Glossary for non-hashers:
YBF - You've Been Fooled.
Safe Crossing - An arrow pointing across a road or sometimes a bridge. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking this crossing is actually safe. This is Florida. Look both ways if you want to live.
Merkin - not a hash term, but just the sort of discussion that might come up in hash circles. Google it. Then forget. If you can.
QOM - Queen of the Mountain. Also not a hash term. A Strava term for fastest female on a designated section of trail.
True Trail - the correct trail as laid by the hares. Trail followed without shortcutting.
FRB - Front Running Bitch or Bastard.
LDs - a remarkably tolerant bar and grill, happy to put up with 20 people on bikes making a beer stop.
I've been wrong a lot lately. Take the hash yesterday. There was my insistence about the trail leading in behind those office buildings on Spy Glass Road.
"There's no way out of this cul de sac."
"It's a dead end."
"We should go back now."
Wrong. After all that verbalizing, there was indeed, a way out. Not a YBF at all. Honest to god, just last week I was down that road looking for a way through. Suddenly there it was, an easement across the canal, straight to the nature trail on the other side. In plain sight. Amazing. (Only to me, I realize.) But very good to know.
And the safe crossing mark, an S with an arrow through it, chalked onto the tiny wooden bridge in front of the 7-11. I could have sworn the arrow pointed south. Like you know, to cross the bridge. Not north - like to cross Wickham Road - a different story entirely. Who knows why. Because I was facing south at the time? Because I was expecting the trail to be logical?
All I really know is, there are days when my brain can't be trusted. I have known this for a long time. Since grade school actually. And yet, it still surprises me with it's untrustworthiness. I have learned to just say, "Oops." A lot.
I was SURE I had googled a burning question from a previous hash. (What is a merkin?) WTF? It's not a pointy version of Gobbler's facial hair? I realize later that I had actually come up with the exact same pictures that Cross shows me now on his phone. Somehow my overly protective brain blocked that. But, surprise! Hashing corrects erroneous thinking - like thinking a trail can't go here - or there. Hashing teaches you stuff. Sometimes stuff you'd rather forget. Maybe my brain will lose the definition of a merkin all over again. One can only hope.
Oh well. I'm sure I got some things right yesterday. 3 new QOMs showed up on my Strava. Although, if Blown Gasket hadn't pointed them out, I would never have noticed.
And Semi, TKD, and I were the first to find true trail after the halfway. We followed it to the end a full ten minutes ahead of the usual FRBs. That never happens!
Halfway at LDs
I think it's OK to cut myself some slack on that. A ride the length of my age can't be knocked off in just an hour or two. And things do get crazy this time of year. But sometime before the end of the month, I'm doing it.
No fun alone, though.
Popeye and I often try to get people to come on long'ish rides with us. Like our ride around Lake Apopka in October. We made a list of 32 riders. The very first question every one of those 32 people asked was, "How far is it?"
Lazy? Stubborn? I don't know. But we decided not to add up the precise number of miles. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. You can always do more than you think.
So, when people ask the distance of this birthday ride? Ha! It's a daunting number, for sure. I will only say, come along and find out.
And if you choose to bail early, that's always an option. I won't hold it against you. Heck, I probably won't remember anyway.