This weekend I did two killer runs (for a noob), and I feel as though I benefitted, but now that I’ve come down off my high I feel like someone’s beat me with a stick! I was a good beating though! 😉
Happy you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? Well I had one of those days last Saturday. Nothing major went wrong, but a whole bunch of little things didn’t go right, the sum of which added up to one crappy Saturday, hence the title.
It actually started Friday. Jon Pearson and Jacalyn Clawson were nice enough to invite me to a trail clinic. Awesome, I thought, I can learn how to do something on a mountain bike beside go in a straight line! So I check my schedule, sign up for the event online and all seems well until I get an email from the event coordinator. The short version is women only, NO MEN ALLOWED! I’m forty, single, and busy as crap. What made them think that I’d be interested in seeing if a young lady catches my eye (wink wink)! So I ride down to Wissahickon, solely to have a look at the bikes they’re demoing (wink wink again) , and the meet up area is deserted, except for a few cars with bike racks on them. This was the first crappy thing that happened to me Saturday.
Later on in the day I go to get my watch fixed. The jeweler changes the battery for me and I asked him before I left, “Do you think it’s a problem with the watch? He replies, “[o]h no, it’s just the battery.” I get home 15 minutes later and it’s still 11:10 AM, the same time it was when I left the store! So I go back and ask him if he can fix the watch. He replies, “[a]ll I can do is send it to the manufacturer.” Uhhhh…no thanks, I can do that myself, it needs a rebuild anyway (which, by the way, is going to cost more than what I paid for the watch, but I like the watch face and it’s discontinued-see the picture at the end). Crapped on again!
The final fiasco was with my electronic cigarettes (which I’ll write about later. They’re awesome if you or someone you know is trying to quit smoking!). I had brought a disposable one the day before and liked it, so I decided to get a pack of them to save money. Well it turned out the pack is actually a rechargeable model and it only costs $20! How cool is that? When rechargeable cigarettes first came out they were selling them for $150. I guess standard marketing procedure didn’t work out so well there because that was only a year and a half ago and $130 is a steep drop! Anyway…I digress. Once I charged the cigarette up (for three hours) I had to go back to the store because the disposable “filter” that comes with the rechargeable cigarette was too strong for me and it was making me cough and gag (a pretty picture right?). I get home, change the cartridge and it doesn’t work. I try another cartridge and it works. No big deal I think, I’ll let it go…then I realized, one of these things costs $4, and one disposable cartridge is equivalent to two packs of cigarettes. So I headed back to the gas station (they’re the only place in the neighborhood that sells them, I looked everywhere!), and low and behold, there’s nothing the cashier can do. She tells me “[p]lease come back and see the manager on Monday.” Mind you it was 100 degrees in Philly by this time, and I started out a 9:00 AM in the morning and was feeling like I’d accomplished absolutely nothing all day, but running in circles! That’s when it dawned on me…”I’m having a crappy day.” The final crapola!
These kinds of days are rare for me, but they happen. No one wanted to hear about my crappy day so I posted it in my blog to get it off my chest. Maybe some of my online buddies can have a few laughs at my pain. If you feel so inclined, post a memorable crappy day in comments (please keep it clean, my 13 year may read this!). If no one posts, I’ll keep my crappy day rants to myself from now on. 😉 So for today, and today only, Crappy Trails! (He said with a smile and a happy face).
Happy Crapurday Update
In case anyone’s wondering, given time these events uncrapped themselves! Philadelphia Mountain Bike Association is having a unisex trail clinic next month (yeah), my watch began to work spontaneously, and the manager kindly replaced my disposable cartridges for my rechargeable cigarette. Awesome! Happy Trails…
Here’s a post I made to the Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association:
I recall Jacalyn Clawson [of the Philadelphia Mountain Bike Association] mentioning to me that she’s been waiting for approval from Fairmount Park to do some trail work. Well, toady I received an email from PennEnviroment.org detailing their efforts to revitalize Fairmont Park. I’ve attached the email they sent me in a word document. The links should be active. Please send a message to the Mayor today to help revitalize Fairmont Park and to support Jacalyn!
Check out my blog at https://ronmtb.wordpress.com
Fairmount Park is one of Philadelphia’s greatest natural resources. Whether you picnic with friends and family, play a game of soccer on the fields by the Art Museum, or cool off in the Wissahickon, everyone has a favorite activity in Fairmount Park.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia lags behind most other major cities in funding local parks. In fact, an analysis by the Philadelphia Park Alliance shows that New York City provides nearly three times the funding for their park system per citizen. 
That lack of funding has left recreational facilities and trails in terrible shape and is why we need ensure we restore funding to Fairmount Park for this year’s budget. Or, Fairmount Park will get even worse. 
City Council has already proposed increasing funding for Fairmount Park—but it’s not a done deal. That’s why we need Mayor Nutter and City Council to get this over the goal line and guarantee this funding for Fairmount Park.
I think the Philadelphia Inquirer said it best in an editorial last week: “…the mayor’s leadership is again needed if the city hopes to polish a park system that could be a gem.” 
Whether it’s walking, biking, boating, or playing sports—whatever activities in which you partake to enjoy Fairmount Park, take a moment to email City Council and Mayor Nutter and tell them why the park is valuable to you.
PS. After sending your email, please forward this email to five friends in Philly who also love Fairmount Park so they can also help us ensure it’s properly funded.
 “Philadelphia Parks by the numbers“, Philadelphia Parks Alliance, April 2012
 “Broken Promises“, Philadelphia Parks Alliance, April 2012
 “City park needs funds to avoid shabbiness“, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 2012
—-End of Post—–
I you gentleman and gentlewomen would be so kind as to offer your support by sending a message to Mayor Nutter to help keep Fairmont Park clean it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much,
I guess I ride a bike now.
It’s not really something I like to talk about because bikes, like magnets and former governors of Alaska, have polarizing effects. Maybe it’s different in other towns, but here they’re a pretty divisive issue. Of course, neither side presents itself very appealingly.
On the one hand, you have the people who are decidedly anti-bike. Some of their points make perfect sense- I also drive a car. I know how annoying bicyclists on the road are. When I’m riding my bike and a car comes up behind me, I want to nod sympathetically and yell, “I KNOW! I HATE ME TOO!” The problem is, the anti-bike types are surprisingly aggressive. There’s no quicker way to get someone to call you a dirty hippy than to show up somewhere on a bike, and three bicycle-riding friends have been hit by cars in the last year…
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Let’s me make something clear about my blog. I am not a mountain bike expert, a fitness expert, or a trail expert. I know just enough about all of these things to get myself into trouble. I am a noob (that’s short for newbie) mountain biker and I have a noob bike. I’m by no means a noob when it comes to training, but you’d never be able to tell by looking at me. In other words, I think I’ve read more about training than I’ve actually done training. So in that area I’m not a noob, but I’m not a novice either (I know that’s not saying much). Still I’d like to believe that there are those who are where I am, or are about to go where I am, who might benefit from my follies. With that said, here’s the first of a category of blog, that I’m sure there will be many of, that will be filed under “It Looked Good on the Map”. Why am I sure there will be many of these stories? Because it’s my fourth week into mountain biking and I already have another story for this category but I don’t have time to write about it today…
So…I have my shiny new noob mountain bike, and I’m wearing everything I have that I wouldn’t mind getting trashed. My semi-dirty sneakers I use for cleaning and odd jobs now looks like I decided to stand in a puddle of mud just for G.P. I’m wearing weight lifting gloves because my hands sweat so much when I ride that I can’t hold on to the grips. I can’t get the reflectors off of the wheels without scratching up the spokes because they have some kind of fastener that I suppose is not intended to allow them to be removed (and yes I am mechanically inclined). Finally, I still have my kickstand mounted on the bike…well because it’s convenient. I don’t look like a noob do I? On my third day into riding I decide that Forbidden Trail isn’t exciting enough anymore. It’s not the fact that my legs are still made of rubber, it’s the trail! (yeah right) So I do the logical thing. I mosey on over to the park map at the entrance to Forbidden Drive off of Lincoln Drive and look for a trail that’s not boring. Hmmm…what’s this, the “Orange Trail”. That looks interesting! It runs up the other side (with an emphasis on “up”) Wissahickon Creek. I think I’ll try that. So I pedal back to the Lincoln Drive Parking lot and I see a big hill. Well that can’t be it. I didn’t see a hill on the map (no the maps aren’t topographical). Well, I don’t want to look like a wuss, even though if I passed out on the trail right now riders would probably ride around me like a pile of horse poop…but still, I have to maintain my image. I’ve been riding for 3 whole days now! So I pedal around in circles until I can get my bike into the lowest gear possible to make it up this thirty degree gradient. Ten minutes and 2000 pedal revolutions later I’m at the top of the hill, my legs are on fire, I’m out of breath and there’s a giant tree across the trail. Wow… So, let see if I can get around it, well the sign says trail closed. I have the feeling irony’s out to make an example of me today, so I think I’ll obey the sign. So the trail reroutes to the left and the right. The one to the left, near the creek, has the little “hikers only” logo. Mountain bikes to the right. Oh…that must be the easier trail since it’s easier to walk over obstacles than it is to ride over obstacles(NOT). Long story short, the whole trail is uphill; all the mountain biker trails are higher and harder; I had to carry my bike for two thirds of the route; I lost count of how many times I got lost; I almost fell off of a 40’ slope; and the coup de grace…This sucker right here…[Click to see the monster]… Karl Wagner claimed he could ride it but he didn’t realize I didn’t know what the heck I was talking about. In all I took almost four hours to make it to the hill from Hades before I gave up and headed back home. But I looked cool (in my mind) until that trail broke me! Maybe I’ll try again next month. Happy Trails…
I couldn’t have said this better myself!
WHY GO MOUNTAIN BIKING?
Mountain Biking has grown more than just a pastime. It is now a sport of its own. Take a closer look at some reasons why more and more people like me, are getting engrossed in Mountain Biking 🙂
>Mountain Biking is a means of staying fit.
>Mountain Biking is about getting a great and fun aerobic workout that will get you to places.
>Mountain Biking is about getting out of the urban jungle and into the wilderness and mountains, having fun, acquiring fresh air during the weekends.
>Mountain Biking is being one with nature.
>Mountain Biking is a few hours away from the reality of everyday life. It is freedom from an 8 to 5 work schedule, deadlines, bills, and pollution.
>As for most weekend warriors, Mountain Biking is a ticket to relaxation, time to recharge their biological batteries.
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