31 August 2010
Cycles, cycles, life goes in cycles. I have been enjoying my recent tenure in the dirt and on the fixed cross bike. No thought, just work. Quiet is kept.
I blew through the seat of my pants. Nope, strictly from the friction of pedaling. My rivets sure are shiny.
Then, on Saturday, J____ J______ and I rode out to drink beers and poke rattlesnakes:
...but they have given up on the plywood sheet as a home, I guess. Dang. I finally had a camera.
That "stick" is the Snakecharmer 9000, and is pointing to the previous resting site of said snake.
While, in this photo and contrary to first impressions, the Snakecharmer 9000 is pointing to a subtly camouflaged second bicycle. Yes. There really are 2 bikes there.
I have been listening to 4 Too Short CDs my rotten brother sent me for several days now, and nothing but. It is affecting me.
28 August 2010
Have no fear. Dredged up from the past, it's Yacht Rock!
We got screwed by copyright lameness.
11)I like this one the best.
12)Ok, ok. Maybe this one is my favorite. (Please don't fail to notice that when Kenny Loggins is firing from his space F16 the projectiles are cocksandballs. That made me laugh.)
26 August 2010
25 August 2010
...wait for it
I got tricked by the internets into thinking Mars was close. Closer than at any point in 3,000 years (not sure if that's to be until the next time, or from the last time, or somewhere in the middle of a giant extended astronomical bell curve of Mars-closeness) was what I...uh...told people. OK, OK, I just wanted a little snake oil to pour on my syrupy words of encouragement. It makes it go down so much smoother.
So the truth is out there, and so is Mars. It's not that close. But the moon is just past full, the weather's fine, and a bike ride is the thing.
Tonight. 8pm. Wino Beach. Get some.
24 August 2010
It is to laugh. The Full(ish) Sturgeon Moon did not disappoint- mild, clear as a bell, magic on the trails. One of the little brown guys on bikes too big for them steered at me on purpose (trying to make me sweat?) in an unsuccessful Chicken maneuver as I took the bike path back in from Cside(!). PYT (Michael Jackson's finest hour) was on full blast last night at Ody's; which smelled of mold and too much body spray. Quite the dive. Recommendo.
Also, if you live at a trail head...well, you're gonna get yours and to be upset about it is churlish. Viz:
The Sudden Walk
When it looks as if you had made up your mind finally to stay at home for the evening, when you have put on your house jacket and sat down after supper with a light on the table to the piece of work or the game that usually precedes your going to bed, when the weather outside is unpleasant so that staying indoors seems natural, and when you have already been sitting quietly at the table for so long that your departure must occasion surprise to everyone, when, besides, the stairs are in darkness and the front door locked, and in spite of all that you have started up in a sudden fit of restlessness, changed your jacket, abruptly dressed yourself for the street, explained that you must go out and with a few curt words of leave-taking actually gone out, banging the flat door more or less hastily according to the degree of displeasure you think you have left behind you, and when you find yourself once more in the street with limbs swinging extra freely in answer to the unexpected liberty you have procured for them, when as a result of this decisive action you feel concentrated within yourself all the potentialities of decisive action, when you recognize with more than usual significance that your strength is greater than your need to accomplish effortlessly the swiftest of changes and to cope with it, when in this frame of mind you go striding down the long streets - then for that evening you have completely got away from your family, which fades into insubstantiality, while you yourself, a firm, boldly drawn black figure, slapping yourself on the thigh, grow to your true stature.
All this is still heightened if at such a late hour in the evening you look up a friend to see how he is getting on.
...whether you got a sleeping baby or not. Here's mud in your eye. Back at it tomorrow night, Wednesday at 8pm. The wino beach. Be there or be looked up.
23 August 2010
Meet at the wino beach. It promises to be balmy and sensational. I'm getting drunk.
I apologize if this affects your large bony anadromous fishes, your black masses, your clambakes, or your TV watching.
*with a probable further iteration on Wednesday the 25th, as well. Mark your palms.
22 August 2010
19 August 2010
Turn it up!!
I pedaled out this morning, under the fog, on the road. Foggy road. Foggy road. The road was so foggy.
Past the inland edge of the fog it was a sunny day! Then it was dirt up the hill from the bottom to the top. Getting up all that singletrack was some work. I tell you, it was silly to get to the log and have worked so much by that point.
I had a musette full of beers to hide in the woods. I like musettes a lot. When you are done sticking those eggses under a log somewheres, you can fold up the bag and stuff it in your pocket real clean-like.
A cross bike is a go anywhere bike, even with slicks. Pave sections are so pleasing, and the dirt is also your friend. A friend who will reach up and slap you every now and then. A True friend keeps you humble.
Looking Southwest back towards Monterey and that fog. I was ruing my wool selections at this point. Sweaty South Boundary to Laguna Seca ridgeline to 50, down and up.
BAM! I crawled up the bottom of Mudhen Express to this point. Look at those tires! 37mm Panaracer Paselas will hunt.
Pulled a warm Hamm's out from the under hang. Replaced with kindling/twigs. It's a Brown Lunch spot now, after all.
Took Machine Gun Flats and whichever#6_ it is back over to Bare Twitch, then crept Southwards to the Rattlesnakes Trail.
Alas alack, the board was only covering a cast off skin today. No rattlesnake proof, save a dried up shed skin. Of course I took that; it's full of power. Don't be surprised if it turns up when you least expect it.
Cside (who got my High Life empty in the mailbox?) and Veteran's to dirt home...only I flatted in Pebble and had to walk the remainder (~3miles) as my tube and patch kit had ejected from my saddlebag, with me all unknowing. No, I have not resolved my phone issues (being broke).
A Good Day.~35miles.
18 August 2010
_______ the Revelator. What's ______ riding? Fill in your own blanks, people.
Having a teenage daughter is no picnic. It's a pout from sunup to sundown. Upon my return from the daily fixed in the dirt, I met N on the road near the house and asked her to accompany me in riding to get the boys from school. She declined on the grounds that I am embarrassing company. Now, how can I argue against that Truth? Obviously, I can't, but I can honestly say that I am not the only kook around wearing bike clothes ("You're wearing leggings!"); i.e. Joselyn's team bib shorts and knee warmers. So asking fell short, which lead to telling, which was met with refusal.
Now, I don't know how y'all were raised, but there was no refusing a direct (let's call it an) edict when I was growing up. And there will be no refusing now. If they want to refuse- it better be refusing to try and breathe under water or some such.
At that point there was no helping the situation, and she dragged her feet and "couldn't" find her helmet (but then went right to it when less favorable helmet choices were proposed- and speaking of, she's written in Sharpie "Snowboarder, Skier, not bike rider" on her white helmet. Which I find doubly amusing, as she does ski, but does not snowboard) and wouldn't ride near me because I am "creepy" (again- undeniable, but not for reasons cited). So.
The boys gotten, I forced them all to ride with me in Fort Ord. I'd initially planned to take just the boys; but given N's maddeningly petty brattiness, she got to go as well. We took the newish route from the Parker Flats Cutoff gate on account of I wanted to see if the rattlesnakes were still around. I want the kids to see these things.
N fussed about every aspect of the ride that she could. She told me "I hate this road. Why are we going this way?" when the other choice would have been techy singletrack with significantly more climbing. She told me "Why are we 'seeing where this goes'? Can't we turn around now?" She told me "This isn't even taking us where we want to go!", and then asked where we were. She told me lots of things.
I have a hard time staying silent in the face of such outrageous bullshit, but it has become clear that any response is just fuel for more bullshit. My face and head began to swell, and steam issued from my ears.
So we seen the rattlesnake. The smaller and more dusty brown of the 2 we'd seen last week was there, under the ply board. I had the kids all stand on one side of the board- the side which looked like it would cleave tightly to the ground as I lifted it and preclude a snaky exit in that direction- and raised up the sheet. The snake lay curled with head and rattle clearly visible. There was a lengthy snakeskin near it, but no sign of it's partner (no small source of nervousness for us regarding the safe placement of feet). We all peeped around and over the wood. Then we poked at it with a stick and riled it up so it rattled. Then we reflected on how we were to lower the sheet and make good our own exit.
Even that was "eh". And this is only the beginning. Sorry there's no photographic proof, but I left the house in a cloud of hissiness, so I forgot about cameras.
16 August 2010
IF, say, there were a revisitation of the White Rim Overnight scheduled for October 22 and the Full Hunter Moon...well then, would anyone show?
This may or may not be in the works. The White Rim Trail Overnight has been a function of the July Full Thunder Moon, historically speaking. Started in 1998, this ridiculous ~110 mile bit of trailwork under the moon is the ride that caused this very congregation to rise from the trailside dust and begin it's fine tenure of shyster laden hucksterism. It has broken better riders than you and brought them so very, very low. Since the beginning, it has had a long and sordid tradition of bailouts and false starts. Every time it is attempted, it invariably becomes much more than at least one participant wanted.
If this goes forward, it will be (as per usual) supported with water caches at each campground and one fully stocked aid station at Murphy's Hogback. Last time I attended, the aid staion had thermarests, coolers full, food, whatever gear folks had arranged to have sagged, etc. We're talking luxe as you like. I wonder if we couldn't work out some kind of chef's meat catering action...
Cali people may want to carpool. I have a party van.
Anyhow, it's a thought.
12 August 2010
The boys walked to school today 100% parentally free. Day #2, and J says he'd rather it be just them. D says it's "funner" without me, and besides I "know [he] likes Mama a bit more" anyhow.
So there's that. All I got out of this was several hours to ride in the woods. Fixed again today. It goes in cycles, remember? Good times. My legs were sore at first but they shook out OK. More of the whole body give 'er, and you know I love that.
That's a solid wheel. 15g 4cross. Fixed/free.
After I got home, I switched bikes to go up pick the boys:
Also, is Dahon Japanese for "incredibly useful"?
I am very excited about this.
A dynamo hub powered battery charger? YES.
Upon further inspection, the High Gear Solarpod is a viable option as well...and you could take it whether or not your bike of the (sunny you hope) day had a dynamo hub. QBP distributes this, so your local bike shop can get it for sure.
These are Good Things to think about.
11 August 2010
Took the fixed cross bike out on dirt today.
It's been almost a year (!) since I took it apart to use it's Midge bar on another bike for SSWC09, and this bike has been languishing the while. This is due in part to it's c. 1995 XTR polished square taper non-drive crank having demolished threads and being part of the bike for the duration so to speak. Yeah yeah yeah, I could get a gear puller and have it offa there, but.
Anyhow, as cliched as it is; there's something magical about a fixed wheel. It's bad meaning good.
10 August 2010
I said to J, "We should go ride".
"That's a great idea!", he replied.
So we did. We hunted up the access trail some more off of Parker Flats Cut-off, with great success. At a certain point I noticed a lot of military trenching and some interesting looking flat spots, so we got off and walked along the ridge for a while. Well off trail, we saw an interesting looking structure (i.e. not another collapsing shithouse left over from Fort Ord's training days) and headed towards it. J kept juking around me to be in front. Just beside the structure were several sheets of old plywood. I cannot resist picking these up, as they are prime snake hideouts, so I was eyeing it closely. A few inches from the far corner lay a fat puddle of rattlesnake.
I grabbed J by the shoulders and pointed it out to him. Then I lifted him up onto my own shoulders so he could watch from a safe spot.
I'm really kicking myself for forgetting a camera today. We did not shoot that video, but the landscape is similar to ours, and the snake remains the same. The puddle of snake was a Pacific Northern Rattlesnake ( crotalus oregonus). It's head was clearly visible in the centre, and it's rattle off to the left. I picked up a stick and gently poked at it in hopes of getting it to open up so we could really get a look, but dropped the stick. There was no way I was reaching closer to pick it up, so we contented ourselfs with tossing finger sized twigs at the snake. (J was actually lobbying heavily to leave right away) The rattler obliged and raised his head 3" or so from the ground and quickly slithered under the plywood, rattling the whole while we remained. As the snake slid over, a second snake was revealed to have been lying beneath!
So we tossed twigs at this one, too (Gently- we have no desire to hurt any animal) and he also obliged us by shaking his butt. I told J to hush his fussing and listen to that sound. Remember it.
I've ridden out there extensively for 9 years and this was the first time I've seen a rattler, let alone two.
School starts tomorrow. That was J's last ride of the summer...
05 August 2010
We're still hunting and pecking up a new mostly dirt route from the Parker Flats Cutoff entrance, and we're getting there. Saw a turkey and a coyote up close. He rallied so hard. He rode Mudhen Express and Blair Witch. 7ish miles? Good Times.
Then there's this from the Drunk Cyclist:
And in the God Hates ____________ category...
...which is an admittedly huge category. From photobomb, and especially relevant now that Prop 8 has been overturned and 2 people who love one another are getting another chance at saying I Do.
04 August 2010
Sometimes, when I'm riding my bike, I get the feeling that the Death is right behind me. An image comes into my mind of the Grim Reaper, robes billowing and scythe lashed to his back, on the rivet chasing me.
I imagine that Death rides the same bike I do on any given day. He suffers from the same worn drive train issues. He has one brake hood that is (naggingly, and forgotten as soon as the ride ends so never addressed) millimeters higher than the other. His cleats are worn out, and one of his soles has been partially melted by a campfire-this affects his pedaling. He seldom remembers to stretch, though this is much less a concern for him than it is for me. Death flats when I flat.
How fast can I recover from issues x, y or z and get back on it? Fast enough so far.
In my imagination, Death is always behind me. When I actually think about it, I realize it is truer to think of Death as being in front of me: waiting next to an off-camber high speed turn, hiding behind a fallen Monterey Pine in a previously clear section of familiar trail, standing beside a slippery root under the canopy of Redwoods.
When I really think about it, Death has probably just gotten into his Cadillac Escalade and is barreling down the road adjusting his stereo and texting while eating.