The Burrito Bandito

Way back in the day, some three years ago now, we had an idea to do a kinda crazy nighttime ride.  Because of the peculiar ride food choices that some people made, the ride became known as the Burrito Bandito.  At the outset, everyone tried to look stoic and disinterested.  Except for Chad.  He’s always interested.

There was quite a collection of bikes.  At the left was Eric’s mountain bike, then my first Mukluk, although I didn’t ride it that night.  Then Chad’s Mukluk (which he rode), then my Ti Vaya, then Halverson’s Ti La Cruz, then Joel’s steel Vaya.  Man, I don’t think that Muk was ever that clean again.

We headed out into the night, looking for a fun ride, and hoping to hit some utility roads that had been recently installed.  Hijinks soon followed.

There was a lot of stopping.  For hydration purposes.

There were ghosts in the trees.

Man, there was a lot of crap on the Vaya.

If I recall correctly, there was a bottle of port in the frame bag.

I have no idea what we were doing here…

Then, we traversed some crazy mud roads, and Halverson decided to blow out his rear derailleur on his new (literally new…never before ridden) Ti La Cruz.

After some efforts at rendering the bike single speed…

We decided that wasn’t going to happen…but alas, we were about 8 miles from town.  What to do?

Vaya to the rescue.

I didn’t capture any pictures of the actual towing, but here’s the aftermath.  (Did I mention the road was muddy?)  We looped a tube around my septets, and around Halverson’s handlebars, and I towed him back into town on his oversized coaster bike.  It certainly took a while, but we eventually got back…and the towing story became a part of the local folklore.

I haven’t had many other chances to ride with Eric or Joel, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the intervening three years with Chad and with Halverson.  This past weekend, Halverson moved on to an amazing opportunity in Oregon, and our local cycling community is the worse for it.  We will miss him, but wish him the very best.

For me, the ride was an eye-opener.  I was amazed that Chad could ride a fatbike that far (not knowing what the future held for me).  I was amazed that I could pull Halverson back to town.  I was amazed at how much fun we had riding at a slower pace.  I was amazed at what night biking in the country had to offer.  I was amazed by how much alcohol five cyclists could transport on bikes.  I was amazed at what ridiculous routes Chad could put together.  (And in retrospect, I am amazed at how much of a fred I look like).

There were some crazy rides before, and many since.  The Burrito Bandito, however–it was one of the defining moments of my “early” riding.  It was one of the moments that transitioned me from a hobbyist into a serious cyclist.  It was one of the first rides that was both challenging and super-fun…and one of the rides that pushed me towards my current lifestyle.

I’m reminded of this because of a recent comment from one of my close friends about the difference between racing bikes and riding bikes.  All of my most memorable moments on a bike have been during rides.  At heart, I’m a cyclist, not a racer.  The Burrito Bandito shall forever live in infamy.

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