Sunday, February 22, 2015

Until Next Time

Real Saturday was a day for saying 'until next time' to our SoCal friends (Paul, Mark, Ryan, Richie, Gloria, Little Richie, John and Deana).  I chose not to ride Saturday.....a man has got to know his limitations, and I am one guy who has learned to know his limitations through trial and error over the years.  The first step is to admit you are not 19 anymore.....I finally reached that level of awareness in 1999 at age 50 when I crashed on my mountain bike at 30 mph breaking my left clavicle.  Prior to that time I had survived a number of serious MTB crashes with minor bruises and scrapes, and a couple of times  with major road rash, but nothing broken.  Over a ten year span I broke 3 bike helmets, but until that fateful day in early summer of 1999 I had not paid a serious enough price to make me slow down.

Even though the clavicle break was quite bad, I escaped without surgery, but with a stern warning from my orthopedist that if I broke it again there would be surgery, and maybe no more mountain bike riding. Well, that got my attention......that was just shy of 16 years ago.  There is a saying among mountain bikers, and motorcyclists....."There are two kinds of riders.....those who have crashed, and those who will".  Of course until that day arrives you think you will never be in the first category, but eventually your day comes and you must pay the piper.

At any rate, I know when my riding ability is being stretched to the breaking point, and I felt that way at the end of our Friday ride.....I managed to escape with a couple of minor falls....the second one where I came away with a few prickly pear stickers in my right blood shed, and nothing broken, so I figured I would just enjoy the memory of a good day of riding and meet up with my friends later in the day for lunch and perhaps dinner.

TLE and I decided to drive into Sedona Saturday via HWY 179 off of I-17......until I drove that way Friday to meet up with my friends I had no idea how much more scenic it is than HWY 89A, which is how we usually drive to Sedona from our present location.  The hassle with 179 occurs when you reach the small town of Oak Creek, about 5 miles south of downtown must pass through one 'roundabout' after another, and let's face it......most Americans do not understand the fine art of moving through one of these without stopping.  On rare occasions you have to stop, but the key is to keep your car moving.  Well, here in the Oak Creek/Sedona area the 'roundabouts' are more like four way stops, and it takes an inordinate amount of time to drive the 5 miles from Oak Creek to Sedona.  For those of you who have spent some time driving through 'roundabouts' you know how to do it, but it is an acquired taste.  I have found that the 'roundabouts' with two lanes entering and exiting work the best.....the ones with a single lane like the ones on 179 do not work well with a lot of traffic.

We enjoyed the drive into Sedona and met our friends at the Red Planet Diner on the time we wended our way through all the 'roundabouts' they had already finished lunch, so TLE and I just ordered a Caesar Salad to split and chatted with the guys for 30 minutes, or so before agreeing to meet them again that evening at 6 at one of our favorite funky micro breweries, Oak Creek Brewing Company.

TLE and I arrived about 5:30 and ordered a flight of their brews.......their 'flight' is essentially every one of their beers on tap at that time, so we got nine 3 ounce glasses to sample.  Last year when we were here I had their 'Prosperity Porter' and after tasting all nine of their offerings was not dissuaded from going back to it again.  They do not serve food (there is, however, an ample supply of freshly popped popcorn, and peanuts in the shell), but there is a little hot dog stand in the hallway before you enter the brewery where you can buy an amazing hot dog from Simon's Hot Dogs.  Just like last year I ordered the 'Sonoran Cousin' hot dog....OMG.  TLE had the Bratwurst hot dog.

In all we had 10 people for dinner, and had a great time talking and sampling brews.  TLE and I headed for home about 8:30, arriving back at the coach just before 9 pm.  Our friends will begin their journey back to their workaday lives sometime Sunday morning, and we will still be here enjoying the weather and the views!

Thanks for stopping by!

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