... apologies to Marty Robbins
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Twain took us riding out on the paseo.
He'd done his homework, pre-riding the route,
Printing up maps he downloaded from Google,
Chalking the turns with big arrows to boot.

Saturday morning the sun came up early,
Driving off damp coastal fog and the dark.
Kay, Dawn and I drove to Santa Clarita,
Bound for Valencia Heritage Park.

But then that's when I first realized
Just what our leader had planned...
     Bold, brave and daring,
     He grinned at us, sharing
With mild understatement,
The map in his hand.

Twain is honest; he...

Mentioned the fact that there might be confusion;
"There are some turns (maybe fifty or so)
At forks that present you with multiple choices,
Without any hint of the way you should go."

Just for a moment I stood there, with visions
Vivid and livid of previous rides,
Folks who got lost, left behind, separated...
Still we'd have maps, arrows, two backup guides.

Mounting our cycles we got underway,
Rolling where St. Francis Dam
     Caused that disaster...
     We glibly rode faster,
Right where doomed horses and people once swam...

Then we turned and we...

Started the climb to that fateful paseo;
Doom waited for us, but we didn't know...

Up near the top at some colorful switchbacks
I shot some photos of folks who zoomed past.
Two riders didn't show up; they were missing.
Soon we discovered that they weren't the last...

I gave it up and on downhill I rode,
Loving the course as it curved...
     Swooshing and speeding,
     But carefully heeding
Twain's arrows, then suddenly I was unnerved...

At a fork I was...

Forced to call Twain asking him for instructions;
There was no arrow, and I was aware:
Some folks had likely gone other directions –
Meeting a cougar or maybe a bear?

Twice more I rode into forks missing arrows
(Washed off? Abraded by tires or for spite?)
I heard a kid saying, "Here comes another
One of those things!"; I said thanks and turned right.

Then I caught up with the bulk of the group,
Stopped for a much needed 'rest'...
     Both Twain's assistants
     Were lost in the distance,
Plus two other riders; poor Twain was distressed.

But I told him...

"Don't worry, stuff happens, it can't be prevented.
People get lost, stop to pee or get flats.
Some have bad instincts, no sense of direction...
Pete often tells me it's like herding cats."

Finally everyone made it out safely,
Into the park and then on down the track,
Most of us missing that wild roller coaster...
Farewell, paseo, but hey, WE'LL BE BACK!

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Last updated 5/8/2010