Zen On Dirt

Imagined People, Pizza, and Ride times

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Scott and I were sitting around one night, dinner eaten, dinking around on computers, listening to music, doing whatever, when Scott announced (unsurprisingly), ‘I’m hungry.’  We’d finished dinner maybe 30 minutes ago.  ‘Ummm…yogurt?’ I suggested.  I could tell he was less than inspired when there was a sudden knock on the door.  In came Pete, who’d left his car on our street a week prior to bike pack home to Moab.  ‘Hey, I left you a message that I was going to pick my car up this morning, but it turned out better to ride then pick up the car…do you mind if I crash here tonight…do you want to get some pizza?’ (Scott had failed to turn his phone on for 48 hours after our bikepack, thus we never got the message)

Scott’s eyes lit up so bright that I knew that as a girlfriend, I could never compare to being offered pizza late at night when hungry.  We all went riding the next day, a ride that Pete estimated at 3.5 hours (actual ride time: 6 hours) and while I was busy being cross eyed chasing the boys up Junction Creek Road, I had a moment of ‘Wow, I’m riding with the great Pete Basinger.  How cool!’


There are people of legend in the corner of the bike riding world that I inhabit.  Pete (aka Moobs, Dreamboat, Petey-spice) is one of them.   What I find most amusing is that my first knowledge of him was from Jill’s Be Brave, Be Strong and Ghost Trails where she had several descriptions of him, that while they now make me laugh, made me think he was some older, salty, grumpy man.  Don’t ask me how I formed that picture, combination of stereotypical Alaskan and an overactive imagination, I guess.   I don’t think I actually knew what he looked like until MC posted some pictures of him snowbiking up on the Grand Mesa last winter.

I spotted him at the Iditarod pre-race meeting, tall, dark, mysterious, with the potential to be salty and grumpy.  He surely didn’t seem friendly in the room full of nerves.  The last two assumptions disappeared when he pedaled up next to me during the first couple miles of the race and introduced himself.  When he walked into Skwentna Lodge 14 hours later, at 4 am as I was leaving and ordered three cinnamon rolls, one of them heated up and two to go, he immediately made it onto my ‘Cool People of the World’ list.


Riding up behind him and Scott, I had to laugh at how different my imagination had actually made him out to be.  It made me think of the first time I ever saw Scott setting up trackers for Vapor Trail.  We’d interacted via blog post comments prior but somehow I’d never put a face to the name.  Somehow, while I knew he rode bikes, and rode bikes well, I didn’t actually picture him as a bike rider.  The situation, and my confusion at the time, is pretty funny given the clarity of hindsight.

The mind is a funny thing.  We give people personalities when we don’t even know them, we form opinions long before we have any facts to back them up.



I mean, really, who’d have thunk that the great Moobs makes the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever sunk my teeth into (in addition to winning the Iditarod something on the order of 23 times)?  Life is funny that way.  People are funny.  I hope I get to keep laughing, and riding, and meeting other cool people of the world…and if a planned three hour ride accidentally doubles in time, well that’s okay too.


One thought on “Imagined People, Pizza, and Ride times

  1. thanks for the laugh, eszter. before the AZT, scott told me i’d probably be riding out there with pete ____. he told me his last name, but it was lost in the haze of effort. around Kentucky Camp i suddenly remembered: it was “Pete Seeger”! i knew this wasn’t right, but it stuck. the remaining 230 miles, i’d occasionally come back to the idea of a balding, gray-beard folk singer chasing me. i guess that’s how pete will remain in my consciousness until we finally meet.

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