There used to be a weekly pedal called the Wheatgrass Ride. It left Malaga Cove Plaza every Sunday at about 8:05 AM. The ride was begun by Mike N. It had a nice rhythm to it; everyone would ride in a civil fashion up around the golf course and then ride civilly along PV Drive North, two by two, civilly, to the base of the reservoir climb.
From there it became markedly uncivil and people pushed the pedals, some harder, some less hard, until the whole thing detonated. Then some of the detonators would descend Miraleste, climb Better Homes still pushing hard, and then ascend up to the sacred radar domes. The shrapnel would straggle in and everyone would regroup.
Mike always brought up the rear.
After that there would be a civil descent of the Switchbacks and a civil drop down to the low point, after which many but not all niceties would be dispensed with, and then at the Glass Church all pretense of politesse would be swiftly discarded and fangs would be bared, pedals pushed, gaspy folks dropped, and all would end in the glorious Hawthorne sprunt.
Mike would bring up the rear again, there would be a regrouping at the 7-11, all hostilities would cease, the armistice would be signed, peace pipes smoked, and everyone would slowly soldier in a most civil fashion up the long Hawthorne climb to PV Mall, where huge celebrations would take place in the form of wheatgrass libations, which were nasty but a rite of passage.
This went on for a few years until Mike gave up. Some said he was moving to Hawaii and was tired of hanging out around all the South Bay goofballs. Some said that he had gotten the yips from too many near misses. Some said he had become old and cranky and wanted to be left alone. Still others said he got tired of all the people who showed up on the Wheatgrass Ride and ignored the rules of the ride.
I suspect it was a bit of all of that, plus the fact that every Sunday he spent $50 on wheatgrass, which times 52 times 6 adds up.
Whatever, he stopped coming to the ride and then stopped coming to all rides. It just happens to people. They get old and ride off.
The Wheatgrass Ride first reveled in the absence of its parent, and the little kids turned it into a murderous, go from the gun smashfest, but that didn’t work because we already had one of those the day before, the Donut. The beauty of the Wheatgrass was that you could be a tired old buffalo or a feisty young buck and still get in a workout and be able to spin and chat with friends.
The best part was the apres-ski, sucking down nasty wheatgrass dreck and telling stories mixed with the occasional fact. When Mike walked away all that died. He was missed, but he was never around to hear it, and plus, he didn’t GAF.
Then a couple of days ago Hoofixr sent out a message: Make Wheatgrass Great Again. Hoofixr is a nice guy but he also means what he says. And what he said was this:
- The ride will follow the old school Norris Rules.
- Anyone wants to hammer on the easy segments, beat it.
- Lies and wheatgrass at the end.
This promise lured a bunch of the wheatgrass faithful out, and it was a success. Hoofixr laid down the Norris Rules and they were followed. Pedals were pushed, lies were told, wheatgrass was chugged. Just like the old days.
Not that he GAF, but Norris would have approved.