Monday, September 15, 2008

Pugsley's first birthday

Date: Sept. 15
Mileage: 25.7
September mileage: 360.6

My bike Pugsley turned one year old today. Although he was conceived sometime in July of last year, he wasn’t fully built up until Sept. 15, 2007. I asked him how he wanted to celebrate his birthday, and, predictably, he blurted out “Week in Hawaii!” I said my PFD check wasn’t that big, and offered him the next best thing - North Douglas beach party!

Unfortunately, we arrived at the wetlands right around the high tide mark, so there wasn’t much beach left to ride. We skimmed the shoreline and bounced over some boulders. Late-morning fog hung low over the water, but across the channel I could see a small window in the clouds around Mount McGinnis, with an unmistakable new coat of termination dust near the peak. “Look, Pugsley, snow!” I said, but he just grumbled. “This is boring. I’m tired. I hate the beach.”

“Ok, then,” I said. “It’s your birthday. What do you want to do?”

“I wanna go tear up some trails,” he said. “You’re always taking that skinny brat on trail rides. I wanna go sometimes, too.”

“Don’t call your little sister a skinny brat,” I said. “Fine. There’s the Fish Creek trail over there. It’s just a mud bog with lots of big roots and stinky fish guts. Your sister hates that trail. It always turns into a hike-a-bike.”

Pugsley’s spokes lit up. “Fish guts?” he said. “Does that mean there’s bears there, too?”

“Probably lots of big scary bears,” I said.

His rear fender started to wag a little. “I wanna go there!”

“Ok,” I said. We followed the delta shoreline beneath the highway bridge and started climbing along the creek. Pugsley enthusiastically took on his role as trail crusher and we cleared a nice long line of roots and puddles before a log grabbed his pedal and threw me sideways. I swore quietly as I crawled out of the blueberry bushes and started guiding Pugsley back down the trail.

“What are you doing?” Pugsley protested, “I can handle this!”

“Sorry, Pugs,” I said, “it’s just a little too much for me. I never said it was your sister’s fault she and I always ended up hike-a-biking this trail.”

“Man, this sucks,” Pugsley said. “What a crappy birthday.”

“Sorry, Pugs. I know it was hard to be born in these inbetween times,” I said. “But you remember last winter, right?”

Puglsey sniffed. “Yeah.”

“Well,” I said, “winter’s coming back. In just a couple more months, the snow will start to fall, and it will be just you and me again. We’ll go play on new trails and have new adventures and we can even come back here to Fish Creek. If the hikers don’t stamp down a trail for us, we’ll stamp down our own trail. What do you say?”

Droplets of rain dripped off Pugsley's frame but his head tube seemed to brighten. “Cool!” he shouted. “But this year, I’m driving.”

Sniff ... My baby’s all growed up.


  1. Is it wrong of me to find this post terribly sweet?

  2. Meanwhile somewhere in the midwest, Sugar puts on another Air Supply disc, and watches a spider finish a new web his handlebar.

  3. ha! de-lurking to tell you that post was awesome! funny, sweet.

  4. Not sure why exactly, but this smacks of Fatcyclist inspired writing (albeit a little less macho)... I loved it! I'm looking forward to seeing new shots of Pugsley riding in the snow. Can you see an Arrowhead or Iditabike further up the trail? Maybe as a makeup birthday present for the little guy?

  5. Great post, very sweet. The temptation to animate inanimate objects is a strong one (for me, anyway). I do it a lot -- the sweet way -- when my wife is around, and she does it too. But even on my own -- and I think (well, I gosh darn hope) others do it too -- I tend to talk semi-deadly seriously with climbs (not as foes but as my collaborators in kicking my butt), my bike, the world.

    I wonder if personification is an adaptive trait among tool-using species. For example, throwing one's bike over a fence when the chain breaks is both distinctly anti-social from a personification point of view and potentially deadly from a touring-in-the-middle-of-nowhere point of view. Anyone who thinks of his/her bike as a partner would obviously not toss.

    Of course, all this is probably just endorphin-related speculative BS, as I just returned from my post-lecture cool-off ride up Flagstaff, my favorite local climb.

  6. That was an amusing post, but I have to agree with Geoff-- just a bit odd. While I find nothing wrong with anthropomorphizing my dogs, a bike is an entirely different story...

  7. good thing there aren't child abuse laws for bikes. we'd all be in jail.

  8. I thought it was very nice. Happy Birthday, Pugsly. :)

  9. Yay pugs!

    In answer to your question, I am strongly thinking about it. I was hoping Brian would buy one so that I could further exploit the "Snow Ho", but that is not going to happen. He's become attached to her.

  10. Nice post. Happy birthday Pugsly!

  11. great post, happy b-day pugs!!

  12. Clearly Winter's coming.
    You're talking to your bike and you believe that your bike is talking back.
    You say you're looking forward to the snow but that's just a reaction to all the rain.
    Seriously Jill, you should be living somewhere a little more tropical and a little less delusional.

  13. Nice post. I just finished my Pugsley last week and hope I have some incredible rides, too! So far, so good.

  14. J-
    people are so critical...and I keep getting this anonymous person lately (ahhh). Love you fat little bike, and your pick from the last post. thanks for all the comments lately :)

  15. Happy Birthday Pugs!

    I think he had the right idea by suggesting Hawaii...

    Maybe some other time!

    Sounds like you're gearing up for the winter!

  16. Happy Birthday Pugsley. I was just looking back through my blog to find out when my Pugsley's birthday is. It turned 2 back on Sept 12th. I'm a bad Pugsley owner because I didn't take it out for a ride.

  17. I Loved the post! It was alot of fun to read! Besides it's nice to know there are other weird-os out there too! I do it, talking about my bikes like they have feelings. They are such a part of me. My bf always reminds me they are just a hunk of steel- I always snap back 'shhhh, they'll hear you talking about them like that!'

  18. Congratulations for your blog from Barcelona, Spain. I discovered it some moths ago and I come every week to see your photos, they're really nice. I usually do biking and trekking, but we don't have landscapes like yours here, they're great!! Regards from Catalonia!!

  19. I'm going through the terrible-two's with my Pug at the moment. He really has a tantrum if I don't take him down to the beach enough and he sulks if I mention his weight in public.

  20. I cant see clearly but is this a geared setup?


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