Sunday, September 6, 2009

MFM Day 8: Fore!

September 6th, 2009, MFM Day 8

Song of the Day: Guns N' Roses, Patience.mp3

Well the golf was bad, but I can't blame the commute, although it's nice to have yet another excuse for yet another poor showing on the links. When I dreamed up the Motor Free Month I thought, "what would be something to do motor free that would be absolutely stupid?" Right away golf and bowling came to mind. As I don't like bowling, golf it was! Really no one in their right mind over the age of 15 would ride a bike to the golf course. Excepting also golf addicts who have lost their licence for one too many 19th holes, if you know what I mean. The theory being tested of course is how difficult life becomes when one is motor free. And nothing comes easy when you're motor free.

So I picked the course I usually go to for golfing torture, Collindale GC, in sunny Fort Collins. It's about 3.5 miles from my house. My friend Lou joined me, as well as another friend Joe and his son Tyler. I packed up my golf bag and started rooting around in it for any items that I might be able to unload for the journey. Although I used to bike to the golf course all the time when I was a kid, back then I had an "odds only" set of irons, and no 5 wood, and the bag itself was smaller and lighter. And the course I played on as a kid was only about 1 mile away. So jettisoning cargo was an important exercise. I thought about ditching the even irons and the 5 wood, but thought that would need all the clubs I could get, so I left them all in (Turns out I did use all my clubs, even the sand wedge, sadly, in the same trap I always hit on #8). I had about a dozen golf balls in the bag, and thought about ditching most of those, but thought it extremely bad karma to throw out golf balls before going to the course. As it turns out I lost only one ball on course that day so what do you know, I could have gotten away with only 2. But it's best not to tempt fate in these matters. The rain jacket, umbrella, and winter hat all got removed but they didn't weigh much. I found two full plastic bottles of water so they got removed, and also a spare set of keys to my VW car which I sold a year ago, so that could safely get dropped as well.

I put the bag over my shoulders and got on the bike. The single-speed today. Steady as she goes, I made my way down Stover towards the golf course. The bag was nicely balanced on my back and did not cause any serious stability or navigational problems. I was impressed! It was darn heavy though, and about 2 miles into it I could feel its weight pounding on my shoulders. Note to self; do more chin ups and push ups. Scratch that. Do chin ups and push ups, full stop. I found myself far more annoyed than usual waiting at red lights. But eventually I made it to the course with nary the loss of club nor limb.

Yea the golf was bad, but that's mostly because this was the first time I've played all year, and my inconsistent performance had far more to do with the little voices in my head than with the weight on my shoulders. But I had fun and got a few nice swings in, so the day was a success. And obviously no golf cart was used, but you really don't need one at Collindale anyway. Also noteworthy was the fact that it was the first time in 5 years I've gone an entire round of golf without anyone in the group quoting Caddyshack, so I've got that going for me, which is nice (oh what a giveaway!).

After the round Lou went straightaway to my house in his car, while I took my bike. I wanted to see how much longer it would take me than him to accomplish the same task. Turns out is was pretty significant; it probably took me 20 minutes to get home, and Lou about 10 minutes. So again we're finding out that on longer journeys the time penalty for living motor free can add up.

After golf I took a trip to old town to do some shopping with C_, and then to the bank. Then it was back home, and then another trip to old town to watch the annual CU-CSU game at the Stake Out Saloon. All on bike of course. After the game (23-17, good guys!) Lou, C_, and I rode down to campus to see if the students were burning any couches after the historic win. For those of you who aren't aware, couch sacrifice through immolation is a traditional CSU celebration ritual. It's usually rather quickly followed by the running of the tear gas cloud. We arrived at a point where I think a couch was about to be brought forth to the frenzied mass of coeds for glorious sacrifice, but alas Fort Collins' finest were in no mood to let the Fire Department in on the fun, and were making preparations to start the tear gas stampede before the couch could be given its rightful place in eternal glory. So we busted out of there before the fun really began. The cycles proved very useful in this riot situation. One, we were able to slip past the (admittedly loose) police cordon easily on bikes, and would not have been able to in a car. Two, we were able to get close to the action, and yet high-tail it out of there quickly as the riot gear was produced at the scene.

CSU Fans Take To The Streets

So I learned some valuable motor free lessons today. Riding to the golf course is possible, tolerable for short distances, but not pleasurable with the clubs on your back. A bike trailer would be useful in this situation. Also bikes are absolutely the preferred mode of transport for civil unrest scenarios. However broken glass could quickly render a bike a liability in a riot situation. Get run flat tires in this case. Or a skateboard or (shudder) roller blades would work also, and they have the benefit of solid puncture-proof tires.

So why "Patience" for the song of the day? I don't really even like this song but I thought it fit well with the actions of the day. For starters, you need a lot of patience if you're going to play golf. It's a difficult sport to master, no question. Second, watching CSU on television reminded my of my time at the University in the late 80s, and you couldn't set foot in a house party in those days without hearing Axl and Co. Lastly I have to think Guns N' Roses know a thing or two about rioting!

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