In accordance with the new “ride first” maxim, the four intrepids (Ellsmore, EBMB, SA, and my scrappy self) embark on the “Superfund Loop.” Departing from Chez Snipper, we head downtown via the “Couchie” and the Front Ave. Freezeout, a lovely sprawl of urban industrialism and heavy machinery. Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the gas tanks. Ruts as wide as elephant bones and rails lifted and bent from heavy freight make for a dicey ride. Double-trailers get plenty close on HWY 30 and the climb up to the foot of the Sr. John’s Bridge is stiff work for old legs. The reward comes on like a dream, however, as we gaze out from the bridge under late sunlight. So quick to the bridge with the old familiar overlook now ahead of us. Nice and easy along the ridge as the dusk mixes in a slight chill. Mississippi and New Portland on display on the the front Crow stoop, with Kong already Arrogantly Bastardizing as we arrive. We choose IRA Red for a crisp cap to the 15 miles just rolled. We were always going to Hal’s after, but who knew it would be this quick. Wth the table free, we get right to work. An rare off night for the Snipper gives us lowlies a chance, and I leave with positive marks for the first time in ages. SA extends from there, putting together a stellar 8-1 night. Kong keeps playing chicken with the steamroller and goes from flat to flatter. We’ll have to wait and see if this marks a sea change in the competition, but, at least for me, there is liberty in the superfund sludge.