The plan was to head out for a nice ride with Steph, the kid and the dog down the D&L Trail to Someday Cafe. We had just received our new Chrome Industries bags. I also strapped my Topeak Fuel Tank and Ass Saver on the bike for some reason. The bike being my new Salsa Vaya that had just gotten tubeless tyres set up. We loaded up my Vaya, Steph’s Surly Midnight Special, our kid’s Trek FX and the dog’s trailer and headed out to the trailhead in Easton.
When we arrive, we exit the car, get ready to go and look at the trail. It’s not the most motivating sight we’ve had. Nevertheless, we start off slow.
Not that it was intentional—the axles on the dog’s (cheapo) cart are so far out of alignment that every couple of revolutions, you feel a hard braking force pulling you back. That, combined with the sticky mud on the trail, means we cruise along at a blinding 7.5 mph.
We make it most of the way there and stop at a rest area for water and a bathroom break. The kid asks, “How much further is it?”
To which I reply, “Farther,” as I fish my phone out of my jersey to look up the cafe on Google Maps, “it’s about two and a half miles away… oh and it closed 17 minutes ago.”
Steph and I look at each other and shrug. We look at him and see a face holding a level of disappointment and regret in agreeing to follow us on a cycling trip that is surpassed only by the time when he inadvertently cycled through a pile of dog poop and, flinging it into his face/nose/mouth.
In any case, we turn around and start heading back. There is an ice cream place on the way back we can stop at. Even better, we won’t have to tell his younger sister—who is probably eating ice cream at her grandmother’s.
Halfway back, it starts to feel like the ground is even muddier than the way down. It doesn’t actually look bad, though. With some resignation, I shout over my shoulder to the other two, “is my rear tyre flat?” but I already know the answer.
I hate these wheels. They have caused all sorts of trouble since the day I got the bike. It’s the reason I’ve only ridden it twice since I got it. Or one and a half times, since this is the second time. I get my tool pouch out of my bag and flip it open to get my CO₂ inflator, except it’s not in there. I ask Steph for hers, and she rummages through her bag. It’s not there either. Must have misplaced them when packing our new bags. I scrunch my face up and reach for the brand new mini pump we bought but it’s nowhere to be found. It’s probably on our garage floor.
Not the end of the world — Genesis Bicycles is only a few miles away
It’s where I got the bike in the first place. I’m sure they’ll help us out. So begins the hike back to the car. We’ll just walk back and have it fixed. The ground is muddy and slushy, the dog is annoyed as hell. We’re all ready for this to be about done with. Nothing to do but trudge along.
The shop is only a couple of minutes away from where the car’s parked.
we make it back to the car, and I hear
“It’s Saturday—they close at 5 pm.”– Steph, at 5:05 pm
Now I’m waiting on my delivery of wheels from Hunt before I ride again.
Fazlee is a hobbyist cyclist, photographer and apparently, runner. Currently, he rides a Salsa Vaya, and records his adventures on a OnePlus 7 Pro, GoPro Hero Session or a Rylo 360. A childhood mountain biker, in recent years he has rediscovered his passion for cycling (mostly on gravel, but also road). He has also recently took up running, mostly for general fitness but with the long-term goal of completing at least a half-marathon.