Saturday, February 7, 2015

Three Sources of Water

One you know...

Plan around three sources for water: one you carry, one you know, one that you seek and find. Each will serve you, and save you, in different ways.

The one you carry is always the one to think of first. It seems the most sensible and most important at first, but once you realize how fast you consume it versus how little you can carry on your back or on your bike, it fades in importance. Yes, when moving from place to place, the water you carry is most convenient and ready at hand, but when moving for any length of time, in anything like the desert where I live, the other two will increase greatly in significance. Because in as little as an hour, you will run out of the one you carry.

The African Daisies are popping. One of my favorite sights in one of my favorite seasons.

The one you know can be the nicest. Some rides, I don't carry any water, and rely on the sources I know. In the photo at the top you will notice no water bottle. The 1973 Interex Rebel Contender had no water cage bosses in the frame, and the makeshift clip-on cage just irritates me. I've got a set of ten to twenty mile workout routes where I know the water stops, so most times on those rides I don't carry water. Even in the summer, I have primary and backup sources in mind, and on those familiar routes it works out. I wrote here about how the metal thieves stole one of the frequently used sources in question, but on that ride I had a backup in mind and it was intact. 

You don't plan on metal thieves stealing water fountains, though, and it's always the unplanned risk that upsets the monkey barrel. The source you know is no good if what you thought you know turns out to be incorrect when reality storms in and changes things up. Which it frequently does. You can count on that.

Tree flowers starting to go crazy, too

That leaves the source you seek and find. Sometimes when that's in the plans, carrying a filter and/or purification pills (iodine) or drops (chlorine) comes into play. I had a Sweetwater cartridge pump filter for backpacking that I used a few times, but we live in high-tech times, and now the wayward wanderer can carry a Lifestraw, or even better, a Sawyer filter, and be prepared.

Already gone through at least one dandelion cycle

Such a great day for a bike ride in Phoenix. Many people out in the sunshine, many couples riding cruisers basking in the glory of the afternoon. Then there's me, blasting through the day on my fixie, repeating to myself, the one you carry, the one you know, the one you seek and find. Hey it's a baiku:

Water you carry
Water that you seek and find
Water that you know

As I planned to write this and as I was finishing my ride, I saw a dude washing his car. Picture me whirling around and telling him to spray me. Wait which one is that? I wasn't carrying it, I wasn't seeking it, I didn't know him or that he would be washing his car. That was water of opportunity, water of fortune, water of a universe that sometimes smiles upon me. Rain from heaven. Silence and stillness in the moment of splashing.

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