Next Full Moon

Monday, September 8th the Hood Rat Stuff Moon

31 January 2008

Sure Fire Remedies.




Brothers and Sisters...Have you come here seeking solace? Perhaps you lack direction in your life? Do one-time friends and acquaintances, co-workers, lovers and parole officers become glassy-eyed and walk away when you start talking bikes(again)? Y'all is my constichunsee. C'mon in and pull the wool over your own eyes...

So I received this via email from those wishing to remain anonymous. Whose wishes shall be granted. Not sure what that's about. I guess the kooks have arrived.

The big lead up was to let you down (easy...) with some thoughts on BikeFit. People who know me casually will sometimes (the times their eyes are not glazing over from yet another bike reference) ask how to fit their bike. It's not one size bike fits all, I says. Like trying to cram your feet into your sister's shoes or wearing your uncle's and having the heels drop with every step.
So. Better thoughts from clearer heads here: matt chester (on 63xc.com a Great site) here and here next... and Peter White's musings here. Neither are particularly short, but if you haven't already, well worth reading. Also worth a read. Grains of salt all around...you know what you need &l lik, so personality counts.

My 2 cents would be something taken for granted by smarter people: Be Open to Change. You actually don't know all there is to know, even about your own bike(s). And the reason I'm not even being funny is this: your own body changes shape. You may gain or lose flexibilty, recover from or be subject to an injury, grow older, or have a bike(s) on which the set up or geometry requires a different postion than another(s). Too many folks assume where they are now is right full stop. Be willing. I raised my seat on the Surly LHT today 5mm, after a nagging feeling all day yesterday. And promptly forgot I'd done so or ever had felt the need to. Change is natural to all living things, esp. those dirty guys outside Bottles'n'Bins across from the Munras bikepath...

BE WILLING is a pretty good thing to have in your brain most days.

Here's my British Racing Green B17. Look at those polished rivets. That's assfriction, that is.


Above we see the Brooks Honey (?!?) bar tape approximately a year in. The color faded right away, but it feels nice barehanded and I'm counting on it looking real good in like 4 years or so. Again, those bars are 48cm!


The reason I'm currently geeking out on them is: the long flat ramps. And the position of the levers below the curve. It makes for big room on top, and such a sweet contact on the hoods. Better braking position, too. I see lots of bikes these days with the levers rocked way up- a style that gained popularity in the early 2000s days of Lance. While I see the reasoning, they'd be better served, imho, by raising the bars level with the saddle and putting the levers where you can reach them easily from the drops/hooks, which will be where you are if it's dicey. {Caveat: NONE OF MY OPINIONS ABOUT ANYTHING HOLD TRUE FOR CRIT RACING except that it does not look fun to me}


Lookit how fat the Surly Nice Rack is- brakes are completely tucked away. Those boys drink the right kind(s) of beers. And, plus- give them credit for fecking sweet rides for the dollar. I think this inexpensive frame turned out ( I turned it out...) (it better not get out of pocket...) rather elegantly. "My, she was yar."


This was J on yesterday's ride. I left his helmet in the racevan & mama had that at work, so...I strapped him in and went. You're not my Dad. I point this out o further my reputation and to say that the helmet actually helps his positioning in the trailer. See how slumped he is? Welll...

This is where he wore a hole in the fabric and began to eat away at the plastic stay in the trailer wall, rubbing it against the tire. Little rat slowed me down, too. What can you do? The guy's totally passed out at, like, 3pm. I propped him over against the other side with the blanket and kept on. Must remember side pillows...


Above is him today, looking like a French mountaineer c.1991. Quick spin up/over to Joselyn's to take some abuse then up thru Veteran's Park (playground time) and through the sneaky gap on top. Over Huckleberry and down sweeping smooth fast roads in Pebble Beach. (It's not worth traveling for, but if you find yourself in this neck of the woods, the roads in there are pristine. So well groomed and twisty, and with beautiful views in lots of places. Well worth doing. Some sneaky/Rooty mtb to be had in there too.) Then took the fireroad down. Super bumpy with deadfall and pinecones. Had to haul the trailer over some good sized logs- the last of which pulled the trailer's e-brake. It has a lever hanging in a most inconvenient spot for bushwhacking. Makes me think I'm putting it to unintended uses.
Good times.


Here comes my bell beautification project. I left this lovely brass bell outside today, and will leave it for a month (?) to see what kind of patina the salt sea air will deliver. It worked wonders on my covered BBQ grill- ate right thru it.

And, plus:
I LURVE DAVID LYNCH. If you don't, you are wrong, you actually do. And through him I saw Isabella Rossalini, and it was good. Look at the wonderful crazy she's up to recently:

30 January 2008

Big talk, little walk.

Was all fired up this a.m. Sunshine! Powerful Xtracycle/roller powered legs...Got all the chores done, made sure my head was right and safe, strapped a 2'x2' box to the rack and headed to the P.O. to mail it. (regret no photo-too fired up) Rode aggressively through lite traffic down to the bottom of the hill. Waited in line. waited in line. waited in line...

Done! Flashed back up the hill to 68/HWY 1 interchange, and decided on Aguajito to get out
to the stairs for lunch. Decided to take Monholland to sneak behind the airport and avoid town-Cracked. That hill is fecking steep. Trailer...tugging...must...keep going...

Snaked thru Sea Side(!). A side , B side, and the...

Took 218 to the frog Pond trails. Was stoked to make the turn below:
Had to line the trailer up and punch the front wheel up the slope until the trailer crossed, then hard left and up into a 180 back right. Worth crowing about when a trailer's involved. Maybe.

At the stairs, we had split pea soup. Wasn't that great, but it was hot and on the bike. Bananas and CRISP Fuji apples rounded it out. Cold Hamm's for me.mmmmmm
J plays with the lighter disguised as a fish.



I found the windscreen stayed out of the way wrapped around the pot lid. May be some reflected heat increase too.

Then we compared gloves and rode home. Went to Family Art Night at the kids' school. Now, I am tired. That hill whipped my ass.

Upon reflection, I think the new found sense of wellbeing viz. the old S.I. pain is due more to the fact that it's been a month since I renewed the daily 1500mg of Glucosamine/Chondroitin rather than (1) Xtracycle ride 2 days ago and several roller sessions on top of the semi-regular kid riding. Or the ass-handing-to that I received on the Josshole's ride.

Still. Winter is what it is. Looking at what some are facing and continuing to ride through, I'm L-U-C-K-Y, and s-p-o-i-l-e-d. I did realize during the post office run that that's what it takes to develope the fitness I want later in the year. Commuting and errand running by bike just add so many little miles that add up. And it's the same as it ever was, gotta suffer through weakness/lack-of-fitness to get there...
Word.
Taking Aguajito and longer rides with J in the trailer will put us out trailering on Cachagua (spoken in a hushed whisper) in a month. I must keep reminding myself we trailered Mountain Charlie (!) last fall.
Felt hung up in left Tensor Fascia Latae muscle today. This is recurring for me. It feels like I have a twist and pull to the rear on the left there. Got some relief with the application of the LeMond wedges last summer, but they've worn down to the point of needing replacement. C. Burnham, of sidebar coaching fame helped fit me with them. Apparently everyone's foot has some degree of plantarflexion (the motion of increasing the angle between leg and foot), and by accomodating the foot's position, the wedges allow the leg to track evenly over the joints (ankle, knee,hip) as it's weighted. As opposed to, say, feeling like I've got to hold my foot at a certain angle on the pedal using muscular tension. If this sound like gobbledegook- it is. The wedges made me much more comfortable is the bottom line. It's also time to replace my cleats. And my trusty winter wheel (XT 8speed laced to MA3) is biting the dust a little flex more every ride.
Worked some on the tennis ball when I got in. The ischemic pressure (forces blood from the tissue, which helps flush the area as it comes rushing back in) from laying on the tennis ball. helps a lot. It's a good way to self-massage and work out trigger points in muscles. I need a massage. Time to go see my guy...

Hop, skip & a flounce away from fantasy role playing.




Ouch. Here is the thread that broke the camelbak. Check the comments section to see an assessment of me and (more cogently) YOU as basically a pasty nerd. Apologies to all gamers out there, but I think I could take you.


With our underdeveloped arms and massive tree trunk legs, we've all seen the comparisons to T-Rex. But this stung me on a deep, prepubescent level. Cuz, that's when I dabbled in the dark arts of Dungeons and Dragons. For about 18 months I feverishly made detailed characters whose charisma was only exceeded by their strength, intelligence, and hit points levels. Yes, I cheated- I rolled again and again, until I got the score I wanted. Jack, the weird kid with the blond bowlcut who was heavily into Tai Kwondo ( and who would've pronounced it KARA-tay if he could), was the Dungeon Master. He clearly relished the power. He was also the only one in my neighborhood circle who was capable of the tightly focused obsession required to really lord it over a bunch of distractable 11 year old boys ( herding cats & all that). I quickly realized (after a year or so and having purchased the 6 sided die, the 8 sided die, the 20 sided die,The Player's Handbook, The Monster Manual, and (extra-pointlessly) the Dungeoon Master's Guide) that what I actually liked about the whole thing was reading about the monsters and drawing pictures of my characters. Got all the gear, didn't need or play with much of it. At least there were lots of pretty girls...oh, wait.

So here WE (yes YOU) are all this time later. I won't even attempt to patiently explain my/OUR completely understandable and rational quiver of bikes to a nonbiker. And I mean quiver, with all the elven magic that implies. See, I/YOU need a road bike, a cross bike, a mountain bike (some even need full squish and hardtails in this one category), a beater townie (bar bike...used to be you could count on your barbike fixxie to remain safe out side the Last Dollar Saloon, or that at the very least you'd find it laid down at the corner with some blood- and hopefully teeth puddled around it...now with the current {welcome in many ways} resurgence of fixed gears you gotta lock it, or it'll end up in Shandoka parking lot. Again.), nice townie, LSD fix, cross fix, utilty/cargo bike, and I'm sure I've let some slip but YOU understand. And, as a bonus, there's lots of pretty girls in the bike scene...oh, wait.

So. While I don't really need all those bikes, I like having them. YOU know the reasons... And it's not really like the list of D&D gear, but...it's not too far off. Ouch again. But one real difference lies in the usage. I just really lik to ride. Hopefully, another difference is that I/YOU are not lurking around the intraweb looking for opportunities to jump down someone's throat for saying "paint" where it's really "powdercoat" or not knowing the latest spec on suspension part #87.4002b from company X. Or worse, working in a shop and being condescending to people who come in wanting help getting their ride on. Those are instances we've all seen, and it's lame. HEY all you bike shop dudes- be nice. Yes, you know more, and yes the customer is a rider. No one person knows everything- except maybe Sheldon Brown. I say this having been a bike shop dude for ~9 years on and off. Anyway, at some point, I realized I don't lik riding with a pack. I mean a Camelbak. A sweaty, mangy ( maybe that's just me) pack full of astronaut food, and self righteousness?I'd rather cram a bunch of real food in my woolen pockets and head out on whatever bike I happen to be riding. Which I'm going to go do now.

28 January 2008

This little piggy went to market.

Went to the grocer's today. J and I took the Xtracycle train. We started in the rain (all caped up in the selftent) and 2/3 up the hill it cleared above us. Yesssssss. Sunshine.


This was the lockup- wheels removed and secured. I forgot the cable.


Here's the 6 bags. It was a cartload. I didn't leave stuff out that we needed, but I kept in mind the fact that I was hauling all this back up/over. Packing loomed large in my purchase decisions too.


J enjoying the ride back up the hill. The green drybag is filled only with another larger drybag, as we anticipated rain. Figured the paper sacks would dissolve.



The choice: this or that. Give thanks for some sun!


The returned rig, parked in the drive.


Perspective upon unloading. Look at the Grip King pedals...I gotta be King where I can.


After so much rain it was a joy to be outside and lugging things by bike. Physically I'm feeling really good right now. SI issues are quiet, legs feel clean. (Rollers...Thanks, Mysterious B___ S_____ for turning me on to them. You were right. For once.) J is always stoked to ride, so I'm lucky there. ( He told me at one point that he had to "deal with [his] juice". WTH?) The packing required some care, as it does. Made sure the bags were balanced weight side to side. Put the high riding bags (stuff out the top) in the back of the trailer. The little junky red sack is for straps/multitool/tube...straps aren't easy but they're very necessary. Used the outrigger support on only one side due to trailer interference, but for this load they don't really help anyway. The trailer and the Xtracycle complement each other very well (using the skewer hitch), . We've had Great Success using this setup on several camping trips as well, so I'm sure it's solid. The overall ride quality is "couchy". That's a description that gets thrown out a little too casually, imho, but the springy Brooks B66 and soooper loooooong wheelbase make it fit. Lotta flex...

I'm waiting on Big Dummy, dammit.

27 January 2008

How high's the water, mama ?



Man, it's killing me. The kids are running laps around the house yelling as loud as they can. They're playing hide'n'seek and my bathroom (with me in it) is in play. They don't hide in there with me, they just run through, but still. Friday night I couldn't sleep, maybe cuz of no riding (or maybe cuz my sweetie 's been in Vegas playing for 5 days and this has been solo parenting in the monsoon), so at 1am, I found myself on the rollers watching "Letters from Iwo" at max volume. It was pretty good. A little surreal under the circumstances.

Say what you want, I got manlove for Clint Eastwood. As for what you might say- you might wonder why he subjected us to "Million Dollar Baby". What I would say to you is:" Every Which Way But Loose", biotch. And then I'd mumble some things about "Hang em High", "Fistful of Dollars", mumblemumbleEnnio Morricone, mutha _uckasmumblemumble "Any Which Way You Can" and "Bronco Billy" before coming right at you with "Paint Your Wagon". If you don't know, now you know.

And, plus my daughter goes to the same (public)school as his, and at last year's Father-Daughter Dance (a rockin good time) I did the hokey pokey across the row from him. And the Macarena. And the Chicken Dance.

The man is a man. Then and now. Makes me feel like this:
Image stolen from this fine site.

When I was a boy (actually even now that I'm a Man) my dad would proclaim of whatever he was cooking:" I think this is the best _________ I ever made". I made a mess of potatoes and tofu scramble (can a tofu dish qualify for mess status? it was really damn good...) for breakfast this morning and told my kids that it was the best I'd ever made. They looked at me blankly. It was the 1st time I'd given the line to them . The scramble is a variation on the potatoes and eggs my dad made at least 2 times a week every week (yes, they were each better than the last), and it brought that line right out of me without effort. Those kids are in trouble now that it's back. They will never hear the end of it.

I called the ole man and told him about it. He's from the Old School and was less than impressed with the best tofu anything, I think. But he still got it. Wait till I tell him about the best vegan chili I ever made.

One thing my dad and I share-we listen to the Man In Black.

25 January 2008

Enjoying the joy of others

"Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with them-these are the best guides for man."
Albert Einstein

And since everyone wants to get their Apocalypse on...
They should, at the very least, get it on in stylish blue velour track suits.

The reasons are several, most of them federal....here is what I mean, a anti-nigga machine. I personally don't look at mtbr.com because it is full of talky talk. But there are some who lik to ride, and they're all riled up over the Great Divide Race vs. Tour the Divide. I only became aware of the GDR last summer, when Rick Hunter was in it, and it sounded like a real fine time to me. I lik to ride far, not so fast though. And looking at the vitriol being spewed, I'm disenchanted with the organizers on both sides. Damn, bitches, shut up and ride your bikes. Listen to our boy, Einstein.

Not that it means a lot, coming from me. I'll be riding the Colorado Trail with good friends and good intentions next summer, not either of those two events. Still. I'm not completely calloused over from the heartbreak that is pro doping-er, cycling. To have folks I'd look to for inspiration be such...bitches, well it's sad.

On the other hand, there's hope to be found. Git on your bike and find some...

Oh, and finally, beam this into your head (hit the translate button & poke around):

24 January 2008

Woman Laughs About Killing Bicyclist

If you haven't seen this already...it's eye opening with regard to how we're seen on the road. Watch yourselves out there. Shi_ don't stop...

23 January 2008

Tibialis Anterior Palpation and Massage

Mysterious B___ S_____...this oughta be helpful for your foot drop. The rest of you- well, do you even ride bikes?

22 January 2008

Don't push the red button.

Another rainy day start. Testing the Rain Cape while in easy-motion-mode pulling the trailer.
The cape works well in that I stay much cooler than in traditional raingear. And no one can see what I'm up to in there, which is nice. It catches the wind waaaaaaay too much to ride fast in it. It is NOT ideal for high traffic areas, as it really impedes moving the hands around quickly. Nice and styley ( and cool) for low traffic moderately paced rides. Also, it keeps me dry when I'm standing around in the rain much better than a jacket.

Look at the snow(!) on Toro... it was chilly. We rode to Joselyn's to pick up a blinkie light, and get some pictures taken. then it was on to REI in Marina to buy some chemical feet warmers! Upon application, my feet weren't warm in my regular mesh Sidis, but they were comfortable.

The skies cleared on the way out..see the double rainbow.


Then we hit the dirt. Your eyes see 48 (!) cm Nitto bars. I like to breathe when I ride, so gimme some wide bars. Those are not knobbies, we're running 35mm Panaracer Paselas. Super versatile in the big width- scmoove like Eric B. & Raakim on the street, and very serviceable offroad. (It helps traction to have the trailer weighting the rear wheel.) I like that. The ability to ride wherever fancy takes me is rad. Getting Rad...

To the stairs for a hot lunch, (we had lentil soup, which J called "a brown lunch". Hmmmm) and beyond on trails toward Trail#50...




This is inneresting because it illustrates the line choices I have to make differently when pulling the trailer. Normally, I'd ride to the left to skip all the wet. With the trailer, I have to veer left around the 1st puddle, wait for the trailer to clear it, and then come back to the right line. At the far set of puddles, I have to skirt the middle right line ( mindful that the trailer tracks slightly left behind me). Keeping always in mind the position of the trailer is mostly 2nd nature. J lets me know if I screw it up and rock his boat too much.
Following is the branch I spoke about in the 2nd annual Jossholes employee ride. This is what I will recreate in papier mache at courses across the nation to throw my opponents off their line.

Today we saw 2 coyotes in different wetland areas, 3 hawks in trees, and lots of turkey tracks (up the Grind, which was a boggy mess in places). It was down #50, up the road climb towards #82, down same road and up the Grind to South Boundary to the Frog Pond to HWY 218 and back the bike path to Jose's for some veggie chimichangas.

Here's one of the wonderfully graphic and scarifying signs warning of unexploded ordinance. It reeks of supernatural piracy. Especially at twilight.
I'm tired. And I will crush you.