Will Call: Under a summer moon
The strawberry moon rose and we rode.
It wasn’t my first Carbondale full moon cruise. I’m not among the improbably large number of people who claim to have been on the very first rounds over a decade ago, but I was an early addition.
I’ve joined cold winter cruises with just a handful of participants and still recall one Mountain Fair Sunday with three separate groups of a couple hundred bikers each. I have been across the Satank Bridge, around and around the roundabout and in one door of the Nugget and out the other.
Perhaps it was the summer solstice, but something about this week’s cruise felt special.
As I rode up to the west side of Sopris Park shortly before 9 p.m., the crowd was about what I expected. The cruise seems smaller lately. Perhaps people like myself burnt out on it, and maybe newcomers aren’t aware of the tradition.
Regardless, it has actually made for a more diverse group, with plenty of kids and middle aged folks in addition to the standard 20 and 30 somethings. We even picked up a few people along the way.
There weren’t a lot of costumes, unless you count the group of friends who apparently got the memo about dressing in layers and all happened to show up with plaid shirts tied around their waists. What music we had was fairly quiet, and the wild howls were few and far between.
In fact, we very nearly snuck up on a Dance of the Sacred Fire rehearsal just outside the Middle School. I don’t know if they were expecting us, but suddenly faced with an audience of a hundred or more, they provided a lovely little show.
The temperature dropped quickly from a scorching day, and the air was seasoned with blooming Russian olives and the occasional spray of cottonwood cotton.
Coming back along the base of White Hill, we probably could have used more headlamps, but I don’t believe anyone ended up in the sinkhole.
When the leader for the moment — a youngster with a light covered hat — turned up the hill, however, many participants balked.
I’m sure some folks went their own way at that point, but the majority made it to the top. I was glad I brought a bottle of water, although the woman ahead of me did me one better by lugging a whole bag of wine along.
If you’ve never come sailing down White Hill on a moonlight night with dozens of other bikers around you … well, you’re probably wiser than me, but it’s an experience nevertheless.
From there, the cruise hit most of the standard spots. It stalled for a moment in La Fontana Plaza and by the time it reached the high school, it was beginning to lose steam.
I took my leave with a good hour of free entertainment to show for my efforts.
Perhaps I’m the only one who liked the low-key, seat-of-our-pants feel of this month’s ride. It’s not the golden days of disco balls and bikers come in from surrounding towns, and that’s fine by me. I’ll be back out there again on July 19. I hope you’ll join me.
Will Grandbois also biked to work Wednesday, but bused home due to the rain. He can be reached at 384-9105 or email@example.com
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