Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

28 March 2012

a long time to hold your breath

Alternately, this post could be titled "the Velocache that wasn't". I set out for Point Lobos (no issue keeping it a secret now) with intentions of dropping a package discretely into their environs. Point Lobos was a total bust in terms of bike access (please see me after class for more in depth exploration of this statement) so there was no velocaching, but it was a worthwhile ride. The museum at Whaler's Cove is very interesting, and the docent I bothered was knowledgeable and enthused. She told me Roy Hattori's great story about saving himself from drowning due to a broken faceplate by using the sucking power of his harvested abalone. Roy's whole tale is inneresting, but he gets to it at 14:28:

The well-used "hard hat" (a copper or brass helmet gasketed onto a vulcanized canvas suit and fed with an air hose) abalone diving suit was really neat. And they had patched it multiple times with old denim bits, so you know they were punk. The harpoon section was fascinating, as well. Taking a ride tethered to a pissed off whale capable of diving so fast and deep the lines were in danger of catching fire? No.

I envision the abalone divers and whaling enthusiasts like this:

After the lame scene at the Pacific (the wind), I hunted and pecked a dirt route inland, through Carmel Valley that tacked some actual singletrack onto the patchwork of parking lot, apartment complex, golf course, confusing hodgepodge of Palo Corona (open by permit only AND no bikes?!?). I may or may not have jumped a fence.

"Experience Carmel River where Nature and people meet"

All this to reach a nice sheltered spot to brew some coffee and test my new woodburning stove. It works real well. Better than the venerable Esbit because the added height makes keeping the twig fire fed much easier. And a twig fueled fire is a greedy and fickle blaze.

That stove is in a dug out area floored with damp dirt. When the fire was out, I dumped the char and ash into the divot, wetted it thoroughly, and replaced the duff. Because we don't want any fires (an aside: yay! it's been raining pretty good lately) and we don't want any trace. Secret boys.

It is a nice way to reintroduce meself to bike riding the way Little Richard would want it done. Regardless, this does leave me with a velocache to secrete.

26 March 2012

lose 20lbs sitting on the couch!

For real.

Dipping in and out of perfectly set up sand singletrack, that's what's up. Trying to tie together all these rough edges into a smoothly pedaling time on the bike. As I repeat the loops along the old Friday Night SS route, it is coming back to me. So much of that which was ruined now is returned to top notch- well, minus the fantastic tunnel effect of OG maritime chaparral that was 12' high, but the quality is there; in the dirt, through the berms, the rhythmic flow of carving turns. Drop the hip here, a little push on the front end there. Staying with a steady, even spin that stops just short (but not by much) of the bum rush.

Now is the time. These trails are on the chopping block again! Today the getting is good, tomorrow the world ends. Go get some Fort Ord before Sea Otter effs the trails. Conditions are perfect.

Oh me? I'm clawing my way back one fat rotation at a time. I will be peaking Saturday April 21st, at the 6th Annual Sleaze Otter. Carmel Bob is at it again, I see. I am pleased to see Sr. Magni is again featured in their propganda. Remember Sleaze Otter III?

That was a Good Time.

23 March 2012

'm all right now

Never thought I'd make it, but I always do somehow.'m all right now.

...skip to :45.

Today is 4 weeks out from getting straight broke off. I feel better by the day. I been rolling my right IT band (ow! tender) and opening my chest. I cannot complain.

You believe how nice it was today?!? Man.

A little roundy round the rollier section of Ord on some fat tyres was the recipe for win. That bike is getting clownier by the day. I replaced the stock saddle with a Brooks Flyer. The extra springiness may or may not be a keeper- I will switch back and forth between a standard B17 and the Flyer and see. Also, I swapped the stem from 120mm to a 100mm, and changed the bars from the Salsa 17* flat to the Surly Open Bar. The reach is both shortened and lengthened (given the bendy nature) and I have 2 more hand positions, give or take infinity. I feel this will pay off big time when bikecamping or going for longer rides. I have aspirations to both in the future; may even combine them.

In further exploring the old Friday night SS loop environs (and happily, it is almost all open again! we need to bed some sections in more/again, so let's all ride there) I ran into B___ B_____ and we had an inneresting chat about trail right of way. He ran into some other cyclist recently while descending 50 at speed; which is how one descends 50. The other guy flipped out, fell off his bike and down slope. While B___ was leaning down, hand out to help him up, the guy began mouthing off about riding in control and claimed he had the right of way. B___, to hear him tell it, handled it extremely calmly/well. I think I would have told that dude to eat a dick and ridden away at that point. I agree that, all things being equal, the climber is accorded the trail. I further agree that, this being Real Life, it doesn't matter how "right" you are if you're in a bad situation. Getting lippy about someone else ripping legal singletrack downhill while you are laboring around a blind corner in the middle of the trail is bullllllshit.

B___ takes it so far as to climb the road around both 49 and 50, which, to my mind, is crazy talk. But that's what he does, just to avoid the possible crash since both of those are honestly 90% ridden in the downhill direction. I myself climb them both on occasion- though much more 49 since it actually gets you someplace from which it is fun to keep riding. And when I'm climbing these trails, I keep my ears open (no headphones or earbuds or whatever they're called when you are from) and I try to look around/through corners where I can. Because I'm responsible for my well-being on the trail; not the guy ripping down a sweet section of hero dirt.

It's prolly all 6s in here, and I do feel like I'm preaching to the choir, but. Look out for yourself and your riding buddies. Call out around a blind corner if it's a heavily used trail. (B___ has now collided with people who were coming up 49, 50, and Blair Witch). Be aware of what's coming. Call out the # of riders in your party who are still behind you when passing someone in order to keep everbody safe- which, if we're being preachy, it amazes me how few people do you this courtesy. If you yield, try to do it by leaning away from the singletrack while keeping your wheels on the edge of the trail. This keeps singletrack single. Don't put that in your mouth. Etc.

If hassles become legal matters, we will face all kinds of regulations. Trails designated directionally, etc. That would suck. Looking at the proposed diminishment of Fort Ord already, it is increasingly clear we all need to play nice.

Anyhow. Bike ride on a sunny day? Yes, please.

22 March 2012

Thank You Friends, and welcome.

Now, swing out.

The rep came into the shop today with his super secret suitcase of SRAM. I had not been following recent developments, and was surprised by the yawwing front derailler and the return to single pivot(?) brakes which are a kind of a step toward real world in their clearance...up to 28mm. Not real world enough for this cowboy, but a welcome shift. Jim Jones says click the colored words, or else.

Whatevs. I'm not buying road stuff this year. I am stripping bikes to frames; thinning the herd for the old switcheroo...papa needs a new and suspension corrected adventure touring bike. And a packraft. (Moab, I'm looking at you to get in this saddle- y'all got the goods. Don't kid yourself...) So, who wants to buy a thoroughly used/maintained 62cm Surly Long Haul Trucker frame/fork in the hue of what a maroon? Also up will be the L Santa Cruz Blur LT with the Fox DHX 5.0 spring. Soon to be pulled apart as well, the OG Salsa Fargo inna XL style. I'm even gonna offer the Soulcraft custom (25" of TT) pepto bismol pink Holy Roller (29" SS) frame/fork/King steelset headset. I mean it about making some room.

My sidekick and I wandered along on a teeny SouthSide entrance tour after school and work today. Brief but effective. J says, "There's always something new around the corner." No juvenile bobcats today, but some inneresting points, some decrepit army shithouses, some rickety high places, and some windy singletrack. Super rare clips to follow:

It's this kind of creepiness that lends credence to wild suppositions viz. haunted treasure, kidnapping, and revenge.

Whoa. That yellow belly has been lying in wait for months and months. It waits still.

Look out for !DANGER! BEES? No, not anymore. Look out for increasingly unsound infrastructure.

19 March 2012


Back in the day, ____s use to stick together.

Brief clown fun in the Ord today; I gots to shake off this brokeness. We looked so retro in our flannels. A short and slow float around a portion of the old Friday Night SS course- you know that's mostly open again, right? Do it. Do it. Do it.

I feel...slowly returning. It's funny, how after a "trauma" the body sorts itself out in stages.

WARNUNG! boringish injury analysis to follow...

At first it was all shoulder, though I was aware of the hit the knees took (must have tagged the bars as I went for the somersault dismount). Then the knees really came to the fore, and it was left knee uber alles. To the point that getting up was an issue, standing up became hurtful and difficult, especially because I couldn't use my right side to help in any way. I worked that and it faded. After the short rides a few days ago, the right knee area (attachment for vastus lateralis and IT band) made it known that there was some serious smack down there, and it furthered through to glutes- it feels like I have a peach pit sized glow of pain in my right ass cheek. Back and shoulder (with particular emphasis on anterior deltoid and pec minor) fight for pride of place as I am more and more able to use the right arm and push those muscles. Everything has to restabilise and restabilise again, as 1st: there is a weird vacuum in my shoulder where all was richly, densely, handsomely yoked lean muscle/tendon/bone and now it's some inch and a half of angry stretch below my skin from a collar bone with it's head in the clouds; and 2nd: after the muscles splint this new body geometry, each new extension in range of motion requires a corresponding new arrangement among these skittish co-operators. And again. It lends itself to spasms and aches.

So I stretch the front (pecs/delts/scalenes). I was able to roll the right IT today, and OH! that was exquisite. It helped though. Some rolling around glutes on the softball, some draping myself over the roller to stretch pecs with spread arms accompanied by some use of the softball to compress/roll pectoralis minor and anterior is some Old Time Personal Suffering for future Good. It helped. It helps, then the pain comes back. This is looking like a long term back and forth.

Anyhow, bit by bit getting better. Bikes. Rides. Plans for a bikepacking trip for Spring Break, 3 weeks out. The childrens can haul most everything (is this injury the break for which I've been waiting? whereineverafter they bear the main load?) if we go nice and light. I'm thinking these fat tyre inner tubes will make some sweet floats. I want a pack raft so bad!

17 March 2012

newly dangerous and recently unsanctioned

I did get carried away and return the following day for a repeat teeny ride. Which did, of course, swell a little to include some more (perfectly tame, gentle and rolly) hard-packed singletrack.

Some of us has got to.

Or else it won't get done.

I'm paying for that now, with some painful trigger points in rhomboids on the affected side (my right, which is novel as up until my really impactful injuries have been more sinister), and gluteus maximus. You were right. I was wrong. You know what you're talking about, I am a recidivist of the lowest sort.

I did have a quick consultation with the man behind the curtain over there in the sidebar. Thanks, Coach. I will follow directions and they were some good and detailed ones. The wrapping of the joints in particular seems effective. You'll be the first to know.

And, plus WTF? Somebody is walking around with an invisible sweaty, hairy black spot since they stolt the tools out of the bike box shrine.

Why would somebody do that?

I replaced the 5mm and the 6mm allens, which where what I had to lend at the time...this leaves a hole shaped like an 8mm/10mm wrench, a 4mm allen, a couple tire levers, a patch kit, and the chain tool with which I never got around to being willing to part anyhow so that's only virtually missing. Or maybe both virtually and actually. However you arrange the what's and the if's, the whole thing is a bit of a let down. You figure someone who stumbles across a stocked emergency bar in the woods would be a decent sort, someone who could recognize the usefulness of some at-hand tools worth maybe ~$12, and leave them in place for the next guy. So, I'm holding on to the slim hope it's one of you degenerates that needed the tools and meant to put them back, but forgot. Otherwise, it's a turd in the punchbowl.

What? Huh? The ?JBs in Monterey? Nothing like this goes on around here in sleepytown these days. Perhaps Monterey was a hotbed of funk back in the day?

16 March 2012

everything these days is pictures

Pictures and a lot of noise. Nobody even knows how to talk. I was looking at some NAHBS coverage on this one website and made the mistake of reading the comments section and it was your typical internet blowfest involving semi-knowledgeable puffinstuffs who hastily type in their angry half-formed criticisms. The site is a DH (DownHill) forum, so the crowd has that angle. It was reminiscent of the aisles at Sea Otter, where there is so much division between bicycle subcultures...but it does seem common place here in the ether. Be a lot cooler if people would shut up if they got nothing productive to say. Not that I don't have some criticisms as well, but mine are well-founded. What am I criticizing about?

Whatta you got?

And speaking of shutting up and being...uh, cool...I took my riding partner out and rode a tiny, easy-peasy, gentle mixed bag of fire road and hard packed (with the occasional deep sand pit- it is the Ord) buff singletrack yesterday afternoon. Yeah, I heard what you said, but it was some well advised get back in the saddle type goings on. My whole self feels so much better for it. I been going karazy.

We drove out there (see?) and parked at the good spot, which is not 8th/Giggling. From there it was the old loop...

Any of youse remember stopping here? We did it all the time.

Stop to check out the old ropes course. Sure is a lot of building materiel laying about for the construction of some tree house. Or something. This was a good spot for rehashing the ghost stories we used to tell N and D. J is so much younger than them, he wasn't around for the 1st tellings. Which, in a way, is better since it it lends these sagas some legitimacy - having his older siblings treat them like old hat. For him they ring of history rather than fantasy.

From the broken down army buildings of the old loop we rounded to the New Stairs. Some of the materiel would be useful here. If any of youse Monterey types happen to be out there with hammers or crow bars and trailers or cargo-bikes, you should consider moving some likely pieces here for further clubhouse renovations. Maybe we'll build a siiiiiiiiick skills park. Maybe we'll just put a back rest on the drinky bench. It's your party.

On account of the mighty oaks provide a skills course of their own, anyhow.

note: the following is a photo of J trying his best to get out of the Ord before twilight brings the Skull Ghost to look for children...
On and on.

So, the injury report is what you come here to read: my arm/shoulder gets tired quick. Today it feels sore- but a healthy sore viz. post-workout. The only scary moment on the ride was picking up a 2x4 to beat the poison oak back from the doorway of one of the army buildings (because what's a kid ride worth if you don't stop to check out creepy abandoned buildings?). And this only because the rotten 2x4 broke as I began to swing it, causing my arm to suddenly shift, which freaked my shoulder out but good. Otherwise, the Surly NeckRomancer handled all the shifty terrain with aplomb. Cushy fat tyres are good for riding tanked at night, and recovering from shoulder injuries. I figure that's 2 more cycling subcultures, right there.

Ride bikes and scare your children,

14 March 2012

my bone has got a little machine

...which seems to be plugging away there beneath my skin, binding binding binding. Swelling is gone. Bony lump remains, but that's just my wayward clavicle being all separatist and moody. Short head of the biceps is tender/complaining and anterior deltoid is the same. I have no strength to muster for overhead maneuvers. Really though- if I could go back and not post all these details in a panicky facebook style, I'd retract all this internet drama. I'm healing like a well trained dawg.

Pulling a bike down from the hangers at work tweaked it a teeny bit, but I was careful and it's use or lose it time...I rode to work. Yep. Granted/relaaaaax, it's just that little cruise down to the shop and not the climb up and over, but I felt good. I felt happy.

I am not taking chances or trails. Repeat. I am not taking chances or trails.

I am sitting here, icing my shoulder and mousing with my left while I excercise the right by externally rotating my arm holding a 12oz weight. This is also good for curls, i.e. biceps.

See how we do that?

Some parts came in for some folks today. Does anybody wanna see my shiny new titanium wood burning stove? How about some dirty pictures of D's bike getting the bars swapped and new ESI silicone grips (he likes red)?

09 March 2012

venerated observances and rituals

Signore Berg is correcto. We should remember Fiorenzo Magni and perfect our techniques.

06 March 2012

wheeling and high rolling

To my Brothers ____, _____, the M_____ ___ing ___ ____ and my Sisters ____, ___ and my Mrs...

Thank Yous, Sorrys, May Is, Letss.

What I don't know about shoulders, now I am learning. I can consider this an opportunity to restructure my life and step up with a recovery based on rest, ice, my herbals, diet, yoga, bodywork, and conditioning or I can mope around being grumpy because I hurt and can't do what I want.

So far, I feel both options hold their appeal. My allegiance is shaky. If you have not been seriously injured recently (Be glad!) you have forgotten how...unsettling it is. When your anatomy is not arranged the same as it was yesterday (you know, how it's supposed to be), it makes you feel like puking- clammy, sweaty sit down guaranteed. That was the very morning after the crash, getting up and going to the ER, and though the nausea has gone, the feeling of discomfort in my own skin remains. As the swelling subsides, it becomes easier. Familiarity with my new range of possible shoulder positions increases that limited and Injury-governed sphere thru the very fact of reaching out for that limit. Won't be no $6 million, but I'm a be better faster and stronger.

In the mean time it's a bitch.

Change is hard. If I'm forced to throw out the baby, at least I can throw out the the bath water. I axed innocent bystander #2 if this were not a wake up call on the one hand. He feels "the city of moterey booby trapped [my] ass. Haha." This, since "we seem to be fine riding techy trails and dealing with traffic." Anyhow, it's important to keep a sense of decorum. Respect where it is due, etc.

Now I will single-handedly (see?) turn this website into a all about my injury soap opera. Yay! Boo.

Also: I thought it was funny to hear about Customer ______, who came in to the shop and asked employee ____ if he raced. Upon being told that the employee did not race, the customer said, "That's OK. Don't feel bad. Not everyone is good at competition." If that sounds like someone you know, then it probably is. This guy's rides are hardcore training sessions. Not just stupid fun. Training is cool if you love it. Racing is a tough Good Time! But if it's just a way for you to be a jerk...a fast jerk is still a jerk.

05 March 2012

we come out from the woods

Put in the cassette and push play.

Nothing Bad ever happens to me. This whole "broken shoulder" debacle is nothing but a minor set-back. Saw the MD today, and though it is a Type III (meaning /I tore 2 separate tendons, and the AC has dropped, making my clavicle look a little humpy) if it were his shoulder he'd wait a month and reassess.

HELL YES. Thanks!

I don't care what it looks like, as long as there's not functional inhibition I'm well stoked. This means 4 weeks of chillaxing and being smart, as opposed to a minimum 8 weeks of immobility following surgery. Bottom line is I can't make it any worse ( I laughed, because don't dare me) and it could be surgically good as ever at any point in my Glorious Future. Which is extra grrrreat, because my glorious present doesn't afford a surgical bill and time off work.

Best of all outcomes. Well, all realistic outcomes. My Luck has held, and now I have the opportunity to get my shit together, boyeee and bounce back stronger. Let's get this healing on the roll! Pardon me whilst I go ice meself...

04 March 2012

a smooth operator operating correctly

Being a loose cannon cyclist who doesn't play by the rules will leave you typing one-handed missives of bike crashes, whilst sitting around in your underwears. Missing riding, NAHBS, and even work...

If my life were an action movie, hitting a trail-closed cable spinning the fixed wheel bicycle at 25mph would be a lot more glamorous and a lot less painfully inconvenient. 1st things 1st- I'm OK. Getting knocked the eff out did not give me any brain issues (yeah, yeah, yeah) it only destroyed my brand new expensive helmet.

Which, by the way, if you're one of those "helmets don't do any good" yabbos, you can go screw. That thing flat-out helped.

The spectacular header snapped my front brake cable clean in 2, though the rest of the bike is fine. I was able to ride home one-armed. I must have caught the bars with my knees on my way, as they are achy and swole. Middle fingers on the left hand are swole up and blue. Right shoulder is seperated at the AC, and the clavicle end is fractured. I have to see an orthopedic surgeon asap, to start moving on this. I don't know how bad the separation is yet (ER only Xrayed and prescribed pain meds, but did say it looks like a 2" gap...frowny face) so we will see. I may need a bad operation.

If my life were an action movie, this would just be character development.

Thankyous! to the fellow riders who helped me up/home and who did NOT call the ambulance and sucker me into a huge bill.