Sunday, September 26, 2010

Together Again

Big Buff in front as usual somewhere north of Duluth, Mn


Final preps for the upcoming "Heck of the North" were in full swing this weekend as the last long ride before race day was planned.  This past Saturday would see me riding with old friend and training partner, Big Buff.  Early reports suggested that an aged Charlie Farrow may make an appearance, but I wasn't holding my breath. 

While waiting at the designated secret DBD launch point I heard the familiar chatter of Farrow.  I looked down the road as my straining eyes picked out two riders approaching side by side.  It was true!  Farrow accompanied BB to the start of this ride.  I was relieved as I shoved the image of the aged one sitting at home darning socks or working with finger paints out of my mind.  He was actually riding a bike.  I hadn't seen Farrow ride a bike in months, I was impressed.  His forked tongue quickly jabbed at me as he approached.  He made fun of my attire, my physical stature and anything else he could think of.  I simply smiled and said, "Let's ride". 

It wasn't 15 minutes before Farrow was complaining of a rear tire that was suspiciously going soft on him.  I saw BB shake his head from side to side as he reached for his brakes.  Farrow, determined not to be responsible for our mood swings decided it best to just beef up the air supply and call it a "slow leak".  We were off in a few minutes.  It felt good to be together again and not experiencing the mind numbing cold that usually befriends us when we find ourselves turning over the cranks in the winter months.  

The chatter was rapid fire as we had so much to discuss.  The answers to huge national problems were uncovered as we headed for the gravel.  A ride wouldn't be complete without a hearty debate between myself and Charlie.  This time we got heated up over national education.  Who knew he had such passion?  As we approached Farrow's turn around (he was unable to participate in the entire ride) I felt compelled to check on our status after such a discussion.  "We cool?", I asked.  "Yeah, of course, we can disagree", was his response.  Ahhh, together again...

We waved good bye to Farrow as BB and I watched him dart out in front of a van doing about 60 mph, almost getting smoked!  Again, we shook our heads, smiled and headed deeper into the country. 

The ride went well as I intently listened to Big Buff tell tales of his recent adventures in Yellowstone.  In my mind I was right there with him catching Rainbows and watching Elk court each other.  The descriptions were vivid and the joy in his voice made the stories that much better.

Things came to a close as we pushed up the Duluth hillside after some 76 miles of riding.  It wouldn't be right if we went through this whole day without trading punches at least once.  We fought for the final climb, a steep 2 mile pitch that leads to my homestead.  I'd take him on this day, but I know things will be different soon enough.

We "knucks'd", said "thanks" and parted ways.  As BB rode off I could hear him bragging about how he was going to end up with more miles than me.  So it goes...

2 comments:

Jason said...

I was filled with such emotion, such joy, when the 3 of us pulled away from HDQTs. So many memories. Then Farrow flatted and my bubble was burst.

(I got 80 miles)

Charlie Farrow said...

Everybody went to school, So...Every one is an expert on how to run a school!!! When in doubt, blame the teachers!!! I shall exact my revenge in Iowa and at the Heck and all points in between...Oh yeah and CONGRATS on winning the OVERALL WEMS TITLE!!!!!!!!!!