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Directional instability

"Oh yeah, I remember this, we're close to the trailhead now" says Zoom confidently, as he swerves around another blind corner on a country road that I'm sure he has never seen before in his life. I've never been here before, but I know in my heart that we are not even close, because I know Zoom. Getting to the ride is sometimes more of an adventure than the ride itself. The boy is always running late, so we're always in so much of a rush to get to the trailhead that we can't even take the time to stop for directions. His poor sense of direction is only matched by his supreme confidence that he knows exactly where we are at any given time. During the rides he's usually up front blazing the way and usually always make the wrong choice of which fork to take, thus rides tend toward epic proportions and we're soon running out of food, water and daylight, not necessarily in that order.

A little personal history is in order. Zoom is my main riding partner. The name is well deserved and was thrust on him by someone years ago when he used to race Motocross. It generally refers to his penchant for going full out all the time. 'Crash' would be more appropriate as I have never been on or heard of a ride or race where he didn't crash. Crash & burn would be even more so as he always does so spectacularly. The 'Flying W' is my all time favorite and the one that usually get the biggest Ohs and Ahs. He's not crazy, (at least not clinically) it's just that he has no fear and tends to always ride above and beyond his meager abilities. I think it might be a chemical imbalance or a missing gene or something.

By some stroke of luck and some gentle prodding by me to try the opposite of whatever direction he thinks is right, we make it to the spot, get unloaded and start the ride only to realize that he has failed to fill his Camelback. "No problem," he says brightly "just empty half of yours into mine and we'll both have enough to finish the ride". "Great' I say with visions of vultures circling over our dehydrated bodies, three hours hence.

Later, having to backtrack only a half dozen times, we struggle up the last hill, out of water for the last 3 miles, cramping so bad I can hardly pedal, I hear Zoom state "See I told you we'd make it. No problem!"

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