When I come to the end of my journey,
And all efforts at saving me fail,
All I ask is that they roll my gurney
One last time down the old Ojai trail.
But in case they ignore my last wishes,
And my ashes just sit on the shelf,
Or get fed to the crabs and the fishes,
I will ride it once more for myself.
* * * * * * * *
Coming down from the top, it's a WHEE! tour,
From the club at the far eastern end.
Libbey Park is the first little detour,
And we'll cruise through, enjoying each bend.
Here the trail runs just south of the city,
And the highway's almost out of sight,
So we'll roll along humming a ditty
While the cross traffic's low and polite.
For a mile to the west we'll keep climbing,
To the junction to cross Thirty-Three;
I always catch the light (awful timing?),
Then turn left and head down to the sea.
For about twelve more miles now, the highway
Comes and goes on the left off the trail,
Some cross traffic near lights mars this byway,
But it's mostly a very swift sail.
Near the top here the grade is quite shallow,
But we'll still roll along pretty fast,
Past some houses and fields that lie fallow;
Later on the descent's quite a blast!
There's a parallel trail made for horses;
There are skaters and walkers besides.
Some fast roadies take different courses,
But it's one of our best local rides.
One short section is just like an arbor,
Where we'll ride through a tunnel of trees,
And we might catch a glimpse of the harbor
If the clouds are chased off by a breeze.
As we roll down the slope past Casitas,
We'll dip down through a wye in the streets;
Cross both roads much like playful young cheetahs,
Up and then we'll just follow our cleats.
As my trike rolls along by the river
There's a ridge on the left, lots of brush,
As the speeds starts to build, my hands quiver,
Thirty-five MPH is a rush!
This is my very favorite section
Where we'll fly over smooth open trails;
I'm amazed at the utter perfection
Of this path that's like riding on rails.
Low and fast now my trike will be flying
Past wide vistas I just barely see
At a pace some might call death defying;
I'll admit it's exciting for me.
Barely pedaling now, we'll keep speeding,
Down a ridge, past a park, to a creek,
Where the trail dips to cross, we're proceeding
With some caution, plus braking technique.
Then climb out and back up and keep dropping -
Lotsa miles before this wild ride ends –
One last slope to a park where we're stopping
For a break to regroup with our friends.
For the rest of the way now it's flatter
And the trail here's more recently done
Through old oil fields with pipes all a-scatter
And some artworks they've 'marked' just for fun.
We will carefully cross Shell and Stanley,
As the freeway roars by on the right,
Past a school and a skatepark where manly
Teenaged boys take their boards up in flight.
Then the bike path is missing a section,
And we'll ride a few blocks on the street.
But we'll very soon reach the connection
Where more trails make this journey complete.
We can ride to the beach by the river
Till we come to the surf and the sand,
Where a cool ocean breeze makes us shiver
While caressing this beautiful strand.
Then turn left to see surfers and swimmers
As we ride past the pier and hotel;
Palm trees sway and the deep water shimmers,
As the surf roars and waves dip and swell.
Or on Main Street we may just keep going,
To the bike path and smoothly ascend
Up a rise where that soft breeze is blowing,
And the path swiftly comes to an end.
We could ride up to Carpinteria
If we dash down that small coastal bluff,
But today that's just not the idea,
And the climb back to Ojai's enough.
* * * * * * * *
So if you're on this trail one Spring morning
And a strange tadpole trike should appear
All in translucent white with no warning,
Flying fast in a very tall gear...
With a rider so eerie you're doubting
Someone living could be quite so pale,
It might be my old ghost on an outing –
One last blast down that fast Ojai trail.
Don't feel frightened or clammy or fearful;
As it rushes toward you, be brave.
If it's me, though I'm dead I'll be cheerful;
Simply smile, nod your head or just wave.
Last updated Oct 5 2005