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May 2009 Volume 7 Issue 5
Ride to Luhe April 25, 2009
Archie L. Tucker
If you know me, I've likely talked to you about biking. I've learned over the years that biking can be fun by yourself or with others. I suppose you could even bike by yourself with others. At any rate biking is like the old weather saying here in Germany. "If you wait till the weather is right, you'll never do anything." "If you wait for others to get around to it, you'll never bike." In the past I've made in-depth plans for folks who assured me thy would be a designated place at a designated time, only to wait for a no-show. So, my advice to anyone interested in doing anything, to include biking or an exercise plan, to understand that these activities can be a lot of fun when shared with others. However, I can't count the times I've made plans to meet someone else at the gym to lift to wind up having to look for a spotter among those who just happen to be in the weight room when I need the spot. So, it you are really serious about, a sport, exercise program, fishing, hunting....don't be disappointed when others don't share that commitment. Jus understand, in my case, biking can be great fun if you remember to be great company; because, you may be your only company.
Misunderstandings will also arise; stay loose. You know; go with the flow. I'd like to have a dollar for every time I have pain-stakenly planned a trip only to have a fellow biker, in five minutes suggest I change that which I had so diligently, without help, planned. When this happens, as it surely will, you have two choices: exercise your single-minded attitude and spoil the ride for everyone. Explain the reason for your decision and how its obvious benefits outweigh the other's suggestions, or concede that the other's suggestions have merit and make a change. When you ride with others, you have to be willing to compromise. The one better thing about riding alone as opposed to with company, is you do what you want when you want depending on conditions.
So, regardless of whether you are a loner or a social butterfly, biking can be for you, especially here in the land of bike trails haven. So it was on this trip. We had one who was a no-show because of misunderstandings and a misunderstanding about from where we would depart. The plans, as I saw them, were to meet in the parking lot of my favorite Thai Restaurant--Hua Hin--at Moosburger Str. 22 in Weiden. I had postponed the time so Nolan could see his favorite Saturday morning cartoon. The meeting time was 1200 noon. We arrived about 1115. I knew the large parking lot would be a good place to park, offload bikes, make any last minute adjustments, fill water bottles and wait for others to arrive. All of this we did, plus finding a building to get behind to empty our bladders. I consistently have problems with my front calipers catching on my front tire and being pulled out-of-alignment when I have to take off the front tire for transport. It is always a pain to get the front tire back on without the brake dragging. This time it worked like a charm.
After a few laps around the parking lot with Nolan, I told him to wait there while I scouted out the route from the lot to the river bike trail I had anticipated us riding. Returning to the parking lot, we waited. No one was late; we were just early. So, we waited some more. Nolan parked his bike in the gateway to the parking lot. I explained the obvious and he moved. Getting tired of standing, I went back to the lot and rode my bike to the sidewalk just outside the gateway. The plan was to sit and wait. I didn't even get seated. Tim arrived. We established that he had understood and had stated that he could not transport both his bike and his son's at the same time. So, he had understood that we would meet in the parking lot and then go to his house. Since he had agreed to meet at the parking lot, I just assumed that he could transport both bikes a short distance but was not comfortable with transporting both for an extended trip. That is where I made my major mistake; I thought. I usually don't do that for long on account of the resulting headaches. Not being used to such a brain drain it just didn't work out too well.
So it was, we waited for the third rider. After two unanswered phone calls and fifteen minutes, I took off the front tire, loaded both bikes into the truck and followed Tim to his house whereupon, I commenced to unload both bikes, and remount my front tire. Well, you, I'm sure have already guessed it, the brake pad was, indeed, out of line, and with my temper and complete distaste for mechanics, it was not a pretty picture. Nolan always corrects my verbiage at these times. However, I did have others who likely were not used to such colorful language, so I kept it all in my head. Well, doesn't that just prove I can control it if I really want to control my temper?
I commented on the extreme hill we had just driven up and Tim assured me that we would be taking a route that did not include that monster. After some chit-chat and rechecking our bikes, it was down the drive-way and left and left, down a dirt trail, hairpin right around the corner of a building, onto another trail where I almost lost it from the ruts, then it was onto paved bike path, green grass, and multi-colored flowers mixed with several-hundreds-of-years-old churches and houses. Mix this with sunny, spring weather, blue skies, and running creeks and rivers and what do you have? Simple biking here in Europe. Don't you just wish you got paid to be here?
It was not long before Nolan was complaining about chafing. I asked him if he was wearing long-handle underwear. To which he replied he was. After taking one layer of pants off, he rode much more comfortable. Then it was, "I'm hungry! When are we going to eat?" After reassuring him, several times, that I was just as hungry as he, we arrived to a guesthouse. It was closed till 1400. It was only 1330, so it was decided to ride to Tim's house, load the bikes and go to Hua Hin.
The ride was short but fun. We rode about 8 miles, had good company, and the food was yumm...yumm...yummmmmmmmmmmmmm.....
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