Monday, January 4, 2010

Ian Foyster Memorial Ride

The cast of Characters from left to right: Teenwolf, Brian, Damon, GJR, Mark, Toby, Steve & me Back in October when I read that Hawley's Service Center Guru Ian Foyster was killed by a senseless act of gun totin' violence I was immediately reminded of something that happened in the warehouse that I was working in during the year of our Lord 1994. On a random Sunday late that year I woke up to the local news letting me know that a close colleague and friend of mine Calvin Ross had been killed the night before by multiple gun shots to the back of his non-confrontational human form. It was a strange time in the ole work place for the following few weeks for sure. Rondal and I met with Calvin's mom a few times leading up to the holidays. She was broken but together in power and spirit. Calvin's burial was the first but not last African American funeral transfer that I have witnessed. His mourning celebration was on a yellow hill in the country out northwest of Bessemer City at a small brick church being lit by golden afternoon sun, the only warmth in the cold. Life turned to death because it is that serious when humanity takes a good look at itself. What we create for us is the only thing that we hold on to from time to time before that time ends, then it is gone.
I knew when I saw his post that I would figure out a way to be at the Ian Foyster Memorial Ride on Saturday January 2, 2010(from 2 Thousand and Mine to Twenty When?). The ride was starting at 1000hrs from the first parking lot on the left at Lexington High School in the thriving metropolis of Lexington South Carolina. Go Wildcats, you wild bunch. Toby had planned for us a perfectly unique and refreshing 64km(40mile) cue with no less than 27 turns through the rolling country of Lexington County South Carolina. Very little Asphalt but tons of packed sand, red clay, gray clay, tamped down dirt, blown drifting sand, small gravel, larger gravel, limestone bedrock and the occasional 100 meter section of energy sapping 6" deep soft sand. This was the best experience I have had on one of my bicycles in a long time. Nothing about this ride was the same as the last one.
Toby leading an excellent ride. When he realized I was down from the Queen City, Toby asked if I knew Arleigh aka ArsBars the famous adventure rider, shop owner and all around great gal who looks hot in red. Of course I do and pretty soon so will the entire Uni-Versus.
Shortly after rolling out we hit the first dirt section. Turning right off of a short piece of tar I took a quick pee break with a few others and made a gear adjustment by losing my outer coat and donning my combat action camera. Back in the woods an occasional domicile would appear in a corner or set off in the woods on a straight away. Fire burning wood smoke, simplicity non-toon dwellings amongst the tall pines growing out of white sand. Off of another 100 meters of macadam and left onto a red clay hill section lined with strange evergreen trees. The track cut through deforested fields from years ago growing up with sparse tangles of undergrowth as far as I could see. For a second I thought I was on a Tank Trail at the Kilo ranges and landing zones of Camp Lejeune in Onslow County. The first crash points were awarded to GJR when he went down somewhere behind me. I heard him hit the clay rock surface like a lite sack of potatoes. His knee took a hole and I saw what was inside but he is so soaked with bravery that he continued on till the end without even a minimal complaint or utterance of discomfort.
Seconds after the crash,
Kenny looks into the hole in his suit only to find another one in his knee.
His Lieutenants surround him in fine fashion,
while the cold numbs the pain.
I've been told that having red blood is a good sign of strength.
Huge and small, pink and white Pigs running away from us at full sprint and a squeal that sounded like a scary scream that you would not want to hear coming towards you. A few barking dogs of all shapes and sizes lay to chase. They have nothing, their legs too short and lungs too small to be serious. Then the funny one. We were chased by a miniature Doberman Pinscher that ran out of his Master's trailer yard and around the tinted Acura parked on a slant in the sand. When I first looked down at this little black Blunderhunden running full sprint and yipping at my wheel I thought that I had magically turned into a giant and that he was a full sized dog. Unfortunately I was not the giant, the dog was just uselessly small.
At this intersection Teenwolf let us know that we were about to pass the house that Dorothy lived in from the movie, The Wizard of Oz.
Dorothy's house!
Down a long dirt section in the woods there was an uphill transition into a sand track that was lined by open even sandier fields. I was on the right side of the track moving fast when I looked up and realized that the approaching sand was prolly not the magic sand of Moab. Plus I was running skinny 28s at 105PSI which were like skate blades in the granular sand. Earlier Toby had mentioned to aim for the more packed darker spots in the sand sections so that's what I did. I turned left center without looking over my shoulder and moronically took the line of an on coming Mark already scoping the hard line. There was nothing I left for him to do other than hold on tight as he smashed into me at double my speed. I am sorry Mark and am super happy that you or your equipment did not suffer injury. I am further happy to report that you did not hold anger my way for doing something so dumb.
Mark on the right is telling Steve and Kenny that he would have been riding this section had not the ass clown on the Cream Roller pulled out in front of him.
The march of men on the former prehistoric coastline of the North American Continent now 100 miles in land.
The sand and my bike match.

I had never seen a Kane in person other than my friend and former Marine Rick Kane.
The bike TW was riding had very long brake arms for extra braking power. I stared at the left arm whenever I was behind him and it appeared slightly out of alignment compared to the right one.
Post ride: Toby and TW.
Group shot preparation. Does anyone have a scarf that I can borrow, Kenny??!! Yeah and who brought the tripod, Billy??!!
Just as we descended the last dirt section for the final little climb out back to the lot I realized that I had consumed about two-thirds of one water bottle. I should have downed that one at Acapulco and put the full one in the pack on the bike. Up the little hill and back to the cars we said our good byes and made a group photo documenting the first Ian Foyster Memorial Group Ride. A big thanks to Toby for knowing all the turns and to GJR for posting the ride plan.


Toby Porter said...

Billy thanks for taking the time to come down and share a good ride in SC. It was great to finally meet you and share some laughs. Hoping to knock out another one of these in the Spring.

MM said...

Thanks for the write-up and pics. Seeing you turn dead left in front of me, as if you were being pulled that direction by some invisible tractor beam, was one of the best parts of the ride.

MM said...

Billy, thanks for the write-up and pics. On a ride that fun, with guys who are all having a good time, there will NEVER be ill will! Hell, had we crashed, the sand was like 27" deep, it probably would have been soft and warm!

Steven said...

Bill, I looked at those photos you posted on the right hand side of your blog. They are astounding. I am a semi professional photog and you make my work look like dog poop. -- Steve Reeves

Billy Fehr said...

Mark...I completely agree.

Steve...thank you.

Miss Jumper said...

Oh man, Ken said it was gruesome. I expected gargoyles spilling out of it. Yeeeeeeeee. Thanks for the pics!

spokejunky said...

Great riding with you Billy. I gave Kenny an 8 on dismount, and a 9 for technical difficulty. Even though he just ended up with merely a flesh wound.

Billy Fehr said...

Miss J-Seriously when I saw 'it' I slipped into shock in a gag reflex. I was worse off and more shocky than he, he was as cool as a Johnny Depp combined with the Dalai Lama in one person!

Spoke J-Dude, I just showed my kid that clip. She is ten and had never had the pleasure, thanks.

Sand and Gravel Company said...

Hi Friend,
Congratulations for this nice looking blog.

Billy Fehr said...

I love you guys....