Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm out of here

So it's that time of year again, I'm heading off for a few weeks of R & R and Eastern European soul food back home in New Hampshire - I've got my red checked jacket and Herman's Survivors packed and ready. The picture is a bit disingenuous; the slowly deepening purples of a mountain sunset... I'd like to think it's always like that, sitting at the diner in Center Eaton next to the lake.

But my view should be more of something like that of Hampton Beach - full of empty white clapboard summer houses, over-accessorized SUV's, chubby people walking their dogs and slightly crap restaurants. But I will spend some time up in the hills.

Locally, however, the bad news is that my local dump of a bar, Lupo's (picture a nautical motif of plastic lobsters and Christmas lights suspended in the fishnets over the bar here) has just been raided by the DEA. This should surprise no one, as you would expect of a beachfront bar that usually puts plywood over the sea-facing windows in order to keep the sun off the TV running non-stop Bruins and Celtics games over the bar. And, of course, it's not the first time that Lupo (yeah, that's his name - but let's be honest: didn't you always want to have your very own bar named after you?) has had a petite contretemps with the local 'protect and serve' guys.

Anyway, a fitting end to the year was my pedal crank breaking on my way home from a ride near Lidgate; the crank sheared clean off as I was out of the saddle honking up a long gentle incline on the way home from a 50. The next thing I knew I was all over the road having winded myself on the handlebar stem as I almost launched over the top. That's the trouble with running 'classic' 25 year old campag stuff on your winter fixie road iron; it's just a war of attrition on the way to a hiding to nothing. I also discovered it's really hard to ride a fixie with one pedal uphill as there's nowhere to put your other foot. The only solution was a gentle roll a mile back down into the village.

So while sitting outside the Star pub nursing a half pint (I only had 2 quid on me after the hot chocolate in Newmarket; I know - wild) in the alternating weak sunshine/hail (the Spanish staff kept trying to beckon me inside, concluding I was obviously well mad) waiting for 'she who toys with my heart' to come and rescue me, I felt strangely at peace.

the snow beckons.