Thursday, April 21, 2016

Feathers and photos. (Found post from February)

I want to write this down before I forget.  Because I don't have a picture, so no reminder.

Dead peacock by the side of the road.  Lady cutting off it's tail feathers.  In front of the most awesome house on all of Tropical Trail.   And there are quite a few awesome houses on Tropical Trail.  And no.  No photo.  Even though I thought at first,  "Oh my god, she's killed a peacock to take it's feathers!"

Today has been a long day.  I have been practicing my "nice". 

Who knows when you might need to apply a little Nice?  Especially if you haven't been using it much. 

I went to 3 different stores.  I tried on run shoes. 

Shoes are a particular ordeal.  Just try finding women's Nikes in size 11 neutral, not too cushy, not too heavy, not too light, with tread that will work on trails.  The poor clerks, going back and forth.  But I practiced my nice.  And in spite of coming up empty, counted it a victory, in the Nice department, at least.  Every one of them said some version of,  "It's been a real pleasure!" even as I departed without purchase.  As a rule, clerks don't say that to middle aged women.  No one does.

Mostly people don't speak at all.  I normally spend my day entirely invisible.  

So mostly I don't bother practicing my Nice. 

People don't take time to recognize Nice anymore anyway, let alone show appreciation for it.  Mostly they just want you to get out of their way.  

A week ago, I set out to ride in the cold, talking to myself so the inner weasel wouldn't have her way.  Thinking thoughts like, you only have to stick it out for an hour, but yes, you have to go out.  I was mentally not in a place of practicing Nice.  I was pretty much on the on the edge of not so nice.  In other words, just get out of my way, OK?

I made it maybe two miles and some old guy fell into the ditch across the road.  Just pitched off the sidewalk and rolled out of sight.  Damn.  Better stop.  How annoying.
I crossed the road right in front of two cars, dumping my bike in the grass.   A woman with a little girl stopped her van and jumped out.  Even as the poor old guy struggled to get himself up, the woman and I both said - "Don't get up!  We'll call the paramedics."  I guess because the guy was old.  If he'd been younger and able to jump up faster maybe nothing would have been said, and we would have simply helped him up. 

He was laying face down, half in the flowing water.  Fairly cold out so must have been uncomfortable.  I waded in and put my hand on his shoulder, mostly to keep him from rolling further down the bank into the ditch, and also because we had been taught Don't Move.  

In true grumpy old man style, he yelled, "Fine!  You don't have to help me up, but at least stop holding me down!"

I was mortified!  WAS I holding him down???  Was I?  Maybe a little.  Sort of.  Mostly I thought I was helping keep him from deeper water.  And keeping him from struggling and maybe hurting himself.  And..  Oh my god, I was sort of holding him down. 

Because we were right across the street from the fire station, the paramedics were there in 2 minutes and basically they just stood there watching, while he struggled and struggled and finally got himself upright.  

I wasn't too happy to see them handle it that way.   I could have just stood there.  But no, I didn't just stand there.  I "helped".   

Was I a holder-downer???  Just because the guy was old?  It is absolutely true that he was so shaky, it really seemed as if he might topple over and splash down into even deeper water.  But then, encouraging someone to lay face down in a ditch on a cold day seems, well... seems pretty mean. 

You can not assume someone is helpless just because he has gray hair, a hearing aide, and there is blood running down his face.  How old is too old?  80?  90? 102?   After all, he was out walking, not home on the couch.   Just as I plan to be someday.

So anyway, I've been trying to be a little nicer this week.  Non judgmental.   Hold nobody down.  Try to just give everyone an automatic break.  Ask questions first, shoot (photos) later.

Tropical Trail in winter.  Just spectacular.  Well, it is spectacular all times of year, but in winter there is a clarity of light that you just don't get in the summer humidity.

So, after talking to the lady snipping tail feathers off a peacock with her garden loppers, and deciding not to photograph her grisly enterprise, I was determined to find somewhere along the way for a photo.  Anywhere would do, just so I wouldn't forget this spectacular day. 
 Merritt Island, across from Mathers Bridge.

OK, so guy in a ditch.  Leads to deciding to be nicer.  Don't make assumptions because of age, gender, or strangeness of action.  Leads to happier store clerks, more pleasant line time, and meeting the lady who lives in the most beautiful house anywhere around, who also happened to be lopping the tail off a dead peacock. 

(Honest to god, they must have modeled the HGTV Merrit Island Dream home after her house.  Same style.  Only hers is better, bigger, more beautiful, and duh - has peacocks.)

I know I have pictures somewhere of one of the peacocks from a few years ago.
See, even the gate is beautiful.
Not to mention the peacock.
Here it is. Taken in July, 2010.  On the gate of that particular house.  As a matter of fact I think this was shortly after a friend of Popeye's swerved to miss a pea hen and broke the fork of his bike in half. 

Here's the thing.   It's amazing there are peacocks left on Tropical Trail.  They strut wherever they please.  They just don't get it, no matter how much you yell or lay on the horn.  Don't count on them moving.  They won't.  If you are on a bike, you better go around.  If you don't have a conscience and go ahead and slam into one with your car, you better have insurance. 

Someone somewhere probably has a fair sized dent after yesterday.

I guess I never gave it a thought before.  Only stopped to admire how beautiful the huge males are dragging around their amazing five foot tail feathers.  Never gave a thought to how bulky/heavy they might be.  Not until somehow I found myself at the side of the road offering to help a tail-lopping lady heft a dead bird onto a bed sheet for burial.

Before I go, curiosity gets the better of me.  "I get that you don't want a thirty pound bird rotting in your yard, or the local flock of buzzards out there pulling it apart.  But why cut off the tail?  Do you keep the feathers?" 

(Seems a grisly idea to me, but then they are so beautiful it also seems a waste to just bury them.)

"Well," says Lopper Lady, "this isn't the first peacock I've had to bury.  I just can't dig a hole big enough to include their tails." 

"Take some if you want," she says, pointing to the pile of feathers. 

I look down.  It's quite a pile.  I picture riding home with a couple of five foot peacock feathers sticking out of my shirt.  There's no doubt they'd be beautiful somewhere in my island-blue house, but also sad.

I decline the feathers.  Partly out of inconvenience and partly out of respect for the dead.  And also out of respect for the dead, I resist taking a picture of the whole scene.   Although, I admit it was the most interesting thing I'd seen all day.  

Before getting back on the road, I complimented her on her beautiful house.  

"Thank you, I'll tell my husband.  It's his design.  And thank you for stopping.  Not one other person even slowed down." 

Back on the road again.  So there you go.  I can be nice.  And helpful. Without a feather or photo to show for it.  And if I see you lying in a ditch, I might be curious enough to ask what the heck you're doing there, but I won't hold you down, I promise.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tallboy or Scalpel. The curse of chronic fat.

"Kurt's got some Blue Moon in the fridge.  You don't have to drink that Coors Light," says Semi.

"Oh, but I do have to."

"But why?"

"To save calories." 

"What?  Again???!"  

No.  Not again.  Still.  Always. 

"Fat is a chronic condition,"  I say.

Gary starts to go off on women of a certain age and their troublesome metabolisms.  I don't want to hear it.  Besides it's not true at all.  I was much fatter when I was younger.  When I too, thought diets could have an end.

I decide it's time to pass around the new BCS stickers. 

I'm thinking of designing a jersey too.  It would look a lot like my Santa Cruz.  White - with mud splats up the back.   Why fight the inevitable?

Coors Light.  Muddy El Nino winters.  Some things simply need to be accepted.

Popeye and I got new bikes. 

We have never been twins'y before, but this time we did it.  Ordered the same bike.  Same model, same color.  Everything. 

My fault really.  Krafty found a closeout deal, and Popeye jumped on it.  I was standing behind him at the bike shop counter with a sudden image - of the back of his head getting smaller and smaller in the distance as he rides away on a super-lightweight Lefty.  And me, grinding along, working harder than ever to keep up.  If there's anyone who needs to buy speed, it is me! 

First I try talking to myself, knowing what this will do to my savings account.  But the inner discussion ends all too quickly with a softly whispered "Damn it." 

Out loud I say, "Are there any more in stock?  Order me one too!"

Now I've got a different decision to make.  Sell the "old" (2015) Tallboy 29r, or the "new" (also 2015) Scalpel? 

At some point I am going to come across a need for an extra dime to my name again.  So one of them really has to go.  Like old fashioned carb-loading.  I may be feasting on my double sized plate of pasta right now, but soon it will be time to pay the price.

I love the white Tallboy.  The look of it.  The whiteness of it.  The way it shows every bit of mud, like a dirt-layer record of every trail you rode all day, carried home with you on the frame.  I love how it gets over obstacles, and I love the simplicity of the 1x11 shifting. 


But I love the Lefty too.  The leap-ahead quality of the light weight front end.  The BLACK INC lettering on the black-on-black frame.  Just too cool to to give up.

Now what? 

Coors Light.  Salad.  That's easy.  With enough practice, they can even be made into habit.  Yeah, it sucks to have fast friends, and a super lean husband.  It sucks to always be the one who craves pasta.  But it also sucks to be fat.  So each and every day, what it comes down to, is choosing my preferred version of suckage. 

But what to do when the fat comes in the form of excess bikes?  It's not something  I get a lot of practice at.  Or want to practice at all.  It does not suck to have, not one, but two, amazing bikes.  

But choose, I must.  Now that's going to suck.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Turkey Creek. Trail or highway?


It's a Tuesday night. 

Mike is riding up ahead.

I can just barely hear him.  I think he's singing.

"Sign, sign everywhere a sign."

Yup, he's singing. 

I join in.  

"Blockin' out the scenery.  Breakin' my mind."



"Do this!  Don't do that!  Can't you read the sign?"

At first, I thought
some third graders
were playing a joke.
I love my mountain bike.  It makes me feel like a kid again.

Not the indoor kid.  Not the kid stuck at the desk farthest from the window on a sunny day.  Not the kid being told to sit still and finish her homework. 
Not that kid.  The outdoor kid.  The after-the-bell kid.  Stomping puddles.  Throwing rocks at beehives.  Riding bikes with your friends.  School's out and two hours til supper.  All directions possible.  That kid.
Every outdoor kid knows it.  A little risk equals a world of freedom.
Freedom teaches you some awesome stuff. 
Like common sense - so you don't cause yourself too many bruises. 
And common courtesy - so you don't cause too many bruises to others. 
Self regulating stuff.  So others don't have to. 
Take a few bumps once in a while.  Take care not to bump others.  Let others be in charge of their own bumps.  
This is mountain biking.  It is not supposed to be easy.   
Or rude.  Or selfish.
Choose your own lines.  And leave the rest so that others may choose theirs.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

We are Death Loopers. The Paisley St. Francis Wagon Trail 60 Mile Death Loop.

Master Chung used to say, "You are not really living until you are nearly dying."  

Master Chung was right about so many things.

OK, so Blown Gasket knows a girl, who knows a guy. 

A guy named Karlos.  Who rides... 

I have no idea how much Karlos rides.  A lot.  Enough so that one of his back yard training rides would cause most people to run screaming from the name alone.

The Paisley St. Francis Wagon Trail 60 Mile Death Loop.

And we are invited!  Yes!

Distance junkies.  Our kind of people.  And not just any distance junkies, either.  Mountain bike distance junkies.  The worst! 

Or the best!  Depends.  Does your brain light up at the mere thought of a "60 mile Death Loop"?  If it does, you've already got the right stuff.

24 riders are gathered at Chuck Lennon on this February Sunday.  We shake hands with Karlos and exchange first names with a few others while waiting for one last rider to pull in.  That's it.  There is no sign-in sheet, no registration, no medals, no bling, no tee shirts, no fee, and no anxiety about start time.  

That's Karlos, standing center.
(Look up Singletrack Samurai.)
It's an honor!

"So, if you don't die, do you get your money back?" someone asks. 

"Full refund," laughs Karlos.

It's my favorite sort of start.  Mid morning.  Leisurely.  Blue sky.  Green woods.  Quiet roll out.  

25 riders long, the line snakes around the easy sections of Chuck Lennon singletrack.

Then we come to the dreaded (for me) Red Panther loop.  Popeye is waiting up for me at the drop in.  "Just do it!" he growls, knowing I won't unless I am forced. 

And I don't.  I am off the bike at the first sketchy drop-in bridge, and letting the others swoop by.  Good for them!  But I am not quite willing to die before even getting to the Death Loop.

It's a relief when we cross the railroad tracks and hook to the south for the first leg.  Finally!  Death Loop time! 

Having no Garmin, I had spent some time on Saturday checking out the online version of the loop.  Just in case I am off the back.  (Not an idle concern, considering the company.)  

I even made a few notes on good old fashioned paper.  They are stashed secretly in a Ziploc and tucked into my Bento box.   Popeye has agreed to hang with me, but my pace is often so easy for him, he can sometimes get away from me without even noticing.

Crib sheet.
It's a 2 pager.
Turns out the crib sheet is never once needed.  Karlos waits up for everyone at the crucial turns.  Popeye has the Garmin.  But it doesn't matter.  The GPS in my head is humming along in full sundial mode.  At least keeping track of our heading is cake, even if the trail isn't.
Well, it is and it isn't.  The navigation part is easy, anyway.  Head south - road turns to bike path, to singletrack, to double track, and back onto road.  Turn west.  Cross the Route 44 bridge over the St John's River.  Then road.  Then dirt road bending to the north.  And singletrack again. 
Except for Red Panther, the first 20 miles to the start of the actual Paisley-St Francis Wagon Trail really is a piece of cake. 
Karlos makes sure to wait up for every last rider.
Watching for stragglers.
Popeye taking pictures of some of the Melbourne guys over his shoulder.
Mark (in red) and Blown Gasket.
First Blood - always much admired.
One of the wait stops in Ocala National Forest.
But this is Florida.  You can't make a cake without breaking a sweat.  Especially if the recipe includes sugar sand.
The east end of the St Francis Wagon Trail was once a bustling port on a bend of the St Johns River.  In the 1800's, citrus was brought by wagon and loaded onto steamships for northern market.  Long abandoned, the land was bought by the government in 1940 for the Ocala National Forest.  To see it now, you'd never know a thriving port town had ever existed.
Once a bustling port?
Hard to believe now.
OK, so on to the wagon trail.  It's easy enough. 
Until it isn't.
The sun is still shining.  The sky is still blue.  But the straight and shady double track suddenly turns into hill after hill of hub-sucking sand. 
I am not sure what the fast guys up front are doing to get through it, but back here in my neck of the woods, even the fat-tire guys are off and pushing. 
I suspect every one of us is thinking the same thing.  How long is this god-awful stretch of sand?  A mile or two?  Or five?  There is no way to tell from this point. 
Well, we wanted to be Death Loopers.  It is time to do or die.
There are others alongside me, also pushing.  At first there is quite a bit of chatty commiseration.  But after awhile my personal world shrinks down to the bike, the sand, and one foot in front of the other. 
I push on and on.  I am soaked with sweat but relentless, not about to let the slogging get to me.  I stare downward, hoping fruitlessly for a firm foothold, if only for a step or two. 
At the crest of each hill, I am tricked into thinking I might be able to ride down.  But I am toppled by the sugary downhill almost as often as the up.  

Somewhere along the way, my hellish grind is tempered by a vision of the original Death Loopers. 
I picture sweating oxen and cursing men.  Whistling whips.  Wagons without the benefit of fat tires, sinking deep into the sugary sand.  

Suddenly, I appreciate the ease of my life and the choice I have made today - to be here on this trail, ankle deep in sand, and leaving tracks where I have never been before.    
It is not over soon, but it is over eventually.  I am so absorbed with pushing I don't even get a photo of the wagon trail of sand. 
Actually I am so generally whipped that I don't take another photo the rest of the day.  Which is too bad.  Because the Florida Trail and Alexander Springs are incredibly beautiful.  And the miles and miles of straight forest road on the run back to the east are impressive. 
What I really appreciate though, is the feel of good, firm dirt under my wheels. 
Trails are negotiated, sandwiches devoured, dirt roads ridden.   A mile long series of 20 foot puddles is skirted in bendy swoops.  Popeye gets a giant splat of mud across his eyes.  Mark offers up his bottle of water to rinse it out until Popeye can see again. 
Up ahead, Karlos and some of the frontrunners decide to stop at the river bridge for a beer before knocking off their final miles.  Those of us with a long drive ahead back to Melbourne forge ahead on our own.
My calves moo out a familiar warning of impending cramps - just as two guys go off the front of the paceline at the last turn onto pavement.  It's tempting to go with them and hammer to the end, cramping be damned.  But to hammer now means to pay later.  I only have to think of the last time I howled with leg cramps on a long drive home.  
I tuck in behind a slower four man paceline for an easy final leg. Popeye, true to his word, hangs with me all the way back to Chuck Lennon, where our fast friends have the coolers out and are already popping open the first beers of the day.  
So we are Death Loopers!  With a cold beer in hand, and a story to tell.  Nearly dead, but truly alive.  And no refund necessary.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A good habit is hard to lose. Croom 50. River Road. Uh - Death Loop?

If you've been off the bike for a few months, what the heck? 

Might as well make the first ride back worthwhile.

How about the Croom 50 for a first day back in the saddle? 

50 miles of easy going Croom singletrack.  Just make sure to top it off with a little gloom, a lot of cold, and a touch of rain. 

(It's never the terrain at Croom, is it?  It always come down to the weather.)

On trail at Croom 50, better known most years, as the Gloom 50.
Blown Gasket, Popeye, and Gary on his "new" Fuel.
Gobbler is around somewhere, probably doing shots or something.

OK, so it was a good ride to have behind you.   Nothing a couple plates of good hot ziti, cookies, and a few cold ones in the food tent afterwards couldn't put right.

Thank you, Gobbler! 
Leftover hash beer never tasted so good.
And went well with the cookies.

Popeye, being Popeye, suffered not at all.  Even for his first time back on a mountain bike in months.  Even though he had sold his Fuel to Gary and was riding my old Superfly.   Even after the abrupt altercation with a tree stump. 

Good old Popeye.  He sailed straight through the 50 miles as easily as ever.  Not even sore the next day.  Something I wish I could say.  And that's without a single stump jumping out to grab me.

So much for the last few months and my easy new habit of Saturday rides, exploring for interesting local routes.  Not for weekends.  Not anymore.  

Weekend number two with Popeye back on the bike, upped the total miles.  Just by a few.  A few easy.  A few tough.  Well, tough for me, anyway.

Staying in the mountain bike groove on Saturday - a 40 mile up and back, along the river, in a wicked north wind.  Just Popeye and me.  Sailor's rules.  Upwind first. 

Grinding upwind for a cold, clear, blustery 20 miles. Turn around at the firehouse.  Then hurry up and blow home before the wind decides to change.  Whew, that worked out.

Averaging 14.8  for 40 miles on mtn bikes is nothing for Popeye, of course.  I admit to taking to the couch  to thaw out with a book for a couple hours after we got home.

Sunday was more relaxed.  A lazy loop of the lovely Econ, with Dallas, Tom, and Amy - friends we haven't seen in forever.  Quite the reminder how much I have missed them.  And how much I have missed the good old Econ.

Amy, aka Northstar.
She always knows precisely where she is,
no matter how convoluted the trail.

Ok, not a bad start for getting back an old habit. 

But if it really takes 66 days of repetition to make a true habit, clearly one must keep up the pattern for a lot longer than two weeks before it is set. 

Next weekend, Blown Gasket said something about being invited to a ride in Ocala - something called the Paisley St. Francis 60 Mile Death Loop. 

Death Loop, you say?  

Darned if I'm not seeing a pattern already.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January in Florida. Keep Calm. Ride On. Carry Kleenex.

Wish I could say I don't remember the last time I had a cold.  Unfortunately, I do remember.  The little niggling of the sore throat on the first day, the hacking cough on the last.  The congestion in between. 

Oh yeah.  This is a cold, all right.  

I haven't had a cold since 2005.  So forgive me for being a big baby about it.  Wah.

It's a Friday afternoon and a neighbor is hoisting sail and heading out the channel.  Meanwhile I sit here with my Kleenex and my cough, deciding whether a short bike ride would kill me. 

And the short answer is - No, it will not.  So I will go.  In a minute, OK?

First, let's talk about that.      

A week ago, a big guy with a little dog tried to lure away the ten year old neighbor girl.  Although attracted by the dog, the girl thought better of getting near the guy, and ran for it.  Well done, kid.  And no fear.  Back outside playing the next day, I see.  Good for you.

Yeah, it sucks to be stuck in the house - for any reason.  

So yesterday, even though it was dim and gloomy, I took my snuffly nose out for a nice, easy walk up to the beach.   

Not much happening up there.  A few cars on A1A.  Seagulls. And one middle aged guy crouched down over something on the sidewalk by the bike rack.  When he saw me looking at him, he shoved whatever it was into his bag and jumped up.  

At first he tried pretending he was mute by grunting and signing.  Then suddenly he changed tactics and wouldn't shut up.  Neither approach made sense - except that it was a rainy, gloomy day and the beach park was completely deserted.  It was just him and me.  There was no doubt about getting my attention. 

So I have this weirdo sidling up to me, suddenly asking irrational questions in rapid fire:  "Do you know what time it is?  Do you know Jim, the county commissioner?  Are you an American?"  

A weird guy.  The deserted surroundings.  Or maybe having a cold and not much fight or flight in my system.  Sometimes you just don't feel like dealing with a nutcase.  

Damn it.  No beach for me today. 

Into back-pedal mode. 

I turned on my heel to go back the way I came, away from the beach and toward civilization. 

I keep walking.  He keeps talking.  

I hesitated a few seconds at the curb before crossing A1A, then stepped out to cross.  He was alongside quickly and stepped out to cross along with me.  

So, I took another step - backwards.  Then stood and watched, as he kept going. 

I don't think he realized he had been faked out until he reached the other side.  He turned around and stood glaring back at me from across the A1A traffic.  

There were plenty of cars, so I'd bought myself a little time.  Hooray for the cell phone.  I got mine out and made a show of taking his picture.  That was really all it took.  He turned tail and took off into the old base housing.    

The picture I got was actually crappy.
But he didn't need to know that.

Well OK.   He seemed gone all right.  But just the same, unwilling to take a chance that the pursuit might resume, I walked the long way home - out of Kleenex, and a little resentful by the time I got there.  Stupid cold.  Stupid weirdo.  

This week, on the Tuesday night ride, we could hear the sirens from the fire station as we got down toward Malabar Road.  It's not that uncommon.  Except you expect to hear the sirens getting more and more distant as the trucks take off for where-ever the emergency might be.  The big surprise was running straight into fire engines heading into the scrub just as we came out of the trailhead.  Whoa! 

Not just that, but the driver stopped the truck, rolled down the window, and yelled, "Where is it?  Two thirds of the way down, you said?"  

Uh well, since we didn't report the fire, we weren't much help. 

But of course we were unable to resist, and we followed the trucks, cruising slowly in the dark, all the way to the end of the pavement, looking for signs of a fire.  My nose wasn't much good, but Semi sniffed the air.  Nope.  No smoke.  Just diesel.

False alarm.  But Somebody called it in.  Somebody wanted the excitement of fire trucks, flashing lights, and sirens.  Somebody on our trails.  In the dark.  Probably hiding in the brush to watch. 

This time the show is modest.  Two fire trucks and five mountain bikes.  Next time... a real fire?  

I just hope my nose is back in working order by next week.

OK, so yeah.  This is Florida.  

Where crazy people are common.  And the common cold is not.    

It's up to sixty, sunny January degrees.  As good as it's going to get today.  So, will a short bike ride kill me?   

No.  No, it will not. 

Well, probably not. 

At least, with three crazies already chalked up for this week, the odds are in my favor.  I probably won't need to come home the long way today. 

Just the same, I'm taking extra Kleenex. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Goodbye Lady Liberte

Uh oh. They are here...  I'll be right back.


I made a gin and tonic first, and I'm back. Sara and David were here and they just departed our dock as the new owners of Lady Liberte.

Why is the boat like a living thing to me? It's like I sold off a family pet.   And maybe not to a good home, either.  I'm not even sure they are really sailors.   But it doesn't matter.  They will be. If nothing else, a Catalina 22 will teach you to sail.  It sure lets you know the instant you make a mistake.  Which, as long as you live through it, is the perfect teaching device.

So. The dock is empty. And I'm drinking a gin and tonic.  So there. I have no idea why anyone ever said selling a boat is the other happiest day of your life. Never been true for me. I could still cry that we turned poor, beautiful Quest over to that idiot who sank her at the Peace and Plenty.

So anyway, a goodbye toast to Lady Liberte! And to all the boats that have gone before her. And hopefully soon, a hello toast to the next and future family member.

 An empty dock just means there's something new to look forward to, right?


Goodbye, Lady Liberte.