Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Jim & Frank - '61 Club' Founders
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
Big Bear News
Jim & Frank, the sole-surviving members of the '61 CLUB' FASHIONISTAS, hit the trail together for the first time this morning ("There might've been other potential members but I guess they all died before we could find 'em", Jim said). The dynamic duo made quick work of their 10 mile round trip, from Earth Home Garden to the west end of the Alpine Pedal Path, and back, even extending their ride to include the .6 mile segment of bike path between the Cougar Crest hiking trail and the Big Bear Discovery Center.
Frank, on his vintage "original condition" 1960s road bike ("I believe those are even the factory installed tires & brakes", Jim said), was a bit rusty on the winding two-wheel circuit, but still managed to narrowly escape serious injury, and a nasty rear-end collision with Jim, by using his quick wit & lightning fast braking, as Jim unexpectedly slowed to make a right turn into the Stanfield Marsh Wildlife Preserve (Jim said, "I told him I'd be turning in at the first boardwalk but apparently he didn't know where that was").
Jim heard panicky un-deleted expletives spewing from behind him, and then some serious skidding, so he powered into his turn to help avoid calamity, thus a probable tragedy was averted by mere fractions of an inch.
Once Frank re-mounted, the rest of the ride was relatively uneventful, except for one other minor incident a couple of miles later. Heading onto the first wooden bridge along the Alpine Pedal Path, Frank had a close encounter (a little too close) with a very understanding young woman. It seems that Frank slowed a bit too much for the turn, losing his balance and bumping left shoulders with the girl walking in the opposite direction. Well, once more, Frank became dismounted, but again, no injuries were sustained by either party, both of whom seemed quite relieved with that outcome. (Jim said, "That's a heck of a way to meet women Frank!").
The boys did seem to cheer up the natives they encountered along the ride though. Frank, gears clanking and tires bulging, on his rickety relic, and Jim, beard streaming in the breeze, from his old-school army-green '90s era jeep-like Diamondback Topanga, with black rims and months worth of cobwebs tangled in the spokes (Jim said, "I ride all the time, unless there's ice or snow on the ground, but I rarely ever clean off those cobwebs, 'cause you never know, someone might be livin' in there!").
Two old coots, 61 and still stylin', Ol' Frank & Jim, with their thrift store fashion, short shorts, spindly legs, and don't give a damned attitudes. Frank still has all his hair, and Jim still has most of his teeth ("Most of the hair I have left is on my chin", Jim said, "so it's comforting for me to get up in the morning and comb my face, and I'm wondering, because of his scarcity of teeth, if Frank finds comfort in brushing that full head of hair, instead of those missing choppers?").
Formerly an avid cyclist, this was Frank's first ride, of any consequence, for several years (and, fortunately, the consequences weren't any worse), so Jim's hoping they can start riding together a couple of times a week.
Frank lost his dear wife of 37 years just a few months ago and their ride today seemed to lift his spirits a bit ("Even with those couple of mishaps.", Jim said). And it was obvious that Jim had a good time enjoying the silliness of their combined eccentricities.
Once it warmed up a bit, Frank took off his jersey and seemed to get up some wind, even passing Jim once on the bike path, where Jim could then see the back of Franks t-shirt, which read, "Growing Old Disgracefully", and Jim had to laugh out loud!
"Frank has a lot of shirts like that...
...it's why he's my fashion consultant."
Here's to ya Frank!!!
See you next Tuesday Buddy

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Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Great socks, Jim!

What can I say....they really make the outfit.


6:35 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

Growing old disgracefully? I think I now know what Chive's getting for his next birthday -

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you two had a great time! Love the socks, Jim.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Mysti said...

I must agree with Tim. The socks complete the gear! =) What a great write up. I laughed outloud! Here's to many more wonderful rides for you and Frank.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi jim, my name is heather and i have long lurked here, i think i've made most of your recipes! i love your native gardens and car free life style. you and peggy very much inspire this 30 something east coast girl and her family greatly.

i was looking to privately email you (but couldn't see a way) about something that i'd like to share with as many folks as i think may be interested. please check out the links i've added if you are so inclined. the first is to a website that i launched today,i think you'll find it of interest. the second is for today's entry on my blog. it'll explain a little more about me, what it is i'm up to, and why i'm reaching out to anyone and everyone that i think may be supportive. you may need to copy and paste the links. thank you kindly jim and peggy. many blessings, heather
ps... great socks!



2:16 PM  
Blogger Lené Gary said...

I haven't laughed this hard in a while, Jim. What an entertaining trip (and post!). My regards to Frank. He's lucky to have you. Hope you're doing well.

6:44 AM  
Blogger roger said...

you youngsters are a grand sight. nice outfits indeed. i want one of those tee shirts.

nice of you to take your spiders out for a ride and a chance at a snack.

7:19 AM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

well i think me and my spiders could probably keep up with you. I often stop to look at the scenery so you might have to wait up some

11:08 AM  

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