Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

28 July 2009

Let me first say one thing


I will now refer (again) to the time several 14 year olds looked pityingly at me as I gasped and sweated. _uck what you heard, this is the Truth.

You can be as out of shape or behind form as you are. This is important: You can still get on your bike and ride. It will hurt you. You can get out of your bed full up with stiffness and self pity, and you can ride your bike even so. It helps if you will stretch, but do as you like. You ride your bike and in a little time, depending, you will not wake up sore. And standing balanced on your feet, with equal weight on each foot, will seem natural and familiar again. You will then be getting happier and more cheerful as a bonus.

Commuting is your Real Friend.

If it is mid summer (yes! already and how can this happen?) and you are laying off the bike...ride.If you are bored by your local...ride. If x,y or z...ride.

Now. Go ride your bike.

24 July 2009

I may not always be right...but I am NEVER wrong.


image from
here



Dear Internet,

I am putting together a new cross bike. It will be comprised of a blend of totally kickass old parts and new parts. I am trying to decide which fucking awesome low Q mountain cranks to run 2x9. I would appreciate (or, as the Rastafarian in I would say: appreshilove...Yes I. bo! bo! ) any input you, the Internet have to offer on this monumental decision.

No thanks on carbon fibre. It is not awesome.



Thank you in advance for your consideration,

Ithe undersigned.

16 July 2009

all ratted up like a teenage Jezebel


Boys only, immediate family only trip towards Indians from Arroyo Seco via the bicycle...and it broke me. I spent a lot of time thinking about the various expressions for exhaustion used in the cycling world of my acquaintance while climbing the hateful face above the gorge. (I had a lot of time.) None of these expressions encompassed the depth and sincerity of my condition.



I am well familiar with the bad feeling that comes in the early minutes of some rides. This was that and more. Particularly in light of having ridden this same hill recently in similar circumstances. Last time it was the trailer-bike and as ultra-light as I felt we could go as a family in the heat. This time it was the Big Dummy. The Big Dummy was loaded, I was not. Since we had the cargo hauling capacity, we hauled some: to the tune of the 2-burner propane stove, the 9,000lb cast iron griddle, enough bags (3) for everyone, the tiny picnic stool, the heavy Paco pad (7lbs and worth them), and a small cooler. Not so light, but not nearly as heavy as we've gone before.


I'll blame the heat. It's convenient.



So my 9 year old schooled me up the hill.



I eventually asked J to climb off the back of the big Dummy and walk. I only rode at his walking pace, so it was no great loss to him. What a difference- I came to realize how much his pedaling input last time helped offset his 37lbs. When I stopped to allow him back on, I put my foot down on a tippy rock, and fell over the side of the roadbed. Only my grip on the bike prevented me from continuing on down the slope. That would have been bad. I was too fatigued to react quickly. Oops. It has since been decided that I will not take the boys so remote with only one adult.

All I ask of my boys is that they look like old time Australian miners...



Camplife:







At the spring for refills.


Dinner by the campfire.


Night time screaming?

I sleep very lightly in the woods, so in the middle of the night I was awakened by some unknown-to-me and very scary noise. I raised up onto my forearms, and heard it again, seemingly 40-60 feet away. A weird shrieking sound. It did not sound catlike, but that is all I could think about- mountain lion. What else could make such a terrifying and BIG noise? I grabbed the headlamp from the "gear attic", and sweated in the dark without turning it on. I didn't want to give away our position. It sounds ridiculous here (clearly whatever it was knew good and well we were there) but at the time it seemed the best course of action. It repeated 6 or 7 times down the roadbed to the North, and then after a pause (during which I was steady staring at the roadbed towards the noise and scanning in front of the tent as well and seeing nothing moving) it came again just to the South and much closer ( maybe 20 feet) at which point I pressed the light to the mesh (so it wouldn't just reflect back at me) and tried to spotlight what I thought of as "the creature". Immediately it sounded again, 2 more times and each time it was more muffled, as though it were getting farther away. The boys slept through the whole thing; which was good. I did not sleep so well for the remainder of the night. The one night I did not have a knife next to me. I usually keep a knife right to hand and even indulge in such paranoid levels of preparation as to pre-open the blade (because after all, were I to actually need the knife, I'd need it ready), but this night saw me in the tent with a 6" camping knife, and a 16" handled saw just out of reach and outside the tent, and me the only "adult". Scary situation.

Turns out it was a fox. Who knew? You scoff, but I guarantee you that noise would scare you pantless in the dark.

Dawn and breakfast eventually showed. I searched for evidence of "the creature", but found no sign on the hard, stony ground. Blueberry and banana pancakes washed away the taste of fear. I forgot the coffee, which made things hard. D stuffed the sleeping bags (unasked), which was a help. The boys threw rocks while I broke camp.




All downhill to the swimming hole.






The load was lightened (due to the food all being eaten) and was more compact. I also wised up and laid the big canvas bag flat on the snap deck instead of upright, and that made a noticeable difference as well. I lik to forgo the sideload supports, and keep the side cargo as high as possible. This allows better clearance, which is important since the old roadbed is littered with rocks. The full cooler on the front rack makes steering more cumbersome, but it also holds cooled food and a 6 pack. Trade offs.

The steering was much more precise than the Albatross barred Long Haul Trucker and trailerbike. Maneuvering through the rubble was odd at first with the super long wheel base. It quickly became 2nd nature again. J was kind of jammed up against the stem mounted water bottle this time, and did not like all the bumps; he got pretty upset on the constant downhill- even with the thermarest pad. He likes the trailerbike much better. (Times are changing.) We may have to work out some different system in the future.




This section of road bed does not look so impressive here, but the darker section is the remains of a road closing slide that is pretty sketchy.







The big payoff.


You should trick your own kids into doing this before they know any better.

14 July 2009

me oh my oh

My _uckin keyboard is giving me a little trouble...I don't wanna talk about that now.

I wanna talk about SSWC09, which is coming up quick, like Michael Jackson's restless plastic-encased zombie self being summoned by elementary aged devil worshipers. (too soon?) What are your plans? Make them known in the comments.

Regarding my own best laid plans...I have feelers out. If I have tried to feel you, and you have not responded...best do so quick. The quicker the better, or it'll get worse. Much, much worse. You know this in your heart. Don't make it harder than it has to be.

I will begin training to winnnnnnnnnnn....now!

08 July 2009

...me gotta go

I put some knobbies on my Black Cat Bicycles road/cross bicycle and rode it. It was fun as hell.

07 July 2009

06 July 2009

NOW READ THIS NOW READ THIS

I will be unable to attend the regularly scheduled Full Buck Moon. So, once again, I am reformatting astrology (astronomy?) to suit my own ends. The new Full buck Moon is tonight. Meet at the circular fountain in Monterey Plaza at 9pm to softly cruise and drink the beers under the new Full Buck Moon. It will be a town ride, with trail options for the adventurous.


Don't be, uh, kahrazy. Get some.

04 July 2009

better than _________________

picture this, only with super gay pink, green and ice blue Speedblend tires...

Get it while you can, I suppose. I pulled the flashy fixie out of the shed in order to ride it to work. The front tire was flat, and I remembered it having been flat several weeks ago when last I rode it, so I pulled the tube and tried to find the leak. No dice. The valve was a little bent, but it seemed like no big deal, and it held air when closed...Maybe I misremembered, I thought, and put the tube back in. Rode to work, loving it all the while.

Worked. At lunch, I noticed the damn tire was flat.So I spent much of the break replacing it, since I knew I would not be able to find the leak. My pump on that bike is the junk pump- an oooold Silca Impero which I leave on that bike because it is not good enough to use always, and not bad enough to throw out. It felt very strange upon use; it would cycle without catching, and then get very sticky. Back and forth with no rhyme. I pulled it off and put it to my lips to moisten the rubber seal again- it is my standard practice to do this to lube the connection and, in my mind, create a better seal- only to have thispop out and ruin my day. Then the valve stem tore.


I had to call my wife to pick me up.

02 July 2009

...not horrible.

Is how D answered when I axed him how today's ride was.


Since the camping trip last week ("It sucked.") was so hot and bothersome for him, I've been thinking. He really put in the hard effort for that ride (even with the epic bitching) and it was very much off the couch. I have not been taking him riding. Largely due to my selfish preference for going at my own chosen speed, but also because both older children say that they don't want to go with me.

"It's no fun."

"It's too hard."

I am again saying "It's too bad for you, my friend." to all of that. So today I dragged him out on the condensed sneaky loop. It was condensed in that we drove up the hill to near the top, and I got the car without him later. This allowed us to skip a lot of uphill (which he dislikes) and a lot of traffic ( in which I dislike for him to ride), and begin his conditioning. I believe I have mentioned here before how we used to be ski bums in a fine little town on the Western slope of CO, and how lots of kids in that town were incredible skiers but were burned out on the whole thing by age 10 because their parents had forced it on them and how I want to avoid that with bicycles and my own offspring...well, those are words I should heed.

Today was a search for the middle ground of hard and fun. It began with pave but quickly switched to dirt.

We had an impromptu clinic on riding steeps. This is his 2nd ride on the 24"wheels, and it is taking some adjustment. Looking at how he's had to spiiiiiiiiiin to keep up on his 20", this seems to be a mostly welcome change.




Getting "stuff" out of his shoes.




After a reduced-yet-still-substantial circuit, we broke out the pocket chainsaw and sawed some logs. We used the 2man technique to good effect on the 12" (old and dry) log, but the freshly fallen 18"er broke us, and we'll have to take it in stages.


Then it was time for Brown Lunch.


To begin we cleared away the duff. Then we set out the pan/lid as a base to avoid a forest fire.



Guess what I forgot today?




Jack axed about Esbit legitimacy...I will say (again) that this stove is supremely useful. Compact, able to use natural/local fuel. Practically foolproof, and I should know.





See?



We sat on the hillside log.



We looked out on this.


Then we ruled it downhill some more to crawl back home on pave. 6 hours. 0 complaints.

Not horrible.

01 July 2009

what the falafel?!?!


I keep crashing my bike. And it hurts!

I crashed today climbing out of the saddle, one handed while trying to hitch up my pants. I know, but they all seem like Good Ideas at the time. Right hand on the bars, hitching with the left= no problem, if a little jerkier than I'd anticipated. Left hand on the bars, I tugged with my right hand= one stroke OK, next stroke dowwwwwwwwwwn. In the roadbed, in traffic, because I am an idiot.

And because my screwy, bum left shoulder leaves me open to this kind of thing. You laugh, but that is because you are an insensitive jerk, and you have not tried that recently. Really, go out and try climbing whilst standing, one handed. It is harder than you think. I took it mostly on the left knee, so good thing I had on pants.

In any event, I need to get it together. This kind of one sided lop-sidedness is unacceptable. I need to "get in shape."There. I said it. Now I must do it.

As an aside, Arnica works very well to reduce inflammation.

buck buck #1 coming...

For all those that don't know:

July 7th is the Full Buck Moon.


now you know.

Who can tell me the name of my DJ? 1, 2, 3...______________