6.15.2008

the banjo made me think...

jacquie phelan is on tour!
well... she is touring
which means she is on tour!
jacquiephelan.wordpress.com

the banjo made me wonder if I had posted about the harmonica on my dawn lap...

last weekend... not this weekend past but the weekend prior I raced in the 24 Hours of Big Bear
on my third lap I had the pleasure of racing as dawn approached
the bird activity was amazing... although it was all sound and not sight
the lap started in the dark but the sun was rising somewhere in the distance as the miles rolled past
the morning light was visible through the trees
but the trails still required the assistance of my HID Headlamp
as I rode through the oddly symmetrical pine forest I heard a clear and crisp sounds of a harmonica
as I worked the bmx style berm turns I listened to the distinct melody
it was Dixie...
with only a second to glance I passed a man standing on the trail side hands holding a harmonica over his mouth with a guitar strapped to his back
I am not sure if he was wearing Civil War garb
the music faded as I rode further into the distance
the song fueled me as it was such a unique experience to occur at this time of day so remote in the woods
this occurrence could not happen without giving memory to a very similar experience some years back

roughly a decade ago at the Granny Gear 24 Hours of Canaan I was on my morning lap
very similar circumstances in that it was a similar time of the day, similar point in race rotation, and roughly similar stage in the course
I was riding a technical downhill on my rigid Bianchi Grizzly
my memory is faded
I can not recall if I was riding with toe straps of clipless pedals
front shocks and clipless pedals where technology of the times
but I had not quite had a coming of age

as I worked this very technical rock garden I crashed
as I tried to right myself I took notice of a man cross cutting the hill off trail
going straight up the mountain side dragging his bicycle behind him
the man looked familiar with his large bushy mustache
I greeted him and asked if he was the man who had joined the band with his trumpet the night prior
he said he was... but that it was a bugle and not a trumpet
he then pulled this brass instrument from his pack

with the bugle to his lips and my body back on the bike I put my feet on my pedals and tried to start up in the middle of this technical section of trail
one push of the cranks and a note from the bugle and I was off the bike and on the ground again
before I could try and right myself the mustache wearing musician asked... are you going to ride? I do not play for free
the challenge invigorated me
then the song started
it was morning and he was playing Revelry

the cranks turned and my momentum increased
the song played through the trees around me
the music chased me until I was out of ear shot and within view of the transition area

I remember talking years later about that race
others had heard the bugler
but no one else got to hear the song so close to the stage
that song was the soundtrack to the moment


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