Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

29 November 2012

go to hell (and return unharmed)

Whew. That was a rockin' Good Time. The dappled 2 track made it glorious. I attempted singletrack along the ridge, but the wind from yesterday's downpour had dropped lots of branches. 1st real storm of the Winter, it put to rest my complaints that most of the saw work was done. There's plenty more now.

Fort Ord glows in the moonlight. I just put a wheel in to touch base at the Shrine and then turned it around and rode for home. Solo night riding can be scary for real- like what if I roll the wheel sideways on one of the many pine cones and crash and get knocked out?- and it can be scary in your head- like when are the werewolves going to come out of the dark shadows, cuz I know they're there. I just go ahead and ride even though it's scary and it ends up being fun. That's real profound.

Anyhow- you suckers missed it. I realize that schoolwork, and familial duties, and employment and really interesting TV shows take precedence though.

28 November 2012

we shut em up and then we shut em down

...some guys they just give up living
and start dying little by little, piece by piece.
Some guys come home from work and wash up
and go racing in the streets.

Obviously, the car-centric focus is misguided but you get the idea. I've been given a break in this rain and I'm going riding. Even though none ya from lame Monterey can be bothered.

I can be bothered.

27 November 2012

if I could go back in time

If you are entertaining the idea of riding bikes with someone for a period of days there are things to consider. If you know this person, it can be automatic. If you don't, it bears some thinking. Are they fun? Humorous? Capable? Resourceful? Does their fitness level dictate slowing down or speeding up? Are they accommodating? Respectful? Is their temper an issue? Do (not joking) they smell? Are your trail tastes sympatico? Do they wake up at 4AM and start banging cookware? Do they allow rest days? Do they only dine in high class eateries? Will they stop for thrift stores, hot springs, and shooting BB guns? Is Crosby Stills and Nash to be suffered? (because just NO) Etc.

26 November 2012

gettin by on gettin by's my stock-in-trade

Don't matter how you do it. Just do it like you know it.

Reminder of what was and will be. You're all getting spray paint and a piece of cardboard this Xmas. If you're good and lucky.

Riding old familiar trails is a joy. There's reasons why they are old and familiar. Riding old familiar trails with some (most all) of the ways unbarred is a treat. Riding old familiar trails under the clear waxing moon is a sweet delight. Riding in these circumstances with Heckle and Jeckle is hit and miss. Surprise! Baby blue covered Heckle has some good ideas, and we end up riding back and forth a few times on trails which are old and familiar trails to me, but are involved and unfamiliar enough to those 2 forest creatures to be old familiar trials- unexpected turn here and lookout for roots there. I realize I have gotten stuck in the rut of thinking of them as being a means to an other end. They are perfect and whole in themselves, these trails.

Silvery moonlight, that silvery moonlight.

Looking forward to Wednesday night and it's attendant Fully Wide open Beaver Moon late evening short distance bicyle tour...if  this weather permits. I know I say it too often, but. There's only so many chances at that magic and wise folks get while the gettin is good.

Been riding the Surly Ogre more than anything else lately. It is a handling improvement over the Salsa Fargo. It feels much more willing to change direction. It is also a flexy tank. When I heft the front end over gaps and then follow with the rear, I can feel the bike shudder and take a minute to consider before snapping to. Contrasting this with the superleggera Black Cat SS that I rode today...whoa. Talk about snappy! I lik the Surly for what it is, and the price is right, but. To be fair, contrasting mass produced with custom is not fair.

I lik bikes!

24 November 2012


We keep the polemics to a minimum over here at HQ, but but but. Sign this petition and please to spread the word via your own means...I envision a big shepherd's crook snaking out from the wings. Thanks to adventure! over at the Urban Adventure League for the heads up.

And speaking of polemics, after all the trail clearing and the new new, some jackass took it upon himself to drag the same limbs (and lots more besides) back into the trails in that one section after the maritime chaparral twistys. I found this out as I was test riding. Came upon a couple clearly man-made dead-falls the size of your bicep and my wrist and hucked them into the bushes. Then, and just as I had full steam, I came up and around that one corner and BAM! full stop. In order to avoid the your thigh and my calf-sized branch.

No joke.

That kind of shit hurts people. I'm not having that. Though I feel no need, I will state that I have a mandate from the people to clear dead limbs from trails (which have no designation whatsoever, so there's not even a questionably legal leg to stand on there) which are impeding flow. There's no live trees touched, there's no new construction. Putting branches in spots calculated to trip people up and cause harm is crossing a line beyond which lies my fist. If I come across this behavior, you are losing teeth. Thanks!

Anyhow, enjoy yourselves out there on trails and streets with the best intentions towards your fellows. Locals, there will be the riding tonight...

20 November 2012

perform every heinous vice

I scared myself but good on the bike today. Riding around in circles, waiting for some hesitater in a bulky SUV to pull into traffic already, I became impatient and imprudent at exactly the same moment. This led me to pop right out after her when she finally did go and I badly underestimated the speed of the truck bearing down on me. Whew! That was terrifying. Lesson relearned: Don't be a Dick.

I also took out the log I'd initially set out after yesterday. 2 cuts. It was big enough to be mildly exhausting. Now it is gone. Good stuff.

After that, there was nothing for it but to test ride the log-free trails.

19 November 2012

the infinite use of finite means

 You know why. I know why. Because lashing a 3'6" x 5lb4oz crosscut saw to a pedal bike seems like a fine idea.

 And it is.

 It's not an idea you can just roll around promoting anywhere so after you wise up, best to tighten up with a clever disguise. I got to rig a bag for that tool. Keep it stealthy. Looking at that bundle, you'd never know it was there. Just another of the unwashed, DUI lowlifes using bikes instead of cars.

 Most of the time and effort that went into clearing trails today was spent prepping to cut; stripping the limbs of bark, removing hindrances to movement or vision, planning the cut in accord with potential to bind and/or jump. I like to cut as few times as possible, but Smart and Safe are more valuable to me than Fast and Loose. In this instance if in no other. So I  hang out in the woods and think about how to best cut wood. Somebody's got to.

 Surly junk straps are good for restraining loose ends. I cut the 1st limb and then moved to the 2nd...

 and took a lousy picture. Sorry. I will take some better pics- this saw is worth examining. I got it recently (thanks for the B-day present, mom!) and this is the 1st opportunity I've had to use it. All that talky talk is now action. All them logs that have plagued us are on notice...

I'd planned to take out that one log, but it was too out of bounds today given the unknowns. So I headed further over and cleaned up that big tangle, then looped back around to sweep the downhill.

Low lying infuriator?

Done and gone. And the waist high flow stopper? Removed and a beer drunk on it's spot. It's ours now. Again.

I am filled with Power. Glowing, looming, impending. Nothing but smooth trails where trails should be smooth. Nothing but judicious restraint and reckless abandon. It's all downhill from here.

18 November 2012

free pics sexy hot women in 30 to 40yer old

Hello new friends! Welcome. I hope you found what that for which you were looking.

I'd like to show you the light. Careful you don't hurt your eyes. People ask: What is the right way to live? For one, consider the Samurai in the rain quote: “There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”(Yamamoto Tsunetomo, The Hagakure: A code to the way of the samurai)

So, if there's rain in the offing...what? You got a rain bike. My rain bike is a beat-down Schwinn Le Tourist fixed gear (that's right, you heard right- am I gonna let "hipsters" make my fixed gear passe? No. Fixed gear bicycles were fun before, and they are fun now, and they will continue to be fun in the future.) with brass fenders(!) and it is the perfect bike for just not giving a shit and riding from Alfredo's out to Fort Ord, taking in some gritty sandy singletrack, and looping back to the mean streets of Carmel. I was wrapped up in my self-tent and feeling froggy. To those who played: well played. To those who did not: duh, you blew it.

And, if riding around at night on questionably accessed trails is your thing, then you might find yourself throwing your bike over a series of gates as you get out and get in it. And you might say to yourself, "This is it."

14 November 2012

the kind of mistake a man can make only once

In response to a phone call from an unnamed "friend", I found myself waking up at 3:15AM and heading North. In a car. And not for a bike ride.

A helicopter ride to the Farallon Islands sounded like a fair use of a day off. I had never been in a helicopter before, nor had I heard of the Farallon Islands (much less been there). Those of y'all who love birds and live in the Bay Area should prolly get on that. The whole place is literally covered in birds' bones. I imagine at the right time of year it is a birder's paradise. At this time of year it is lots of seals and not so many birds.  The biologists who man the place are some nice guys who are wealths of information. They were counting attacks by Great White Sharks on seals. I heard the term "blood pool" used twice in passing. It stuck with me. The conversations were going great until the subject of Orcas came up.Y'all are familiar with my anthropomorphization of Killer Whales- I think they are assholes. Really, they are the worst kind of bullying meatheads. They need to grow up and stop abusing their position at the top of the food chain. Did you know that Orcas predate Great White Sharks? Apparently they love the liver. Anyhow, when the biologist started waxing about Killer Whales' superior predator status, I dropped the turd into the punchbowl by voicing my opinion (not the 1st time that's happened, I can tell you). I even included the self-effacing sidenote about realizing it was bullshit and assigning made-up values to nature...but not even a smile. He just looked at me. Quite speechless. It was exquisite.

My buddy asked me if the day was worth the trade (I assisted, briefly, superficially, whingeingly,  with some septic system maintenance) and I honestly answered "No." Well, we did see (from afar) a Great White attack on a hapless, by-standing seal (yeah yeah- everbody's gotta eat) but I could not discern the blood pool.

If you have seen a helicopter ride on TV, you have as good as ridden in one. Anything more exciting would be terrifying to boot, and I pass.

I did have a spirited discussion with said compadre while we sat in heavy 5PM traffic regarding how bad BB King sucks. Surprisingly, it was not a difference in degree, but of kind. My boy feels that BB King is good while I feel that BB King represents the very worst kind of soulless pandering to boozy white folks sitting in an overly hot and dirty field getting sunburned and drinking Coors Lite. I said he was just like Robert Cray- tired, played out, no soul. I said I like my blues with razors and whiskey:

08 November 2012

temet nosce

I received the following in an email from a valued colleague (and, for the record, my Spirit Animal is The Next Big Thing):


had a dream which featured yourself in the guise of world class cyclist and alpine climber who went by the moniker Redondo Adriano. (I made sure to write it down as soon as I woke up) 

you had a fondness for simple, but well-made sport coats, and at one point in the wandering narrative, were recovering a pair of what I can only 
describe as a pair of plaid slip-on dress/casual shoes from a mannequin in museum display. (dedicated to one of your many outrageous exploits.) 

not sure what your spirit animal is, but..."

07 November 2012

tactical rehabilitation

Are you taking for granted X, Y and even Z? Does your morning coffee without that hint of woodsmoke fail to satisfy? Are your clean, crisp sheets not a luxury to be savored and regarded?

You have grown soft and your outlook is dim. You need some suffering in your life. Get on that.

2 days off. 65 miles of pavement down the Big Sur Coastline. Hot. Calm. Pleasant mindless spin- so much so that the only thing that stays in my mind is the shirtless weirdo who'd parked his stickered up 80s vintage VW van at one pullout and was cruising the pullouts in his way-too-short cutoffs aboard his 29"wheeled Rockhopper toting his Yorkshire Terrier in a home-made dishrack/basket. I played leap frog with the tourists in rental RVs- Fun Finder X?

Lucia at sunset and climbing Nacimiento Ferguson in the dark. I dropped the backside in the dark, too- passed the 1st campground and stopped at the 2nd. I misremembered there having been a spigot there. The fee was $15. The camp host was still there (this late in the season? at that out of the way spot?) so I put $10 in the envelope because it was $5 over or $5 under, and I opened with under. I figured I could bluff if it came to it. Settling in for the night was quick, and I will tell y'all this: the instant garlic mashed potatoes from Trader Joe's are conveniently packaged in 2 2person servings and are super easy/great camping food! I was tired enough (that Nacimiento Ferguson is a hard climb!) that I really appreciated the ease.

That picture there is from breakfast, when I was done cooking and just wanted a cheery twig fire. The Kelly Kettle boils some water like no other. It requires far less time spent gathering/snapping/sorting twigs than I am used to, and uses way less fuel to bring a given amount of water (say, a large water bottle's worth) to a rolling boiling in about 5minutes. It is worth looking into if you like that sort of thing. It is very bulky (it took up the entire front rack) in comparison to the Esbit, more in line with your gas powered JetBoil. Everything is a trade-off. It is of little use to actually cook on, because the water inside boils and spits out the spout (some of it dribbling into your fire pan base) and you either have to keep refilling the reservoir as you cannot use it dry, or figure out what you want to do with your boiled water and then refill, etc. So- cooking not so much. Boiling? Hell yes.

I liked it quite a bit for making coffee happen so fast.  But, I will likely not be taking it on solo outings in the future. For that application, the trade-off is not worth it. Now I know.

Anyhow, after breakfast I had to leave as quickly as possible. I didn't want that camp host coming over for his $5. All the long and hot way through Fort Hunter Ligget I distracted myself with scenarios involving disgruntled camp hosts seeking retribution. And it was a long long and hot way. Every ride through there it seems like they add a section. By the time I had taken a wrong turn and ridden several long and hot miles out of and then back into my way, my shirt was stiff and salty.

 That's my crowded handlebars. No pack, so the water bladder was in the frame bag and it's hose you see. The white cable is the USB cord to recharge the iPhone via the Plug (worked like a charm). I listened to Ry Cooder's I, Flathead on repeat.

I have, now, in my possession, a plastic spoon which is the spiritual equivalent of a Golden Eagle feather. That's what you get, on your vision quest, when you hassle a wild Golden Eagle. Right? When you actually make the effort to get offa your bike and walk over to underneath where said magnificent bird perched. Right? If a feather from your (ahem) totem is unavailable, then you must avail yourself of the spiritual equivalent in situ. Probably, there is more personal magic in that sun hardened plastic spoon on account of giving a hoot and stopping pollution and all. Anyways, I have my mojo working.

 By the time I stopped for lunch, at Escondido Campground, I had made several bad choices regarding water. I had a hard time focusing. It took a while to sort out the order of doing things to make food. The new cook system wasn't helping. Coffee and space packaged Indian food.

 I had enough water to last to the spring past Hanging Valley, so I just decided to keep pushing. Once there, I laid in the shady spot in the dirt for 20 minutes while sweet, cold water trickled into my bottle. Dripped down from the very finest ferns and muck, that water is the best in the whole world. It is sweet and cold. The best.

That right there is the Good Place. Seems like ever time I'm there, though, I'm too worked to appreciate it fully. The Ventana Wilderness is magic.

Then it was all downhill for a while. Then pavement and dark to home. Somewheres in the neighborhood of 140 hot, hard miles in 2 days. I am relishing the comforts of home today.

04 November 2012

hey! jambo jambo

Plenty o riding happening, not much o posting. If you were there then you know how it went. Every time, but some more than others I guess. One time it was a Noble Idea to restock the shrine, a common idea to restock it with a plastic 1/2 gallon of Early Times, and wholly ignoble to choke down the last inches of the Kessler from April past's Sleaze Otter. Had to be done, though; how are you gonna maintain Spirituality if you waste spirits? Sorry I crashed into a manzanita bush and my left side hurts. Sorry I tricked you into riding an extra time up that ridge . It was funny when you realized where you were and your shoulders sagged. Actually sorry we went so hard at it on Friday that everybody crapped out on Saturday. Where is the stamina?

Sorry I put Lionel Ritchie's dangerously catchy pop in front of you. Had to be done, though.