Next Full Moon

Saturday, December 6th Full COLD Moon

11 December 2014

I don't like ______, oh no. I love it.

Oh yeah.

1940s monster movie night scene

That one guy (the one who showed) and I slept outside on our local celebration of the full moon. It was cool, except that so and so crashed  and banged his shoulder on the Earth. If it's not obvious: riding with no lights and crashing are potential best friends. To quote Professor Griff, "consider yourselves...warned." We were pretty far in the bag at that point, as well as pretty far into the local trail system, so the logical course of action was to crack another beer and see how it went. His shoulder felt better after (imagine!) so on we rolled, concentrating on trucking right.


Morning arrived, as it will, and the shoulder pain with it. Being resourceful fellows, we rode out of the woods and over to the donut shop for extraction. On the way, we passed several of the local PRO hobos, and it was amusing to witness their reactions to our amateur/heavily-funded camping via bicycle steez. We were definitely noticed, and in a manner that smacked of peer review. Overall, I felt accepted; judgments were mild. We are all alive in this moment, and if some of us woke up in the woods as a matter of choice and others of us emerged from our tents behind the Staples in Cside(!) as a matter of circumstance, well there are parallels.

At home, after my foray into the local scene, I repacked my gear for the coming safari. That is to say, I filled a backpack with food for 2 nights/3 days of climbing up steeps in Henry Coe.


The overnight gear remained in place. I have referenced before the terrible unfairness of having to pack "everything" for just an overnight; how it is all too much. Weather conditions being the same, the only extras for multi-day trips are (more) food, water filter*, and perhaps more repairs stuff (ex. a spare tyre (not kidding))?!? I can't shake this irrational sense that the load on the bike should reflect the length of time out on tour. It's a problem with which I wrassle. So, and then the front end was all rackless (as you know) and all bagful. I have made adjustments to the lashing-on of the sleeping pad and the drooping/buzzing is eliminated, but I remain unimpressed. That seatbag is all Kelly Kettle (Never carry fuel again! But don't kid yourself- get the large model. You're already carrying the bulk, might as well go all in. TRUST me on this one thing) and flip flops. Yeah buddy, it's December. California...knows how to party.

All strapped up at the watering hole.

For off-road touring, I have been pushing the 29+, front and rear Surly Krampus, with3" Knards on 50mm Rabbit Holes. It's a solid set up for actual trail riding whilst loaded. This bike offers a lot of cushion in general, taking the edge off. The big float allowed me to wheelie drop the flow-stopping gap on Pacheco Creek Trail (so nice...) which  certainly would have remained a stifler for me on standard wheels, and allowed for some easy planing across washes floored with baby heads. I have considered the various merits of the Krampus vs. The ECR, and my kung fu is best practiced aboard a rally matchine.  Surly does offer a Krampus fork with more braze-ons, so my magic 8 ball says "signs point to yes" when asked if this is in my future...I can have my rack and you can eat it, too.

_odd's rig. 

My partner has his own "system". This go round, he front-loaded. Loss of traction while climbing was one result. We laugh at ourselves for doing this stuff with fair regularity and yet shifting our set-ups around so much. You'd think we would get good at this. Someday. Someday my set-up will be perfect.

Black Cat Bicycles custom front rack is pretty dialed, though...

One thing _odd has down pat is his snacks. I am so jealous when he pulls out the mango chutney?!? But then I forget all about it, and when packing my own foods I blow it. There is (usually- ask me about the powder sandwiches) enough, but it lacks pizzazz. My planning thus far has always been by meal. So I have a breakfasts bag, a lunches bag, and a dinners bag. Snacks are in they own bag, which is easily accessed. I was super hungry this trip. Noticeably. Maybe it was the cold, but I'm a change up my food prep. I think I'll pack by day. Seems like I will be more mindful looking at the day's worth of food rather than a big mash-up of breakfasts and another of lunches, etc. We will see.

Pssst. There is a whiskey stash at Drunkards' Knee (or Boozers' Roost, if you prefer).

Bring tools, do trail work.

I even have it written on my notebook, but do I remember it? Sometimes. So far, never for Coe, as I'm always flipping out about how to pack the seemingly mountainous pile of crap I end up with in order to just be able to swing being out there at all.

Well, Yes and Finally! _odd brought a pull saw. It's not much, but it does a lot. More than that, it creates a mindset such that stopping to deal with snags/blow-downs/etc becomes "what you do." We put in some pretty OK work. The trails we rode are the better for us having been there.

My new/current totem? A long-ass detour to a large bald eagle.

*the Platypus in-line filter is a neat tool. It is SO much nicer to fill a bag and trill rather than hunch waterside and madly flail away with a pump filter. Really. The "dirty" reservoir has it's outtake valve set about 20mm up from the bottom so particulate will settle below, and not clog the filter. Smart. Plus, you can forgo carrying extra bladders and use the "dirty" and "clean" required for filtering as your storage. Though I prefer the durability of a cordura sided MSR bladder, it is a feature worth noting.

05 December 2014

if you were from where I'm from then you would know

Party over here on the West side.

#Iamthepublicworksdepartment. If it's relevant to bicycles. I work out.

Big boys don't cry. Even faced with some rainy inconvenience, Big Boys adjust their layers and keep pedaling. The heavy stuff isn't coming down for a while. Going to work=riding. My mood, when I arrive at the jay oh bee is much improved by riding as opposed to driving. MUCH IMPROVED. Put on yer plastic and charge it.


I see the upturned 'shrooms tossed off the side of the trail. I know what that signifies.MotherFUCKERS . It signifies jackasses are out here in my home trial system IDing/falseIDing some, and tossing others cuz they are indicators. They reckon if I can't see any _______s (plentiful and poisonous) I won't think to look for ________s (fat, tasty, and healthy!) because they like the same conditions...and they cover up they pits to hide they tracks?!? Attempt to. I see this all as I hot and bother my way up the climb, getting to work.

I am in danger of being late(r) to work. So I skip that one section of trail in favor of pave quickness, and I see the first pair of the day trippers hunching along with their bags. Then I spy the unmistakable bright honey brown from the corner of my eye and grab the brakes. I've dropped the bike and am striding into the trees before I'm thinking- that familiar and dear splash of color has triggered the fever.


I am gripped. Several plump and hard little piggies reveal themselves to me. I have a knife, and I have a musette. I slice the 'shroom to leave the mycelium as undisturbed as possible. I tap out the (very)few bugs present and try to loosen some spores in the locale. Then I cover the hole. Hell yes, I play this game. Are you kidding me? Porcinis (Boletus edulis) are fucking delicious. Like a fatty distillation of the forest floor. If you know, then you know.


Plus, with the drought we been having...last year I saw zero (0) total. The year before, only 2. It is some much delayed and well-anticipated hoot out loud type Goodness. For reals.

The woods are full of kooks. I am late. I text my dudes and tell them what they already know and lie about how soon I'll show. My bike ride has shifted gears of it's own accord. I am incapable of speed. To be quick is to miss possible treasure. It is exquisite.


03 December 2014

messages of friendship

It's worth sitting thru the ad.

Hey people reading this: Drunk Cyclist invited me aboard. Since I respect their mission so deeply I am trying to pitch in on a party over there when I have something relevant to share. Please go check it out and stuff.

Hearts and flowers,

02 December 2014

to all my neighbours, you got much flavour

This is the Life we chose...we jumped off the block like ready, set, GO!

While my little homies don't call me Brainiac, Reverend Dick is a _______ and it ain't an act. With so much "specialization" (take it how you will) of bikes in this ya time, it is some refreshing Good Times to just get on a bike, any bike, and ride around with no particular place to go. Ask a child if you already didn't know.

One street leads to a trail which leads to...this time it was Point Lobos. Again? Because we live near it, it is an "easy" choice. It is also a very worthwhile choice. There is a lot to check out over there, even if they won't allow riding the trails in the park (lame!). There are some short, little-but-worthwhile trails along the shore leading to the highway section they are free to rally whenever, and those are what we took to get started. Riding HWY1 is no joke. So much so, I won't let the boys loose to make the trip unsupervised. When they are older and paying smart attention to traffic, I hope they are still interested in going. Because that is when I will allow it.

We rode in and the fellas wanted to keep heading West, so we wandered on over to the trailhead for Cypress Grove Trail, where the grouchy docent ("to all the bitches who think they bootylicious...") told the boys they couldn't climb trees on account of "it's a reserve". That's one way to dampen kids' enthusiasm for the out of doors. Shaking off the heavy school marm vibe, we rolled over to some other spots and checked out the Pacific Ocean and how wet it is, and how far out you can throw rocks into it, and how there's crabs in tide pools next to it, and etc.

 Bike punks with their bike pile.

It's plain to see. You can't change me. Cuz I'm a be connected to Life.

29 November 2014

temporarily present

One of the nicer idears about riding is the feelings it gives you all over. If you're having negatively oriented feelings, a local bike ride can be the catalyst for a reaction of feelings resultant in way more positive end state. You can quote me on that.

I mean a less local/more further afield type of bike ride will be more effective, but your local will work.

So, just be thankful...for what you got.

So, hey. Next Saturday is the 6th, and that's the Full Cold Moon. Dig in the scene with a little local sleepout in the woods that night? Alright, alright, alright.

25 November 2014

buying speed

On the other hand, I love stuff. Some stuff. Stuff that I love.

That category includes, but is not limited to: the delicate harmonies of the Louvin Brothers, DOING things that are fun (versus talking about same), the feel of the clunky while smoooooooth shifting Shimano Deore SL-M700 thumbshifters (I won't lie- the incongruity of these when paired with shiny modern componentry is a visual delight for me), the manageable heft and tradition of a 3' crosscut saw (with the add-on peg style handle for better 1 man use or real hott 2 person action), and these 29+ tyres are pretty fun.

So. Stuff and talk. I recently "finished" the Krampus build. I'd had the 29+ set up offset on the Pugsley as a trial and liked it waaaaaaaaay better for actual riding. The 4" fat tryes are just so piggy, it makes getting to trail heads not worth it. I do love them for the chunky trail stuff, but that's not everyday, people. And I've been riding the 29+ front wheel (with the dyno hub, because only a ashhole goes on adventures without a dependable light) to good effect with it jammed up in the Ogre fork. I'm pleased with the bike. It's fun. It floats pretty good.

The other day, I tried out the Revelate Designs harness I had gotten and never gotten around to slinging. One of the finer points of a small overnight is the opportunity it affords for virtually consequence-free gear trials. I was drawn to the harness because it seemed like (a good idea at the time) a practical way to lose the weight of the front rack for some hott off-road action.

the new:

2nd thoughts were thunk while rigging. I found myself looking over at the Ogre (yes, they's a lot of Surlys up in here...they work great and my builder has a back log) and thinking "I could just lash all this crap onto the front rack and hit the road", but I reckoned the fussing would be worth it and I'd get the hang of rigging this new buckle heavy jobber soon enough, etc.

the old:

I don't love the harness.

I used to could plop down the sleeping bag, the tarp, a ground cloth wrapped around my z-rest (I know, I got to get a smaller pad, but the z-rest is so foolproof, and I have no illusions about my foolishness), and have potential for quite a bit more. With the harness, I could wrap my sleeping bag, jerry-rig on the sleeping pad (all off the front and liable to shifting), and...that's it?!?  I also got the clip-on pocket, which is nice for ez access small stuff, but hardly makes up for the SIGNIFICANT decrease in haulage. And, plus the harness buzzed the tyre because it was "overloaded"?!?! I am finished with trying out this bit of gear, and will now move the rack over to this new adventure machine. Weight be damned. I can fit a case and a half on there, and it won't never hit my tyre.

But, friends, you know even a buzzy front end can't ruin a nighttime sneak over hill and dale through darkened streets and dewy trails. I called in my order to the taqueria because it was getting on to closing by the time I hit Cside(!). The matron there thinks I'm a weirdo for voluntarily sleeping in the woods, and this time she told me to my face. I laugh and cannot argue the point. Then I cross the street to the liquor store to validate it. My vacation is your worst nightmare being a DUI homeless man? 

Trails' end...

with the party all set to go. Sleeping bag beers are the best!

Woke up quick, at about sunrise.

When I got to the place, it was in a shambles. No less than 7 empty beer cans were scattered around, and there were candy wrappers on the ground. In all honesty, it could well have been us, as the last time we rolled through it was pretty far into the evening and details are...fuzzy. I hope it was, because that means the spot is not blown up. It is one of my favorites.

Finally, for all y'all who have been axeing if Satan is real...

Don't kid yourself.

17 November 2014

I've got to be free

Sometimes you need a reminder.

Sometimes you need a reminder. So, hey, queso, some folks wanna talk. They wanna talk about bike gear. They wanna geek out over gear, like what tyres you run, bro? What reeyums? They say they gonna build this with that, but you know what? That's all talk.

SO BORING. Shut up about your 800mm wide dream of future stuff. I don't- no one does- care about your stuff. Shut up about stuff. If you are a rider, you ride. If you are a talker...