Friday, October 4, 2013

It's our therapy

Road Closed.

Then another sign, Detour with a circular arrow. Huh? They must mean 'turn around and go back'. There are no intersections here on Skyline. Detour, no can do.

It's a perfect warm fall day. Usually a bike can get through so I roll up to the orange cones where two guys are talking. Ask what the deal is.

The younger one says there's a tree down. He's wearing a white cap that says BATS on it, white lettering against a black bat outline. Bay Area Transportation Services. A contract response crew. Just up the road in the shade something is lying across the grey asphalt, barely visible.

"This gentleman just had an unfortunate accident with his car" Mr. Bat-on-Hat says, waving toward the shoulder. There's a new Ford Mustang, silver, shattered windshield and crumpled hood. Looks like the second guy discovered the tree.

"Still got the adrenaline going" says Mr. Smashed Mustang. The trunk is in the shadows, hidden like a tripwire. "A little higher and I'd have been decapitated. Two hours until the tow truck comes." He lights a cigarette, shaking.

Mr. Bat-on-Hat has strict orders to let no one through. Two places where live wires are down on the road. A crew is working on it. Worth waiting for a few minutes.

The three of us stand there talking for a while, like it's a normal thing. About cycling and safety, about roads around here, and then Mr. Bat-on-Hat's motorcycle. A Suzuki sport bike (we see a photo on his smartphone). When something's bothering him, he just takes off with his buddies. Rides from San Jose all the way up to San Francisco, over to Oakland, back down to San Jose. Makes him happy.

Mr. Smashed Mustang knows these roads because he loves to drive. Especially to clear his head. He says "It's my therapy."

Mr. Bat-on-Hat says "It's MY therapy."

They can't believe someone rides to Boulder Creek and back.

I laugh and say "It's my therapy."

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