Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

31 December 2008

May...




May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young


HAPPY NEW YEAR , y'all.

30 December 2008

BACK

...to the days of yes y'alling. J and I took the trailerbike up into the woods today for a Brown Lunch to remember. Because- I forgot the camera and the spoons and the matches.
Out of practice, I guess. I had thought to bring the firestarter to mess with and that ended up saving us. Well, that and J thinking of using the title page of his Ratatouille book as kindling (15 minutes in and the pine needles weren't catching). Using the firestarter is harder than it might seem, and I wanted to practice in a non-emergency situation. So we had a lentil stew. Sauteed the onions in the woods and added some collard greens, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and spices.

I can't explain why crouching in the woods and cooking lunch next to a bike on a pocket stove while looking to any passersby like a hobo with a stolen child (J always looks his best- today he'd opted to sport a sweater vest) is so satisfying.

But it is.




So we are returned from Colorado, and all well. There was a lot of Goodness packed in.

J liks to "hide" when he sleeps on roadtrips.





That is the lady I married...




Finally, we decided to take Highway 1 back up the coast from Paso Robles instead of the usual/quicker 101. Just South of Deetjen's, we spied this gift:





After all this time. Amazing. (sorry for my poor hand with the camera. you get what you pay for)



Hope all is well with you and yours. It is Good to be home.

12 December 2008

A Very Merry Winter Solstice

to you.
To me?

Me and mine are heading for the high country at this time. Expect no further awesomeness until next year. And remember, it's a celebration, bitches.

RIP Betty Page



I especially lik 0:28- 0:33. See also 3:06-3:40.

RIP Betty. You really could shake it around.

11 December 2008

humps gotten and gotten over?

Due to the screwy conditions all around- the prescribed burn, people's misplaced invitations (I heard K___ invited some gal he's internet friendly with, and then jumped ship...and she and friends of hers may or may not be showing up at) the now closed yellow tanker area, other people's morale, or work ethic....

We may or may not be riding anyway. Obviously, for a number of reasons, parking at the water tanker would not be wise. Call me on my remote control phone or something.



Group rides are the best!

10 December 2008

bring on the night.



the afternoon has gently
passed me by...



Full Cold Moon
you know what to do.

08 December 2008

YO, bumrush the trail!

So yeah, I may or may not have pulled my hamstrings on the Jossholes road ride, last Friday. They go ooh and ahh, when I ride in the for-
est?

Why? Well, because I used someone else's shoes! A little too big. It felt screwy at the time, as my feet were too far forward. Even with the largesse, Coach Burningmanhandler runs his cleats super far back. But, there are times when you must accept your circumstance with grace...and then bitch about it on your personal internet complaint space later, I guess.

What have I been doin about it? Uh...resting my legs. Some tennis ball work. It feels pulled at the origin (ischial tuberosity) and at the medial insertion. Pffft.

Took a ride up in Santa Cruz today with C____ M_________, and C____ B______. I was slooooow, and felt poorly. Trails were niiiiiiiice, seen? Seen.




I must say, this puts me in a unique position to judge C____ B______; having ridden 52miles in his shoes and all.



Poorly or not- there will be a Full Moon Ride for the December 12th's Full Cold Moon. It will be a day early, and run on the 11th, Thursday. It will be damn near full and still cool. The yokels are comin down, so's to push the start back to between 7 and 7:30ish at the usual spot. Look for us to be lurking at the Stairs if you don't see us at the water tanker.

Bring beer.

Oh, there is this, too.

07 December 2008

things that are good


Willie Nelson and Family




Professor Longhair and the Funky Meters




Toots and the Maytals...with Ivan (Jimmy Cliff) making an appearance. From the film The Harder They come





Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello




Steve Earle and Emmy Lou Harris

06 December 2008

down with a sickness

The sickness of needing a new bike.







WANT, WANT, WANT. That Rivendell is hitting me where it hurts.

I may have mentioned before that I loves the mixtes. Well, it is true. And even though I think 650b is a STUPID idea (Ok if you are trying to make a 700c more useable- you know with a real tire, not some 23 booshee- then yeah, I can see it has a place. New bikes built around it? WHY?!? Just more incompatibility. If you have some techy opinion backed up by careful internet research, keep it to your gay forum, ok?)...still, a mixte that would actually fit me? Without some hoopty mile of seat post/stem flexing it ever which way? That will be priced at a reasonable (the Gloriuses are pretty and all, but dang! I can't see paying for one) rate? Well, I'm all knotted up over it.

The new Nigel Smythe bag looks pretty (big) tough, too. Apparently there is also an entirely new line coming down the Rivendell pike as well. Again, ouch! me tender bits. Ain't no drag...

And then, there is this guy, from Sartorialist...


Biting my style. Well, except for the hairs.

05 December 2008

Rollin on 28s

52 road miles with the Jossholes today before work.

There was the usual preambles about how so and so has been off the bike for 4 months (LIE- turns out he's been riding 3 days a week for the last month) and someone other has had the flu for 3 weeks(LIE- who knows what really went on, but judging from PowerTap values shown today, TOTAL LIE. And yes, 4 riders, 3 PowerTaps) Lying liars suckered me into:

1) Frantically spending the AM swapping knobbies for slicks on the road/cross bike. This did not work out so well initially since I had inadvertently mounted the Panaracer Pasela 32s on another bike, and the 35s won't fit...so I was left with 28s. Which concerned me. I'm a muscular fellow, and I lik to have some bounces under my ounces.

2) Frantically grabbing my shoes and putting them with my gear to avoid a repeat of the last Full Moon ride, when I forgot them...only to forget them today, anyway and end up borrowing not only shoes, and pedals ( Eggbeater cleat=no interface with Time pedals), but gloves as well. That guy. Again!

3) Frantically trying to keep up with the pace.

4)Etc., but not leaving out listening to their little talky talk...

It was a Good Time. It's been months and months since I've been on a group road ride. I forgot the highs and the lows. Ok, mainly the highs. It is fun to echelon, especially with wind involved. Going fast is fun- the pace was a constant struggle (so much more intensity than my solo jaunts) and I got shelled on nearly every steep hill (read "roller") and yoyoed off and on all day, but it was Good and fun. I forgot the feeling of cruising in a pack. That's a Good Feeling!

I'll tell you what- for rolly fast goodness, it was kickass being on 28s. Railing.

Also, I will be one of the Team Joselyn's sponsors this coming year. In my (unknown to you people) professional/non-jackass persona. I'm looking forward to it.



And, plus I totally won the ride.

04 December 2008

I'm movin dirt around with my body

Again.

That is a picture of a genteel townie in a portion of it's natural habitat. It is a Town&Country townie. It is at ease either way, but if lines were drawn...well, they could only be drawn in the dirt.

03 December 2008

Wheels on the bike go round and round

Round and round, round and round...


10 speed cross today. Dipped down to the P.O. to wait in line and then an unusual routing of the usual dirt. It's good to switch it up. Hushed and still in the woods today. Becalmed.
That side of things always feels subtly different from my usual. It feels like mountain lion territory. (The big town cat was spotted again, night before last down by the Mission.) It feels like some guy has it in for me could be around the corner, any corner. Maybe that one? Think of lines, ways out. Listen close. Creep.



Then it was familiar fast lines over to the Good Spot to drop off some Easter Eggs...

Today was not the day for lingering there, dipping into the stock. Today was for keep on movin don't stop. Bluebird and crisp.


North through CSide(!) out to Fort Ord, thinking I'd get some rolly goodness in.There was this

squatting on the trailhead like a very unwelcome toad. You remember the evidence of surveying? This
is how imminent the wreckage of those sweet sweet roller trails are. All the goodness that East Garrison holds is on the block. Here's hoping the money runs out, and quick.





Ti-i-i-ime was not on my side. Tarried at the Stairs long enough to eat some lunch and then turn around. Got to get them kids.







Hey Moab! Really, really good to hear from you. So glad to know the proposed drilling has been cancelled. These crooks can't be gone from the Executive Office soon enough.

02 December 2008

Without this ____ my life would fall apart

Yeah.

So, I been feeling out of sorts lately. Out of shape. Out of it. Out of work on a large scale- it's the slow time for the resort business here, in addition to the economy slow down. Thinking about changes. Dragsville. Yesterday, I rode the fixed crosscheck on a truncated version of the usual dirt loop and was not feeling it. Bummerlife getting me down...

Trying to let today be a ray of sunshine.

Seems to have worked. I took note of the changes wreaked on the trails I consider mine. Those logs barring access? Yeah, the couple old ones and one substantial new one. Well, today I retook ownership.


1st stop here. You see why.




And now looking up trail.




Quite some time ago now, the elusive Mysterious B___ S_____ presented me with this. I have used it only one other time in the 2 years I've had it. My folding saw has just seemed so much more convenient, but for something this girthful (?) it doesn't, ah, cut it. This do.






Right off the bat I had to cut handles.





Yup. No photos of the action. This took , I'm guessing, 15-20 minutes of serious effort. I was tired and soaked.


It took a while to get the hang of this. It is easy to get the 2 ends off track and then the cut does not line up (Then when you shift positions, it requires you to start a new line. Waste of time). You have to be really aware of the depth of the cut as well. Cut too deep on the underside and you'll pinch the chain as the log shifts. Start the cut on top- it's the most awkward angle. Watch for dangerous branches around you, especially those that may spring free. Anticipate how the log will likely move as it drops. A shallow angle works best to keep the chain free, and this also promotes speed. Speed is much more effective than force.Etc.

As D said to me several years ago from the toilet seat of a truck stop in Gallup early in the morning,"It's hard work."






Moved on to the Good Spot to take a breather. Fixed cross yesterday, geared today. I'm in love with this bike (again) right now. It is so jumpy and responsive. It has it's issues, but the fit is perrrrfect. I was thinking about the Nitto 48cm wide(!) bars on D____ G___'s birfday ride the other day (versus the On One Midge bars which are curremtly on the crosscheck), and they only struck my forearms rarely on the steep techy climbs. I can live with that as a trade off for the breathing help, the deep drop and the comfortable flats.


Some swoopy stuff, and then


I was here. This oak has been in the trail for as long as I've known it. Last year more of it fell, blocking the arch which had been one of my favorite ride features. Today the grumbling ended.


Yes. And that's 1 of 2 in this spot. Both that size. They required alot of jumping. And hoisting. I was whipped at the end of it.



Done.



Here's my 1st attempt at video ever. Turn your head sidways and it will rule...







And, hey I looked so good doing it.


Feeling better about things.

30 November 2008

You say it's YOUR birfday?

well, happy to you, too. Celebrated D_____'s 9th today.

9 years, 12 kids, 1 scavenger hunt. 3 hours on the bike (well, total time out anyway) setting this thing up. 1.5 hours total scavenging time. They literally ran the whole way. We had to jog and run to keep up.

My cue sheet:

0) Home clue- this was the 1st clue to familiarize them with the format and outline what was to come in terms of searching for: clues, stars (which I had attached to stuff with screws, so D could use his cool birfday leatherman and feel all badass), and scrabble letters (which were the letters of his name).
It referred them to the native plant garden several blocks from the house, and mentioned Native Crafts as well.
We split them up into Red Team and Green Team. Green won the intro question: 9x6=? and so got the clue to keep to themselves if they wanted. Of course they did, and wandered around our yard looking at whatever caught their eye until we talked them into sharing. The Red Team knew where the native garden is, and they were off and running. Literally.

1) Native Garden- Here they found the Ohlone tule reed housing sample D had made in Social Studies recently. It had 2 clues woven into it which referred to the 1st hidden star and 1st letter, and to the 2nd clue which was hidden in a dead Monterey Pine killed by pine beetle attack! This referred them further North and onto trails.

2) A Rubber Chicken- hanging from a tree containing the clue to look for it's tiny tiny tiny brother. Which marked the next star, and the 2nd letter, as well as a clue asking them if they were stumped. This was marked with an asterisk saying it was a riddle.

3)The Stump- another letter, and directions to play Guerilla Bocce (simply throwing the jack and bowling at it in the woods) with the winning team receiving the "secret clue" which (again) they could keep to themselves or share. Red won, and kept to themselves the clue; to head towards the bridges...

4) I waited until the older kids had rushed past and then dropped an empty/cleaned Proofide tin containing a further clue in the trail for a younger (think slower) kid to find. It told them to look on the small bridge for a clue, and the large bridge for a star.

5) Small Bridge- a Dia de Los Muertos Groom hanging from the bridge with a clue tied to him. I was surprised how quickly they found it, and by the screwball methods they attempted to retrieve it. Not logical people, these 4-11 year olds. His clue referred to his dead wife, and to remember the 1st clue in looking for her. She was in a dead Monterey Pine, and her clue referred them downhil towards the __R___ __SS__N. It took them pencil, paper, and a while to work out this was the CARMEL MISSION. ( After we called them back from running pell mell up a different hill...there was a lot of directionless, frantic running)

Large Bridge-the star was hidden under the hand railing, marked by a carven star in the bridge surface.



6) I dropped a bottle containing the clue that there was a star and a letter in that clearing. I was not sly enough; N saw me and so found it right off. The clue hidden behind the letter directed them to another game of Guerrilla Bocce and the now familiar secret clue with the now familiar selfishness. It had them looking in stumps for clues.

7) The next Large Stump-containing a bottled clue and a letter. "Take the next trail to the Left".

8) The next trail to the Left-led them to a star attached to a log,which had a trail marking arrow of branches pointing to a stump up slope with a clue sticking out the top. This directed them to take a downhill trail and look for a Smile.

9) A smiley face stuffed animal covering a clue to "keep keeping on" and a letter.

10) Keeping on until the T-intersection, where the trail marker arrow had a star attached signalling them to the Dolittle Trail.

11) At the Y-intersection they were left clueless. They opted to split up and Green went high while Red went low. Low they found a star and a clue ("NO!"). High they found a clue in a jar ("YES") telling them to head up to the meadow.

12) Meadow-Hidden in the lower back corner of the lone bench was a clue and a star. They had to play Bocce again and again get a secret clue.



13) The Chairs- at the top of the meadow are some chairs for sunset gazing. They found the lunchbox tied up in the Eucalyptus branches so quickly, I was very surprised. This clue directed them back home for the final clue...

14) The front gate-I'd attached a clue and the final star as they were leaving, and they found it upon returning. It asked where D would perch if he were a bird. He likes to hang out high (high- like 40feet up) in a redwood in the back yard, and from there he can see all around the neighborhood. While they were figuring out this is what the clue meant, I snuck out the front with the Treasure Chest and placed it on the roof of the truck.
D did not see it, so N went up the tree to help. They saw the Chest together, and climbed down to get it. I could hear N plotting how D should "lead everybody a different way so [she could] go get the chest..."
The treasure was their party favors, and then it was time for cake and yelling and running.




We are tired.

29 November 2008

You say it's your Birfday?

Well, happy to you. Any birfday worth having involves a loooong bike ride. I decided several years ago that I would have a 100miler as my birfday goal. I ain't gettin any younger, and a century is not something I do so often that it can be looked at as anything other than kickass. Really. When was the last time you rode one? Ezzackly. It's a good goal.

So on my last ill fated birfday ride, the goal was considerably less (~75 or so), and there ended up being cheating (friends like these...) and at one point there was an hour or so long beer stop (unplanned, as the SC crew was supposed to be ready and waiting- when really they were only waiting for 9 minutes and ready only to give us a lot of shi_ about being "late" and then they lollygagged around for some time before kitting up) during which this goal was related to one famously grumpy bike industry type who then said how it was a lame goal, and unrealistic, and how his goal was 8 hours on the bike, as that's so much more attainable,etc. Yeah yeah yeah.

So Happy Birfday Senior Sr. Mr. D____ G___! 43 and sleazy as the day was short.

Poor planning was the word of the day. I awoke to the ringing of my phone. It was the birfday boy calling to set up ride times. This after drunkenly claiming the prior Sunday that this ride would be going on and would be "fun" but refusing to give details and then remaining incommunicado throughout the week. I was sleeping in, because I figured it was not going to happen.

Up at 8, out the door at 9. Errands along the way included picking up my still-broken framed tandem (T___, do you read this?) and talking shi_. Rumor has it that there will be some epic mistake of a countywide circumnavigation for this year's County Line, but sources are notoriously unreliable. Liable to lie. I just hope they skip the beach.

So. Meet in Santa Cruz at S___'s house. I arrived. Then G____ S_____, whom I had only met once previously- and then he was shirtless and wearing a large gold "SEX" medallion. He is not shy, conversation was not a problem. Then the birfday manchild showed up with some very special soy milk. Finally, B______ met us as we rolled out. I have a vague memory of meeting him several years ago roadside in Big Sur during the Tour of California- he was holding a fork (to eat with) and the kids and I were spray painting slogans of encouragement for Ekimov onto HWY 1.

The ride started promisingly, heading immediately uphill and onto trails. Rainslick roots are my most-feared obstacle in biking. I have effed myself so badly on rainslick roots so many times that they have grown large in my imagination, terrifying me all out of proportion to their individual circumstance. The redwood forest is pretty dank this time of year, and the roots are slick. I was scared alot of times as we climbed. The dirt was nice and tacky, though. It made for inneresting contrast. To the boys (and Ladies) of Santa Cruz, I say:


in the hopes that they will NEVER take for granted the World Class awesomeness of their trail system. Those narrow and swooping ribbons of Goodness make me laugh out loud with Joy. Even the connector trails are kickass.

And so on singletrack (mostly) up through University, with a beer stop at the water tanks under a 3speed nailed high in a tree I had not known was there, and then onto Empire Grade. We then hopped onto another trail (Poison Oak Trail?) and wound down to some more lonely asphalt climbing out to a secret compound in the redwoods where, contrary to rumor, there was not a fridge full of beer. No small oversight. Things could be better with that addition, _ick. So up and back to Empire and up some more to a different secret compound, where there was a fridge full of cold beer. Out came the now infamous globe of scotch, and sandwiches all around.

That place is a tarbaby.

We pried the birfday-ite out of his cabin, and clad in a new and ghastly Coors Lite thermal jersey (circa 1990?) he led us down to the secret entrance of a trail whose name I've forgotten. This descent was the very same we'd ridden on my own birfday ride. Only this time, we did not spend 2 hours at the tarbaby shack and crack open every bottle in the joint to start Suntory Time and the trail in the dark. It was still light and there were no crashes.

Apparently this trail goes nowhere except to Monty's Log Cabin Bar, and some dark railroad tracks. Thanks D___, it was a Good Time.

27 November 2008

I can


not remember if we've discussed this in this forum yet or not. But it makes me laugh, so here it is anyway.

Turducken (emphasis mine)

You know how some folks (e.g. certain of my relatives) like to eat dead bodies? And on Thanksgiving, they like to stuff a little carcass inside a medium carcass inside a large carcass and then deep fry the lot? Well, that is not appetizing to me, but you may like it, and that's fine and your business not mine. In the words of that fine cyclist Kermit Thee Frog, "A frog's gotta eat."

Oh, it's funny though. And what is funny-er is imagining the local variations of this tightly packed delicacy. Using closer-to-home ingredients and a dash of imagination, you could serve up a tasty Raccrowmouse-which is a delicious option even in town! Or a countrified/countryfried Opossquirelizard. Perhaps a nutritious Wildhogskuntoad. Here along the Central Coast, you might serve up a Canadiangooseagugeon. Or a roasted Bobcowlsnake....near limitless possibilities.

What local variations can you think of for your , uh, neck of the woods?

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

26 November 2008

Give Thanks and Praises



Health. MY FAMILY. BOBA FET.Food. Friends like these. Bikes. Singlespeeding. beer. Fat tires for all my friends. the hunt. warmth. ass. Good Roads. RED. GOLD.GREEN. Fresh Produce. things that are fun. woods. blood, blood, blood- blood and fire. George Jones. bikes. humor. HEART. wool. EARTH. fenders. coffee. poaching. THE TOUCH. plaid. clean water. the heavy heavy monster sound. clarity. the wind at your back. groundation. John Wayne. light. the cool kids. bad roads. dark. moonlight. blankets. the highest region. feathers. bikes. buckles. Viva Terlingua! dogs and cats, living together. steel. the quickness. keeping a weather eye. community. heckling. COTSR. whiskey. the secret lair. LIGHTWEIGHT TOURING. sweat. sweet. buttons. HANDS. fiction. friction. LOVE. loooong rides. that swing. sight. ___________. bikes. leather. might as well suffer...


Yes I. Respect due.

25 November 2008

24 November 2008

Excitation is contagious







This.

Makes me sit up and take notice. I have zero problems with a shiftable fixed wheel. I just like the feel of spinning. Bring it.

23 November 2008

D_____ the Purto Rican.



Duke Ellington's orchestra is featured playing Juan Tizol's Caravan. Juan Tizol, valve trombone player is from PR, just like my boy D. No really. I know it looks like we're trying over here to populate the world according to Aryan ideals, but that don't change the fact.


D wove his way to 4th place in the 6-10 category in the Manzanita Park CCCX race today. The same kid as usual took 1st with a substantial gap. Several of the 6 and Unders had cut the course with their chaperones to avoid the upper section, placing them in the lead at the final section before the (cruel and sweet) wickedly steep and rutted/loose run up. J and I ran back and forth across the course to cheer and bell ring at different spots, and I saw the 1st place kid 's expression when he noticed there were kids on the course ahead of him. It was ferocious- that kid wants to crush the enemy, to see them driven before him, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

To this race, D brought his friend M______, (which is a whole other can of worms; I want the boy to have friends and all, I just wish I could pick them...) who brought as his knife at this gunfight a beat on Target bought bmx (no, it should NOT be capitalized) which required a headset adjust and air in the tires. Done.

We surveyed the (known) course, and spotted the tricky sections post registration. I could see the wheels turning in M_______'s head after a few of these, and offered him a graceful out if he wanted. I have to admit, he said he was ready and had no complaints. To his credit. It's a daunting course, particularly on a bike which is 1/3 of your weight.

A couple last minute words to D (mark the fast guys and stay with them, don't go crazy with the speed and crash- like he's done several times charging straight into corners, keep it in until the steep downhill and then turn it on, etc) and they were off. 26 kids all told.



Looked like a Good Time was had by all. M______ came in laaaaaaaaaast, but he rode the entire course (after several hard though fruitless efforts, he allowed me to carry his heavy bike up the cruel runup) and his medal says 1st on it, and you cannot argue with that. All the kids received a gimme water bottle full of strawberries (CalGiant is a sponsor), a medal, and a drink of their choice. Well, some of them tried for the Monster Energy Drinks and were denied, but in the appropriate choices they were given free reign.

On the way to get their picture taken on the podium, Rod (the promoter) was encouraging the kids. I overheard some sour guy say to another snickering back of the bus type, "Yeah ,Rod, get 'em started early so you can hook 'em and get their money! Heeheehee" This is so fucking lame. It is still bugging me. I was walking with 3 kids and it wasn't the time or venue for the kind of confrontation for which remarks like that call. But I would like to have pointed out (real politely) that 26 kids all received kickass prizes, medals (yes, every kid got a medal?!?) and recognition for the effort they clocked, at no charge.



Yes, those kids all race free. I'm not racing because I cannot at this time justify the $30 fee to ride in (admittedly fun) circles when there's free trails to be had, but. Free.

There is no future in cycling (of any stripe) without youth involvement. If you're a cynical, jaded-because it is the hip thing, world-weary drag, you can look at it as a sleazy business proposition, sure. Or, you can see what a Great Time these kids are having, and celebrate it.

All photos from Rick Rasmussen, who graciously allows downloads.

21 November 2008

Here's some


Coming back from Gramma's intro hike the other day, we spied N riding home from school. I alerted her to our arrival by pulling up next to her and letting loose a long blast on the horn. Just to keep her on her toes, you know.

She wanted to race.



Yeah, I let her win-what kind of parent do you think I am? But I made her work for it by swerving and making unkind gestures. Just like a regular motorist.

20 November 2008

Brief time in the woods

is a Good Time, nonetheless.

I dropped my mom off at the San Jose Airport yesterday for her flight back to Colorado. Seeing as how I'd be up that way, I packed my singlespeed in the auto and got on the horn to roust some Santa Cruzers for a bike ride in the redwoods, along some of their World Class(!) singletrack. One taker, one faker, one sick bellyacher. (hope you got the ginger tea, KB)

Showed up at friend T___'s house to find him 1/3 in the bag from a visit by another friend of his, claiming by Birthday rights that they hit the sauce. Nothing for it but to sit in the sun on the new (to them) deck and catch up. 1/2 in the bag later, we suited up and climbed that hill accompanied by J__.

There was a lot of talk (but really-isn't there always?) with regard to the waning of the light and how this would weigh heavily on ride choice and such. It is completely valid. You know I don't lik to use the lights, and held out as long as possible. Some people can hold out longer than I, and that person did- so I toted a light up the climb. My poor woolen jerseys have really taken a beating since I also do not lik to wear packs, and the pockets on the one I wore yesterday have merged due to seam rip to form 2 from 3. I stuffed the light and camera in a gimme musette and looped the strap over a shoulder with the bag in the smaller of the 2. Works for now...

So the trails under the redwoods are as good as ever- up and down. Man, I lurve to swoop and arc along on a bicycle. The climb was a joy. Just the right amount of effort needed with regular short, hard steeps to mix it up. Only walked a little.


Sat and breathed in the twilight under the canopy.

Climbed swoopily. Spun, stood and mashed, spun.

Then it was time to sit in the dying light out on a finger ridge.

Down into the trees for some riding by feel, pushing the edge, breath catching in our throats at unexpected roots or drops blurred by flat (lack of) light...until a flash behind me from T___ turning on. Not a moment too soon, as my own light coming on revealed my position at the top of a steep rooty chute.

Faster then.

And on and on to the bottom. Lights were required. It became so dark that trying to walk the trail would have been unpleasant. Glad I caved to Reason- I've run into plenty riding in the dark of those trees where the ambient light cannot reach.

Short and sweet. I lik riding the bikes!

For Rambling Jack...


Really quite a likeness.

http://www.michelemelcher.com/

18 November 2008

this

Silhouette of a womanWe think http://churchofthesweetride.blogspot.com/ is written by a woman (60%).

Make of this what you will. From this site seen on HTATBL.

15 November 2008

There are Monkey Boys in the facility


J is my youngest, and in the words of my brother,"it's a good thing N [oldest, his sister] is smart. That guy is going to need a lawyer." This is a pretty accurate statement.

My mom is visiting, and has commented on his Style. He likes to "renegotiate". If you tell him something he does not want to hear, (and you can get him to acknowledge the issue at all) he'll carefully rephrase what you've told him in light of his own interests. He is 4, but is pretty sure he is turning 8.

I reminded me mom of the time when I was 4?5? and she told me to put on underwear. After several replays of me saying that I had put on the underwear, I received the ultimatum. i then went into my room and pantomimed putting on underwear (even though she was downstairs and couldn't possibly see this), before returning and again claiming to have put on the underwear. She checked, and I got spanked.

It seemed to give her a lighter perspective on what a pain in the ash the boy can be. You know, to savor the sins of the father being revisited and all...

Hup!

Hey 'cross fans, I should tell y'all that while out on the Full Beaver Moon ride a certain race promoter was spotted not once, not twice but three times doing hot laps on the already set-up CCCX course.

I know. That was on Thursday. Yes, the race is not until Sunday. The course was set, including barriers (good thing the moon was bright), and there were at least 2 people preriding already. I can only assume they intend on racing a course so well known they could ride it with their eyes closed?

Carry on.

Open letter to The Wind

Dear Sir or Madam,

Given the recent increase in your disruptive activities, I regret to inform you that you are henceforth persona non grata. All Church members (and I mean that how you think I do) are herewith instructed to Shun you. This shall include the Turning Of The Cheek, the Going To The Drops, and potentially the devastating Choosing Of Other Routes!

Where these options are not available (such as on my commute, where you insist on blowing hard first one way and then, denying me the tailwind!, another) you shall be cursed. Members are encouraged to be creative in their cursing, for it is by the very inventiveness of their invective that they shall be delivered.

Should you wish to make an appropriate Act of Contrition, you (clearly) know where to find me.

Sincerely,
The Right Reverend Richard Greyson

14 November 2008

Buckets of moonbeams in my hand

You got all the love, honey baby,
I can stand.

Nice return to the busy happy ride life. The more foolish Santa Cruz clown troop piled out of their tiny car and spilled over into the Fort Ord countryside. The local boys make the Good Life with the showing up of 2. Improvements in the wonderful. Cannot say the better than here about the Good Time of the Moon and Bike.



Little red wagon, little red bike
I ain't no monkey but I know what I lik.

12 November 2008

Wide Open Beaver


Moon, that is.

Yes Friends, tomorrow night, Thursday November the 13th, is the night of the Full Beaver Moon. Make of that what you will. The facts don't change or lie (unlike pesky beavers): you will attend a meeting of like minded boozy riders to meet at the usual spot by the yellow water tanker at the end of Parker Flats Cutoff at dark time -ish for a ramble through the country side unaided by lights or good sense. If you don't like the idea, I am sorry to say: "You are wrong. You actually do like the idea."

So get thee to the meeting place or else...

uh, don't, I guess. But you SUCK if you skip yet another of your limited chances to do this, and I am considering publishing your personal info including photos and addresses on the interwebs. I'm even considering making up some shi_.


*Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book about it: Breakfast of Champions. It is good and funny.

11 November 2008

____________ crazed thrill seekers.


You're just as bad as me.




Went Kar Kamping in Big Sur last couple days, at Plaskett Creek. We'd been invited by an old family friend, and it would have been very rude not to attend after accepting, so even though the campsite had changed and even though there would be a couple other families along now...I packed 3 kids (L is in Vegas for a convention until Thursday) in a pickup and drove south on HWY1 for an hour and a half to sleep in a tent in a fee Kampground in which every site was taken. Many by RVs or Kampers with generators. Ugh.

And no campfires.




I knew when I arrived it would suck. I knew when puttting my $22 in the envelope that I should've turned around and headed back up the coast for quiet, hard-to-access Prewitt Ridge, or a nice primitive site on the backside of it...but instead I set up our tent (on the only flat spot available, which was the paved area in front of the truck) while the children shrieked with the other families' children. A young couple walked up to the water spigot 20feet away from our site and allowed their dogs to lap directly from the faucet. JFC, I hate that type of blithely self centered behavior in a public arena. If they want to share their dogs tongue with his ass, they're welcome to it. I decline. I loudly told them, "That's nasty." but they tried not to hear me. The guy looked at me out of the corner of his eye, so I repeated loudlier, "That is NASTY." They walked across the street. The lady came back with her dog bowl and filled it.

At least it wasn't the pony and the shiny spigots, I guess. Friends T__ and J__ tell of a Kampground in which all the spigots had shiny polished brass nozzles and neatly clipped circles of grass surrounding them. The next day they noticed a pony had been tethered to one, and was busy rubbing its anus against the nozzle, which vanished and returned, vanished and returned....




Lots of noise. Lots of talk that had little to do with bikes or the riding thereof. Nice folks, just not a lot in common. D and I ruled it in the family on family Scrabble. We play strategically- hell yes we will screw you out of the triple word score just to keep you down.

Then it was the beach for hours. Let it be known: I do not care for the GD beach. I had my fill in Puerto Rico, and I could never ever see the ocean again and be perfectly content. A vacation in Hawaii sounds like a complete waste of time to me. Full stop.





But...THE KIDS HAD FUN.



Never let it be said I only dragged them on my chosen adventures. Interestingly to me, N said she thought "it's way better when it's just us." Damn right.

09 November 2008

This is a notice to all y'all bike riders and beer raisers




There's a new sheriff in town.

The secret vegan police are out in force.

Fxdwhl and I are collaborating in this new and narrow- make that laser-focused post hole. Look and see, it might be something you lik.

The plight of the tipsy vegan. Here.

07 November 2008

Heyhey Heyhey

..................................................LAST MINUTE ADVISORY.............................................

You know how people tell you things, but then things do or don't happen? Frequently this relationship has to do with the ability of said person to come through in the clutch, if you will. Like email you the flyer for a bike related event in a format you can use? And then, your wife reminds you that you have committed to attend this event (say it is coming up tomorrow) after you'd totally forgotten? Well, that aside:

Meet at Wharf #2 tomorrow, Saturday, November 8th, at 9am in order that you ride your bicycle of choice -dangerous beater recommended- from there to the dive bar of your choice in Santa Cruz.


There will be lots of stopping for supplies and such along the route, which will be as little trafficked as ingenuity and stupidity combined can make it.

Return to what you were doing.

Lessons from Navin R. Johnson

1) Lord Loves a Workin Man

2) Don't Trust Whitey

3) See a Doctor, get Rid of it.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

06 November 2008

feel great ALL the time! ask me how...


I'll tell you.

I been thinking. Friend J__ had mentioned that she would be working in Big Sur on/off throughout the week and would I be innerested in riding down and catching a ride in her truck back home. Or, I could ride down, camp, and catch a ride back the next day...That sounded like a Good Idea, but the requisite meshing of schedules didn't happen.

I had been making plans and revising them for a couple days by that point. It was Monday evening when this all came down. Then my lovely wife suggested I ride down and camp, and she and the kids would drive down to pick me up Wednesday. See why I married her? Thank you, Boba Fet.

The plan was to ride the Condor Tour route, and camp along Indians Road somewheres; wherever dark found me. I drove D to school (no walking right now in the morning for him) and dropped J off at preschool, and returned home to frantically pack. You know how that goes. Rode out at the crack of noon.



Heading out the valley, it was ~60 degrees and overcast. Significant rain the night before, but the forecast called for increasing sun.


The sun shines on all bike touring endeavors...




Carmel Valley Road was cold and dank on the upper reaches. You remember how that gradual climb goes on and on? Well, it's longer than you remember.




Running to beat the timer. Story of my life on top of the incline.





Yes, that is what it looks like. I considered leaving this out of the post, but it makes you feel better about yourself. My story is: while frantically packing and experimenting with rack sets for this bike (which I really wanted to ride because I just put it together in this incarnation, and in spite of the fact that I had a perfectly set-up and tuned Long Haul Trucker with racks mounted, in the same room...), I pulled the Nitto canti-mount rack off the LHT, and attempted to mount it on the KM. No go- suspension corrected fork. But I'd already removed the brake mounting bolts, and even though I put them back on the LHT ( so's not to lose them, you know) I neglected to remount them here. I found this out here, at the top of the incline (6-12% grade), roughly 35 miles into the tour. Just happened to walk away from the bike and the gaping post holes caught my eye...

Yeah. I know.

All's I know is: Thank God for zip ties! and always carry plenty with you on tour... I considered whether to swap the bolts from the rear brakes to the front to avoid possible issue with the front brakes getting pulled off the post by the forward rotation of the wheel, but it was cold and you know how I do. I kept my eye on it. Really.


I saw a huge group of hogs on the way down. Maybe 14? Lots of little football sized babies. They were scared by my incredibly dangerous brake set up and ran off. Lots and lots and lots of deer. Hawks. I noticed in passing the Forest access was closed heading out the end of the valley, but did not think anything of it.




Looking south rounding the turn to G17 for Arroyo Seco you see the evidence of the Indians fire.


Upon arriving at Arroy Seco, I approached the gate to Indians Road only to see dozens of sandwich board signs regarding the closure of the Los Padres National Forest due to the fire damage. They were all dated August, so I pushed on a little. It became very clear this was not a workable plan. Ask me about it in person and I'll tell you the story.

The water in the Arroyo Seco River runs the color of espresso. The ground is black.

Suffice to say here that I was denied and ended up camping in Arroyo Seco. Yeah yeah yeah- you would have checked before heading out and all. The camping cost me $20 of the $21 (total) I had. I spent my other $1 in quarters for the (HOT!) shower.



Camp and cooking dinner. I had: 1 can pinto beans, 1 small can Tomatillo Salsa Verde (with the pop top lid...), 1 avocado, 1 heirloom tomato, 1 ziploc bag of dehydrated corn/peas/carrots/tomatoes+added oregano/cumin/chile powder/salt, 1 bag Have'a corn chips.

You know I don't like to camp without forgetting a utensil. Since there was only one utensil I needed, I forgot that: a spork. That's where the pop top lid came in. I crimped the sides and extended the tab, and that was my tool. It worked ok.

I found the weak spot(s) in my Esbit. The tabs leave a thick and sticky residue on the bottom of the pot which really needs to be scrubbed or it'll make a mess in your mess kit when packed. You really need a lot of water for this, and a scrubby. Luckily, I had both. Also, the tabs don't burn that long- one is not enough to boil 16oz. You need 2. Or twigs, which I've used with good success in the past. But everthing was damp that night, and the twigs took a looong time to catch. I used all my fuel on the dinner and coffee the next morning, which meant that I had none left to make the grits I'd planned for breakfast. Well, the coffee is more important, and I had an "extra" PBJ, so it worked out. Lesson to me: always bring 2x the fuel "needed".




With the sun came coffee and clearer thinking. I realized I didn't have to turn back, but that I could (potentially) access Ft. Hunter Ligget via King city/Jolon Road. This meant a fair detour further inland (to the tune of 20 miles extra) but it meant I could still reach Prewitt Ridge and hopefully ride singletrack down to the coast! And if the point were to arrive, I could have just driven. No, the point is to travel well, and that means the bicycle. All day, the bicycle.

Lloyd, the conspiracy minded camp host, came by to tell me that Obama had won. Works for me. If I needed another reason to despise the Mormon Church, I got it with their funding and pimping of the (lamentably) passed Yes on 8 campaign.

If 2 people love and commit to one another for life, where is the harm?

Shame on us, California.





Yep. The same jury rig as last time down this path...




Lowered center of mass with this arrangement of tarp and pad.





2nd day's load arrangement. Smartened up (a bit) and strapped the tent and poles along side the rack, taking them out of my small pack and off my back. Muuuuch nicer. Loaded the solar powered lantern/water bottle on the seatbag for charging and to keep weight off my back.

I was not sure about the water situation ahead, so I loaded up all I had here. My bladder leaked and I had to toss it. Bummer!that was 100 oz of water. Yay!that was so much less weight on my back.



This is such a perfect little vineyard tucked into the foothills. And I lik their water tower.




Looking at the perfectly spaced oaks along the road into Ft Hunter Ligget. That place should be a park. Instead it's full of tanks. At least they let you through (with an ID-don't forget that) to access the backside of Prewitt Ridge.




Spend more than a day on your tour, and you will look like a hobo. Gear strapped everwhere, dirty clothes in odd arrangement, etc. I was trying to keep the sun off my ears/neck. I had my shirt rolled up to my armpits for cooling, exposing my undershirt along with this getup when I rolled up to the gate at the military base...





Climbing, looking at the remains of the Cone Peak foothills. The stream along the lower sections of the eastern flanks is running clear (even with the rains of this past weekend), but the hillsides are pretty torn up. Not as bad as the Indians fire, I guess...though the smell of wet charcoal was so pervasive it made me a little nauseous on the climb. Not that I feel super on that climb, anyway, but you know.




There will be a terrible problem with slides this winter. Those hills are ruined.





This is looking down a drainage on the Pacific side of the ridge. I see why the mountain lion decided to move into Carmel looking at all this. That is a lot of ruin.




Looking eastward, descending with the last of the light. Time was tight by the time I reached the top, so I took the road instead of the punishing climb to Prewitt and it's always elusive trail...




Cold. Sunflower seeds. Got some grey hairs in my moustache.



West.






This is a truer feel for the light conditions. Looking south down the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road to the Pacific and the finish. Pampas Grass is going crazy right now...





Done. Nothing for it but to eat my remaining PBJ, potato chips, apple, and drink whiskey in the sleeping bag until pick up several hours later...

Thank you L___ for the motivation and support! You are good to me.