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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Surfing by bike

Several weeks ago, my 1989 VW Vanagon camper bus, with only 283,000 miles on it, broke down 25 miles from Downieville on the way home from the Hell Ride.

Not a big deal. As a bus owner you get used to that.

I already use my bike for errands, to visit friends, go to the movies or dinner etc.

So for the last four weeks I have “upped” my training miles, and altered some of my “work outs”. And made some other minor adjustments.

One adjustment that I hadn’t contemplated was how to go surfing.

I haven’t enjoyed surfing since the bus broke. Not that I actually surf as much as I paddle out, get pummeled, and paddle out again. But, it’s the principle.

I tried clutching the long board under my arm, but if I pedaled faster than a geezer the wind would catch the board and I’d spin out of control like a chopper going down.

I tried balancing it on my head. The flying nun made it look easy. It isn’t.

Tried lashing it to my B.O.B. Trailer. That might work for Kelly Slater’s 'dagger’ but not my 8 foot floater. Not even with a skateboard bungied under the skegs.

marla streb
Marla with her surf rig...

Even so, one afternoon I pedaled that board halfway to the beach, when I realized I had forgotten my wet suit. By the time I had struggled back home I was too frustrated to head out again.

Once I did walk the whole way. I started out wearing my wetsuit. Carrying it seemed like just one more thing. Black wet suits a mile from the beach under the August sun are hot. Just a few minutes into my surf safari, I was sprawled out on the shoulder of the road squirming out of my now wet only-on-the-inside suit.

I turbaned my sweaty suit on top of my head and it worked out pretty well as a cushion under my board. And the board did provide some shade.

But my spindly deltoids and tiny triceps were throbbing before I dipped a toe into the water. My back ached a little bit, too. And my neck was stiff.

Huffing home was such a travail that I hid the suit and board behind some bushes on the dunes, and later pedaled back out to rescue them. First the board, then another trip back for the wetsuit.

Not my best surfing sojourn.

My bus is now finally around the corner at the specialist’s. The injectors or the CPU or something else expensive I’m sure to find out.

As a Cyclist, my broken down bus wasn’t too much of a hassle.

As a Surfer, it really sucked.

*NOTE: If anyone's interested, I've offered a comment below to last week's many observations, opinions, criticisms, and rebuttals.


marla streb said...

Absolutely a doper or not? In either case, absolution requires an article of faith. And faith is the absence of rationality.

Like I said, I still want to believe he is Superman… or Santa Claus

2:16 PM  
riderx said...

Sounds like you need an Xtracycle to haul your board.

4:41 AM  
Fritz said...

Been there, done that! Since my truck died this last winter, I've been dealing with the carfree pursuit of my other hobbies. Snowskiing and mountain climbing are both a little more difficult by bike, but with ingenuity and time it's possible.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous said...

You need one of these...

They are quite popular here in San Diego.

8:04 PM  
Brian said...

Sorry Marla but you should not have switched from air cooled to a water boxer,my 77 bus still runs strong and after cubic $ will cruise at 85 mph if it's not windy.

3:31 AM  
randymar said...

Have fun with this:

I was playing around with it at work, listening to the Grateful Dead (1980-05-16 - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, LI) when one of my cube friends asked "So ... which one was yours???"

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