I’ve always been a big fan of throwing rocks at things. It’s a simple pleasure—take a small rock and throw it at something big, like a street sign or pine cone or maybe even a bigger rock on the other side of the trail…the possibilities are endless and I’ve used the fine art of throwing rocks at things to entertain myself and other bikers while taking breaks on long rides. It passes the time and introduces an element of competition to the otherwise lame “break session” of a bike ride.
I took the fine art of throwing rocks at things to the next level on a recent road ride by bringing a slingshot. If you haven’t handled a slingshot since you were a kid, drop what you’re doing right now and buy one. The minute you take aim and let a rock or acorn fly through the “goal posts” you’ll be transported back to your youth. To a time when your back never hurt and you collected baseball cards and spent most of your free time riding your bike around the neighborhood looking for targets to hit with your slingshot that might cause a mild explosion but wouldn’t get you in much trouble.
The ride itself was great. We chose a long, somewhat brutal gravel climb up to the edge of the Parkway and then a meandering downhill past million dollar homes and the occasional black bear to get cocktails at The Grove Park Inn. We drank on the patio overlooking downtown and surrounding mountains. It was incredibly fancy.
But easily the best part of the ride was the break we took at the top of the climb where we emptied a few beer cans and used them as targets. First, we set the cans on a set of stairs, but soon we were throwing the cans in the air and yelling “Pull!” like skeet shooters. It’s incredibly hard to hit a flying beer can with a slingshot—at least for amateurs like us. But for a few minutes, my back didn’t hurt. And we didn’t break any windows and nobody got in trouble. So, all said, that’s a pretty good Whiskey Wednesday.