When I was a kid, I used to rush home from school every day to my bike. She was a white, hand-me-down Pro Performer. Not much to look at but she got me where I needed to go. I would blast out the driveway and over this one bump that sent me in the air just enough to make it worth hitting. When I got to the end of the street I would throw my bike over the chain link fence and then squeeze under this one part that wasn’t buried all the way. That fence was the gateway to another dimension for me.
In all reality, it was just the property boundry of the city golf course. But those hills and trees were my after school program and beyond that fence was anything I could ever want. It had dirt paths, a stream dammed into ponds, sections of forest, and most importantly it had fish. I spent every afternoon in those “woods” chasing around sunfish and carp like they were record setting Marlin. I was maybe about 12 years old when it all started and it was my daily obsession for years, as long as the water wasn’t frozen. The bike was a tool I used to get to my obsession faster and it allowed me to stay just a little longer before the dreaded street lights came on.
I find it funny that even as an adult, the lights coming on means the fun is ending. Back then it was your signal to hustle home before you caught hell from your parents. Today, those ugly lights tell you that it is time to pay your tab and swerve your drunk ass home.
That obsession grew into my college education in the life sciences and eventually the career I have today. But what amazes me the most is how the bike slowly took over everything. It started with finding a longer path to the fishing hole, then cutting a trail to the water so that we could ride right up to the edge without hiking. Then as time went on, the fishing poles were left propped up against a tree branch with the lines in the water while I went and explored the forest by bike. Eventually jumps were built and skills were honed to the point where the fishing poles were left at home.
Last week I decided I should go ride my bike to catch some fish. It was a spur of the moment plan but I knew right where to go. I loaded my pack with my pole, some beers, and a couple sandwiches and set out to make a day of it. I did a nice little ride on the Arizona Trail and eventually pedaled down a creek bed that ran right into the Blue Ridge Reservoir. I found what looked to be a good little hole and caught oversized trout minnows all day. It was a great afternoon. I was screwing around with my video camera some more and put a little clip together.
It was a pretty fun flashback to my childhood and I can’t wait to go again. Keep it dirty…by
Hey I’ve yaked through there, chasing ducks and jumping off rocks, but no fishing for me at the time. Do you really pack it in when the street lights come on? You’re grown now, stay out all night.
Surly Pugsley vs Salsa Mukluk?
There’s a bunch down here that’s bringing both in.
Advice sought before I get fat.
How fun was that! I would do it everyday!
I too did a fair bit of fishing as a young man growing up in eastern Pennsylvania. And my friends and I did so on a bicycle. In fact, I can remember thinking how odd it was to see fish in restaurants; eating fish was something one did after engaging in the activity of fishing. Now, a hamburger, that was really something special. I couldn’t go catch one fo those.
I used to lug around a pole that broke into two pieces my strapping it to the top tube. I had a rear rack that carried my tackle box. Man, those were the days.
One thing I miss being in Arizona are all the streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds that are everywhere back east. Fishing, swimming, canoeing, rafting, rope swings. I miss all of that.
Great post! My childhood bike / fish spot was a lagoon in front of lake michigan a mile from the road nationals course in Milwaukee…good times. Blue Ridge Resevoir is (was) one of the best kept secrets in AZ. The <10hp limit keeps the knuckleheads out and there is the occasional native brown trout to supplement the rainbows that came in 5 gallon buckets. Plenty of wet spots to fish & play in AZ if you get adventurous enough.
Righteous. And Right.
Hurben…I’ve ridden both, and went with the Mukluk. It was slightly lighter and felt a bit more relaxed in the geo. Plus…A-luminum don’t rust…and my bike rack exposes it to the salt on the roads in the winter when I’m heading to the trails. I am undeniably a fan of steel (except for a crabon roadie, all my other bikes are steel), but this one is ‘lumnum.
Either way, you’ll have fun. Much like dirty, the damn thing seems to point me down the path less taken for some reason.
I never really fished, but I love the south central PA rope swing. Come back for a dip Big Jonny.
what is this thing you know as fun?
dude, it’s the only way to roll. rocker, old dirty mcGirty. super rocker.
Dirty is a total and complete ballerstarting @ 12!! Did the same shit as a kid. Been lookin at doin it again as an old fat fuck. With requisite beers of course.
I just feel better knowing the desert southwest has fish and frogs too, thanks.
Back in the northeast? For all you transplants?
We’ll leave the light on for ya =:)
Oops, forgot, Hurben, I’d go Pug, much more versatile in terms of parts use, and more fat suspension friendly. May not matter now, but once you own one for a few months, it will……
@7 & 12
Thanks for the good input.
I’ve pretty much decided to go Pug.
It’s more expensive but seems to have nicer componentry.
Plus the Mukluk comes with grip shifters, Not.a.fan.of.
I think that the Mukluk frame has nicer lines but I do like steel frames, most of my Softrides are steel.
Pingback: Table for one - Drunkcyclist.com