More Crooked-Ness

Memory is an approximation colored and reshaped by distance.  It is a recall of details that are themselves just slivers of a wider version.  The whole thing is capped by emotions and projections.  Of the way stuff is and the way we want it to be.  Sometimes we are limited to the laid out boundaries and suggestions while other times we willfully forge our own expanded reality that crystallizes through our persistence.

That’s the kind of mind reel I had pushing the pedals up Crooked Run Road.   To bring it back to point it kicked in because I hadn’t done the east bound approach in a while and as the grade hit 15 plus and the gravel surface played its own samba, what I remembered and what was happening now, intersected in a jumpy way.  Some was accurate recall while other aspects were based more on an overall triumph rather than the multitude of specific pieces needed to achieve it.  All-in-all similar but different.  A process of attempting to sync up while also trying to read the changes.  You know, I remember this being hard but was it this hard or do I just need to buck up.

That is the back burner.  The bottom end.  The rest is just riding.  Climbing.  Hitting the fog on top.  Hearing the streams on the bottom.  Immersed in the fresh dampness from Saturday’s thundershowers and glimpsing the ones circling today from the switchback vistas.

The barns, the mills, the fields, the stores, the towns, the trucks, the curves in the pavement and the ripples on the ridge tops.  All in vivid play. There is also an extended section through miles of apples orchards along Mechanicsville Road that is fluid and entrancing as long as the guard dogs don’t startle you.

Coming down from the Lost River Barn you hit Crooked Run Road, which is actually Basore Road on the WV side, in about 11 miles.  It is mostly down hill to that point and at the bottom you can see the towers looming and taunting.  Once you begin the ascent it is only two miles but grades up sharply.  From there it is a long, arm, back, and shoulder building drop to a beautiful valley of soothing sights.

Yesterday I staged from the house and not the barn so the loop gets an additional 16 miles and about 1500 hundred more feet with the barn ascent. What is nice about the overall ride is that after the big push to the towers there are a bunch of rollers and shifts but it settles down into a bona fide flat valley section on 259 headed back toward Lost River.

That is where the thundershowers and the headwinds kicked in.  More obstacles.  Generally there is a guiding tailwind coming from the west and the south.  Payback and a reprieve after making the initial efforts.  Not yesterday.  My legs were sore and I had to go into the mind bag again to roll things out.  Create new thought and deflect compromising suggestions that seem to creep in with the cold and the dark.

I found my diversion at the Green Valley Store.  A canned coke a chocolate pie and messages from the Gas Pump as the rain hit hard then wavered.

That was it.  Another day in the saddle.  How it is remembered and interpreted already being spun and respun.  It was mostly recon and more roads were gathered and processed. I came back whole and maybe even enhanced.

What facts remain and which ones stretch into themes and markers is hard to say.  I can only work with the version that exists at this moment but each version formed usually dictates the following and ultimately the future.

(BTW – the Barn is available Memorial Day weekend)


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