Blowin’ Out the Carbon

Many years ago, I owned at 1957 Ford Skyliner. It was a sweet ride from the era of big automotive iron.  Like most carbureted cars  of that era, after it had been sitting for a few days, and the excess gasoline had come to rest in the cylinders, it would build up a bit of carbon that would impede performance.  The fix was to take it out for a high speed spin on the highway (usually very late at night) to help clean the accumlulation of carbon off the pistons and valves. After a few miles, you could feel the engine start to run more smoothly.

I’ve found the same works for me. This last week at Adobe was a blur of board and committee meetings, presentations, introductions to employees and much, too much, time sitting at my desk.  Layer on to that a multitude of family obligations and the death of a very dear uncle and it made for a long, exhausting week.

Needing to cleanse the accumulation of stresses from my mind and body, I chose a twenty mile mountain bike ride in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Fall in Northern California is magical. As I barreled down single track and dirt fire roads, rust colored leaves rolled ahead of my front wheel like a breaking wave. The scent of bay leaves, valley oaks and an occasional wood fire from an unseen cabin filled the air. Riding at speed through the forest, the colors of the oaks, toyons, madrones and manzanitas blurred in the periphery presenting rippling shades of green and gray.

When I finally came to rest, with the steam rising from my face in the cool, crisp autumn air, I felt cleansed, almost euphoric.

I’m running much better now.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Blowin’ Out the Carbon

  1. Good for you, Mike! Way to take care of yourself. Think of you and the ride across the U.S. often – what a special time for all that was! X O Irene

  2. carolyn randall

    that was great. Dick and I both enjoyed it. Keep running clean and smooth. Have a great week.

  3. Terry Schmid

    Funny how your mountain biking experiences never seem to jibe with mine.

  4. Rick

    Regarding the ride photo, I thought we discussed this after the last camera (and camera-man) ended up sideways on the trail.

  5. Polish Super Hero

    With all the carbon out of your system, you should run very lean at the SBC…please wait for me at the top.

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