurt later this year. This makes (or will make for) a nice place to spread out a sleeping bag. For me, anyway. After about an hour of hearing me snore, Karl gave up and slept in his car.
But I’m getting ahead of myself–I wanted to tell you how excited Brad was about stopping for potato logs in Fillmore.
He was so excited he insisted on buying some for all of us. Brad didn’t MAKE the logs, but he acted like he did, so we felt obligated to eat one. Brad, if you’re reading, they were AWESOME!
So, ride-wise, all I really have to say is, we had a great time. We got up at the crack of 6:45, which did not sit well with me.
This is what we call an “Ambien hangover.” And yes, it’s still dark. This may not be the most flattering picture ever taken of me.
As we got dressed for riding, I discovered the broken zipper on my brand new jersey. Not wanting to ride for 5 hours with my jersey open and flapping in the wind, I begged a spare from Brad. Who weighs at least 20 lbs less than I do, in spite of our identical heights.
Karl introduced me to the celebrity term “Spanks.” It seems to fit (the term, not the jersey). I’m thinking of becoming a model.
I seem to have stocked this post with super flattering pictures of myself. This one is totally going in the modeling portfolio.
Anyway. Soon we were off and riding. First we rode Gooseberry Mesa, counter-clockwise. If I had to pick ONE ride to have in my backyard, you know, with a gun to my head, I would pick Gooseberry Mesa. See its awesome goodness:
Okay, maybe that picture doesn’t convey awesome goodness, but you guys know me, you trust me. Trust me. It’s awesomely good.
After the mesa, we dropped down the dirt road and crossed through Apple Valley. Theoretically, Karl had downloaded Brad’s GPS track of the route. In practical terms, Karl might as well have been carrying a paper weight on his stem. Or maybe Brad’s route really did dip into Kansas. Whether it did or not, we did some lovely cross pasture riding, and might have seen the inside of an ancient volcano.
Karl and I had signed up for 50 of the 65 miles on the route, conveniently leaving Kenny’s truck in Virgin so we could avoid the 7 miles of rolling pavement to Rockville (could anything be more frustrating on a single speed?), and the 7 miles of heartbreakingly steep and loose dirt back up to Gooseberry Mesa and Brad’s deck (okay, THAT would be more frustrating on a single).
So, turns out, I felt great when we got to the truck, and even felt a bit sheepish about skipping the climb. That is, until we drove past Kenny, who had been off the front with KC and Chris Holly all day, just above the worst part of the grind. The temperature hovered at about 95 degrees, and Kenny was weaving all over the road, and looked like he’d just been barbequed. And not in a good way. Although, he did rub our lameness in our faces by refusing to get in the truck. Kenny is many things, but he’s no pussy.
Later, back at the deck, Karl and I agreed, the ride had been very fun, mighty enjoyable. But for the poor schleps who did the climb, it looked epic.
On this day, I’ll take fun and mighty enjoyable over epic.
Brad had more fun in store, though. On the drive home, he insisted we drive through Cedar City so we could have dinner at Betos, where he assured us they had the best Mexican food in the world.
Betos turned out to be Albertos, and it was not located where he said it was, but it’s all good. They had a nice salsa bar, along with roasted peppers. Brad grabbed a couple peppers and some limes for the table.
Telling me that roasting peppers removed some of the heat, and that dousing them in lime removed even more, Brad demanded that we become pepper brothers and each take a big bite. Karl dismissed the idea out of hand, telling us that even mild salsa was too much for him.
I also dismissed the idea, because I’ve demonstrated my pussiness with regard to hot food. But Brad sold the ritual hard by unilaterally taking a huge bite of his pepper and casually offering me the second pepper. I demurred. And Brad sold it even harder by nonchalantly taking a second bite. “See?” he said. “No biggie. The lime and roasting take the sting away.”
And so I took a bite. The moment Brad heard the crunch he started gagging and crying and pounding his head on the table. Immediately followed, naturally, by ME gagging and crying and pounding my head on the table.
The lesson, as always? I am an idiot.