Sunday, May 03, 2009

I can still hear you saying; you would never break the chain.

Yesterday the weather looked grim and today it is grim. Rain and cold - it does not feel like May. Yesterday DB had the day to himself since his daughter was off on a Brownie trip, He was determined to do something in spite of the weather. So we took the bikes and headed off to Brendan Byrne State Forest.

You may remember Brendan Byrne as the Governor of New Jersey in the seventies and eighties. He was the one that sounded like Elmer Fudd especially in the commercials "New Joorseey and ewe perfwect togever". Anyway, most people still call it the Lebanon State Forrest. Maybe they should have called it Elmer Fudd State Forrest.

The rain was light and it looked like it was going to clear up so we headed off on the bikes to Parkim Pond, about 3 miles down the trail. DB had grabbed his daughters helmet from the darkened house and had no helmet so I was sure this was going to end badly with the rain and sunglasses making for poor visibility. Ironically we would have ended up at my wife's hospital.

It did, just not in the way I expected.

We made it safely to the pond, hung out in the open air shelter for a bit and when the sun peaked out, decided to head off on a more ambitious trail. We headed down the trail and came to narrow bridge that crossed a small stream. At age 14 this bridge would have been something I flew over but as you get older I guess you understand a little better what can go wrong. It looked really narrow.

We headed across the bridge and I was convinced that one of us was goin' in.

We made it across and were just headed up a small incline when I heard an unpleasant sound coming from DB's bike. His chain snapped. Broke right in two pieces (well it was one piece but it was no longer connected which is important).

Biking was over for the day. That was a fact.

No biggie. We'll just let DB take my bike, get the car, drive it down to the pond and we'll be off. Sounds simple enough.

We take all the gear off my bike, leave it with me and send DB on his way.

About 20 minutes later I get a call. DB is asking me which way to go on the paved road. I thought right, so I told home right. He mentions how beautiful it is with the lakes. In the mean time, I take out the GPS and figure out how long it should have taken and look at the map. The lakes are prtty far from where he should be.

Let me repeat that. I have the GPS. He does not. I have a map. He does not. Why I did this I have no idea. He's in park he's never been in and I have a GPS. Not only do I have the GPS, but I have a compass and Google maps on the blackberry. And I have a map. All safely tucked away in the open air shelter I am sitting in.

IMG_1027:Bicycling in Brendan Byrne

After 40 minutes, I know something is wrong. He should have been to the office, picked up the car and headed back by now.

I call him. He's lost.

Now we have no idea where he is and I have more Nav equipment than Apollo 11 had.

"Help me triangulate" He tells me. I can't. I have an urge that can not be negotiated with and tell him I have to go.

After that, I finally got him back on the phone about 10 minutes later. He found a campsite, asked someone and they told him to head up this road, the office is right on it. So I wait.

I'm sitting there in on my new home, the park bench, when who do I see coming in the parking lot but DB, on the bike. No car.

He had gone in a giant circle and ended up back where he started.

After some water, he took the GPS and headed to the office on the paved road. He was back in 20 minutes. At least he got a nice ride in.

Pics here.

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