Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sogn Valley Gravel Loop

One of the great things about not living in the metro is gravel. No cars, no stoplights; I'd eat the stuff for breakfast, lunch and occasionally even dinner if I could. And whats more, it's hard to get board on those long rides--you can always play "whats that smell", trying to guess if it's a hog or turkey farm you're passing; or try to guess the denomination of the next church you'll see (tip: always go with Lutheran. The things rise up out of the hills ever mile or two); and as your mind starts to fail you, you can play the always entertaining, "where in de heck am I?"

No getting lost for me today. I kept it to a 50 mile loop I know quite well, a trip to the scenic Sogn Valley. The glaciers that passed through some time ago were angry with this land. My Norwegian kinfolk in later years found it a nice place to settle no doubt because there were plenty of hills to build churches upon. So many in fact they ran out of church building supplies and left a few hills bare, but not many. Needless to say, all that climbing drains a man's canteen right quick, and I was soon looking for a house with a spigot to fill my bottles. I thought about taking a drink from one of the many streams which run through the valley (I hear there is a rainbow trout or two in these streams), but decided I could make it to the Dennison gas station.
On the way, I ran into a little detour...

I may come off as a macho man (not unlike Randy Savage) to some, but as you may infer from my fear of dairy cows, I am really a sensitive guy who enjoys long rides on the beach-sand that is gravel, watching the sun set behind hills and churches, drinking my fruity sports drinks with a straw. And the endless fields of tassel-topped corn, gold with sun, galloping with wind, remind me of the ocean and make me cry. If you need help getting in touch with your sensitive side, and think a ride in Sogn Valley would do just that, then I have good news...

I will be there hosting a clinic titled "you, too, have a sensitive side. It may be buried deep within your Slim-Jim-snappin, single-speed-pushin, cheep-beer-drinkin exterior, but by golly it's there." The title was too long, which is why it's not on the poster. In the clinic I will teach all who are interested how to not ride a casual tour as if you were in a race, how to coast, how to shift into an easier gear (we will go over both front and rear derailleurs), and lastly, how to drink from a water bottle using only your thumb and pointer while jutting your pinkie finger out and up. The trick is getting the angle of your pinkie just right. This will bring you exactly half the way to being fully in touch with your sensitive side. That is all I can do. The rest you will have to find within yourself.

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