Fat Tire Tuesday: Happy Wiggles

That feeling you’re pretty convinced you won’t have when you’re not having it then you have it and all’s good in the world

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Look. It’s not shuttling if you have your dog.

This is what I told myself, while sitting in an unexpected bumper to bumper gridlock on Empire grade this past Sunday.

You see, usually I would’ve ridden from my house to the trailhead, and avoided this whole debacle entirely. But there I was. My big 90 lb baby of a Doberman whinging in the backseat like someone took his popsicle AND his favorite stuffed animal. Radio stations cutting out because middle of no-where (according to radio station rules and all). Cell phone coverage: nope.

Nothing but myself, a squeaky (ginormous dog), and my bike. Mounted like a tragic deer-type victim on top of my car – no front wheel, no insinuation of movement forward…

Just us three. Stuck. On pavement.

It was all supposed to be so SIMPLE.

Put cycling kit on.

Load the bike onto the car.  

Squish Vincent (the huge doberman) into the back seat of a Mini Cooper.

Drive to the trailhead.

AND RIDE!

Hit the trail! Feel a little ashamed for having driven to the trailhead, but still…

Be a good dog parent! Get the wiggles out!  

But here we were. Stuck. They said 5 – 10 minutes. 45 minutes later, nothing.

Well, technically, it was something all right. I’ve never been in gridlock on Empire Grade.

It didn’t appear as there was any hope in sight of the line of cars moving forward, so it was time for Plan B.

I was determined to take my dog AND myself on a damned ride, thankyouverymuch.

And so, 35 minutes later and a reroute up the back roads, Vincent and I were finally at the trailhead.

A dog’s reaction to the realization that it is time to run on the singletrack makes it nearly impossible to be upset at… well, at much of anything. The happy wiggles are infectious.  

Throwing my leg over my bike I  pedalled off with an ecstatic, loping dog behind me.  

It wasn’t by any means the ride I had in mind for the day.

But it was great.  

I’m going to try to take a few more pages from the Book of Vincent, but this one was a great first lesson: don’t stress about the exact ways you’re going, to get where you need to be…  

Just be in the moment and enjoy the happy wiggles, when you get there.


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​Fat Tire Tuesday columnist Sarah Hansing has been slinging wrenches as a pro bike mechanic for 15 years (with the exception of a one year stint working for Trek Bicycles in Wisconsin.) Epicenter Cycling scooped her up as their lead mechanic and the shop’s crew plans to ​keep her forever. Sarah loves riding singlet​rack, wrenching on bikes, and hanging out with her jerk-face but adorable cat Harlan. (Who is a jerk.)

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