Thursday, May 31, 2012

Metaphorical Journey

This year's Columbia Gorge Explorer Tour was my sixth annual.  Four days, forty riders, 230 miles, thirty pounds of crap on my bike - you get the picture.  The entire time I was trying to cook a good blog angle. I fancy myself a writer but sometimes suspect that my brain has mixed up the words writer and rider. 
I started off thinking of the legend of Loowitlakla, which means Lady of Fire.  The story goes that Loowit was an old wrinkled lady who was granted immortality but asked for eternal youth instead.  Wy'East was in love with Loowit but so was Klickitat.  Neither won her heart and eventually they all died and mountains sprouted at their graves: Mount Saint Helens, Hood and Adams respectively. 

Then I moved onto the geography, or is it geology, of the stunningly gorgeous area where we rode.  I know the Missoula Floods carved the canyons along the gorge as the ice age was ending, and delivered the rich soil we now enjoy in the Willamette Valley.  I started thinking about water seeking its level and that I might create some metaphor about cyclists seeking their level. 
Another metaphor started to develop.  Something about losing my gravel-virginity on Old Moody Road last year and coming back this year like a seasoned gravel slut.  That was definitely going nowhere, so I considered listing some great quotes from the trip.  The best one was uttered by Steve, when asked where his bike frame broke: "somewhere outside of Breckenridge". 

Then, this morning, as I mounted my bike, with the rack and load removed, I marveled at how light it felt.  You get used to the heavy baggage you carry until somehow it offers a certain comfort.  When you finally drop that weight, the lightness feels foreign and even hard to handle.  And that's where I ended up.

1 comment:

  1. I love your have such a gift of observation, appreciation, and writing. Thanks for sharing :)