Saturday, September 29, 2007


Lucerne Valley - Sept. '07 - Part One

The first D.O.M. ride of the ’07-’08 season has come and gone now, and it’s time for me to share this experience with you. Way before the ride schedule was announced I knew there would be a conflict with Nina’s cheer leading schedule. I just didn’t know how much the schedules would conflict with each other.

Laura knows how important riding is to me and how much I enjoy going out to a D.O.M. club ride. She told me to miss Nina’s game, even before we knew when the game would be played or who the opponent would be. It’s actually more important to me to do things as a family. I want to be there for Nina’s game, and I want Laura, Brady and Nina with me at every ride.

So even with Laura’s permission to go to the ride alone (or with Brady if he wanted to), I didn’t want to. I tried to find a way to do both the D.O.M. ride and the cheer Dad thing. Well I did find a way, but it required more driving than what I would normally do. My original plan was to take our trailer out to the desert on Friday morning (9-21-07) right after Laura left for work, and after I took Nina to daycare. My drive would really not be that far, as this destination was Lucerne Valley – the closest locale that our club camps at. An advantage is that leaving early in the morning (around 8:00 a.m.) there would be little traffic in the direction I would be heading. Most of the traffic at that hour would be coming in from the Inland Empire (a.k.a. “the 909”) into L.A.

I figured I would be in camp at about 11:00 a.m., unload everything, ride my quad with the guys that I already knew were going to be there, and drink a few beers (of course). I would then spend Friday night there, get up Saturday morning and drive back in to Orange County to attend Nina’s game. I would then take Laura, Brady and Nina back with me to the desert and be back by the time the club had their potluck on Saturday night. We would then go on family rides Sunday morning before packing up and returning home.

Well so much for my plans. The first change came about when we found out the annual flag football / cheer parent social was scheduled for Friday night (9-21-07). This is a very fun event to attend especially for Laura. Last year it happened to be scheduled later in the football season – coincidentally on Laura’s birthday. Click here if you want to read about that evening, which I blogged about. No problem; I’m flexible. I would just come home Friday early enough to shower and change for the social event. Then after the social I would spend the night in my nice comfortable bed at home instead of the cramped and uncomfortable bed in the trailer.

The next change was the event that determined that Laura and Nina would stay at home for the weekend. No, thankfully neither was sick; it was team picture day on Sunday (9-23-07). Now originally, this was scheduled for two weeks prior – Sept. 9th. But unfortunately the photographer got into an accident and couldn’t take team pictures that weekend. Team pictures is a must attend event for all football players, cheerleaders, and coaches. So now my plans changed to just me and Brady leaving right after Nina’s game was over on Saturday.

Here’s what actually happened: I didn’t do anything to prepare for the ride until Friday morning. Well, other than charging the trailer battery and chilling the refrigerator (both are done simultaneously by plugging an extension cord in to the trailer that’s connected to the house). I still had to pack my food, clothes and equipment into the trailer, which had to be filled with water and also hooked up to the truck, which first had to be gassed up, aired up, and loaded with fire wood. There was also some last minute cleaning that had to be done. This takes hours. You see, I got lazy after the club’s Annual ride back on Memorial Day Weekend, and never finished cleaning the trailer.

So I didn’t leave for the desert until 11:30 a.m. I actually made very good time, and miraculously didn’t have a blow out on my trailer! I was in the D.O.M. camp at 2:00 p.m. Not enough time to ride, but plenty of time to disconnect the trailer from the truck and have a couple of beers while briefly visiting with the few members who were there at the time. That included King Dan, Jack Murray Sr., and my dear friends Terry, Robin and their beautiful daughter Ellie. I high-tailed it out of there by 3:30 p.m., passed all the traffic leaving L.A. for the desert and beyond (Las Vegas), and was home by 5:30 p.m.

So I cleaned up and went to the social with Laura. We ate, drank, and were merry. We won a raffle prize, and otherwise had a very good time. The next morning Laura, Nina and I went to the football game where Nina cheered her heart out. Did I mention it was a home game? That’s good news in that I wouldn’t have to travel from somewhere else back home first only to leave for the desert right away. Unfortunately it was a 12:30 p.m. game – the latest a flag football game is played. Did I mention the start time was delayed by the earlier game running long? Oh yeah, it seems that if the first game in the morning doesn’t start on time for whatever reason, or if there’s a delay in that game or the second game; the last game starts late. Can you guess what happened? That’s right! Our 12:30 p.m. game started at 1:15 p.m. Two hours (and several touchdowns) later, I was done and able to leave for the desert.

I was able, willing and impatiently waiting to leave. Did I mention Brady would not be joining me after all? Back in late August when we attended the barbecue held by our dear friends Butch and Patti (which I blogged about here), Brady found out that his friend Joey wouldn’t be attending the first D.O.M. ride. A couple of weeks before the ride, Brady also found out that one of his friends whom he enjoys hanging around with would not be attending this ride either. I won’t embarrass her by naming her. With these two key people not attending, Brady didn’t want to attend. Brady doesn’t share the love I do for riding quads. My opinion is: I don’t care who shows or who doesn’t show to the D.O.M. ride; I’m going to ride my quad and visit with whomever shows up. Most of these people I maybe see once a month between September and May.

So for this first ride of the D.O.M. season, it was just me. Alone. All by myself. Can you detect the disappointment in my words? My story continues in the next post.


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