Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

28 January 2013

___ing for people who feel too much

Dude comes into the shop the other day, sniffs the air and decides to open with "1st ride of the season!" That settles and mechanic Y decides to bite, "Oh yeah? I guess you live in the snow." That had no time to settle, Dude was waiting for it,"Oh yeah. Moab. You been there? You should really think about going." I just laughed when I heard that. It was nobody I knew, but he was quite the local.

Other folks really from Moab came into town with the go ahead for some Fort Ord loops. Lots of surprise and dismay at the fresh to them devastation. Mollified somewhat by those sweet singletrack loops that used to be ridden only by Old T____, and which are now our staples. Rolling through some Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifola)*, some blue skies and some 62 degrees can make you look on the bright side.

I cut through that one hillside and rode out to meet them, cuz to me, at this stage, I'm real tired of Ord. To be honest, the dirt was the stuff of legend. Winter over here is good to you. That bottomless sand tacks up so nice. I'm still tired of it. Dragging around some new eyes did help me see some more options for project riding out there. It was fun showing off  the shrine to folks who really appreciate it. I think I'll make some more. Moab could certainly use one(s).

Tomorrow we will poke around over to the dried out creek bed side of things. They've never been there, and it should be in their bag of options. Woulda coulda shoulda Coe, but there are buts.

If you like the old cycling photos, then you will like the Il Dolore.

*wiki says: In the 18th and 19th centuries shipbuilders sought out the odd angular branches to make special joints. Pioneers moving west would harvest small amounts for making farm implements and wagon wheels, but the greatest impact was the wholesale clearing of oak woodlands to erect sprawling cities such as San Diego and San Francisco. The irregular shape often let the tree escape widespread harvest for building timbers, and also led the early settlers to endow the Coast Live Oak with mystical qualities. Its stateliness has made it a subject of historical landscape painters throughout California modern history since the mid-19th century.

27 January 2013

you've got to control your mind

If you want to make it up a pitch, you must find that balancing place. It can be tough, throwing yourself uphill on 28 degrees of loose gravel. Around that next corner it's got to ease up or keep kicking or get steeper. However it plays out it will be just another reveal, and behind that curtain there will be further summits. Farther summits. Try it in the dark sometime.

The Full As Of Last Night Moon did not disappoint. Our route was chosen from a handful of maybes and it kicked my ass several times over. Now we know more than we did before.

25 January 2013

it's up to you ___ to heed the Call Up

If this signal reaches you in the 831, reply soonest. Stop. Full Moon action takes place tomorrow, Saturday evening and into the night. Stop. Longish. Stop. Drunkish. Stop. Don't. Stop.

That is all.

24 January 2013

the latest in a series of lies

Everything contained in these pages is liable to be a work of fiction. Swing out.

Having been granted a special purpose, I woke up and made use of it. Seeing that in print, I realize it could be better worded. No matter. In keeping with the spirit of the episode, we continue our forward momentum. What I meant: I rode the youngest to school, parting ways at 8:20 AM, and then continued out into the morning, bright and temperate. Alight with the flame of exploration; a small twig fire that I've nursed along for several years(!) now. Perhaps we have spoken of the potential adventure. I have been breaking off small bits in my mind to use as kindling this whole time. Keeping that guttering flicker alight, smoking the while with what ifs, occasionally flaring with hard knots of it must bes, yet banked with cover of doubts and liabilities.

This particular morning, I was really feeling hot. I have been laying down the wood in this direction for some weeks now, and the basic structure was all in place waiting for that spark to set it alight. My hesitancy has been based on the certainty that, once lit up, there is no telling what might follow. Fire has ever been servant and master that way. A blaze can burn away with Terrible Consequences or a Glorious Light, and while they are equally entertaining neither is certain. Which is to say, I've been hesitant to commit. If you require more in this vein, I nod to Phil Ligget- that master of double speak, Lies, and bicycle related bullshit- and pull from my Suitcase of Courage the Matchbook of Hard Effort in which are limited and precious contents. I would use them to grope my way along the floor of a very deep and dark Pain Cave.

In my mind I had plans. These were the little things of cautious optimism married to realistic consideration of unknowns. They were to be discarded one by one, as my Good Feeling and my bicycle carried me beyond their small reaches. I was carried away. I was caught in the updraft from all these informed (but let's be honest- lucky) choices and happy circumstances. Gates and possible turn arounds were met and dispatched. I had thought I would approach this in series; bite off morsels, turn for home and worry them into a knowledge of the route as a whole. The map can only show so much. To this end, I packed light- as in not at all. I keep a bag on that bike, and it has the basics: tools, patch kit, spare tube, a couple-3 ginger candies and a Honey Stinger gel (those are good and clean, even if Lance is wrapped up in the ownership). I figured that would be enough to get me through my planned small, exploratory push. And it was. Enough.

So much climbing. So much descending, knowing there was to be that much climbing and more. High highs, surprising lows. There is still plenty more to be had. With 10 hours of out and back(!) I had still not reached what I have been assuming might be the end of that bit (though really, literally, the beginning of another) and there were multiple possible offshoots along the way. All I can say here is that I spent 10 hours on the bike, with never more than a 15 minute stop, and came home cooked.

This requires further consideration. Thank you for your time.

P.S. this would make a fantastic full moon adventure.

16 January 2013

can't help but do a little Evil

It is easy to take _____ for granted. I know it. You know it. It is so evident that it's...taken for granted.

Trouble is, people forget. I personally forget, most relevantly to this arena, that there is some more riding around these local parts than what I already know. I tell myself that I am bored of the handful of legitimately interesting road loops to be had from my door. I kid myself I look real smooth on my sneaky sneaks, known only to me. I say to myself that if I have to ride another dirt loop through ___, that I may as well pay to know what I really think, because I already know it all.

I forget about those (and they are plural) trails I saw and disregarded as I pursued what I thought would be the Good Line. And, as a further aside, I know a guy who specializes in tricking the rest of us away from his Good (sneaky) Lines by routing their entrances in unappealing spots, so. Remembering to remember is tricky and it is the ticket.

This morning I awoke with a plan. Usually, given a ride from home as opposed to a ride afar, I find the ride sorts itself without conscious planning. As I mentioned, I have some excellent sneaky sneaks. Most days my wheels just end up on one or more of them and that's that; perhaps a reverse in direction or something, if I am too terribly tired of the same old. I had planned to do some more in depth investigation of an area I'd found to have some thrilling sections, but which are too short to be worth doing on their own merit. And plus there's complications.

Just let me say this: if you are riding your bike somewhere(s) from which you might need to make a quick get-away then you had best pay attention. Pay attention to the contours of the land, keeping in mind where you can see and be seen. Consider what natural features are most likely given those contours, and how they might affect you (e.g. are you going to hit a creek in that gully?). A keen eye to possible entrances (gates, roads, trails) is an eye to the good. It should go without saying that you must keep your ears open. And, finally and most importantly to my mind, know your exits.

Anyhow, ask me about lying full length behind a shrubbery to escape detection. Inquire as to whether I have broken this losing streak on the porcini front to the tune of 9 (nine!) lbs. I will answer to the effect that we all get stuck in our ruts, that- hell, they are our ruts because they are so good we've ridden them enough times to really set them in. And I will say that lifting the front wheel up out of that rut for a dedicated session of exploration can be sub-par or sublime, but it is worth doing.

14 January 2013

have you seen em yet?

...some of us been checkin out your act. And by now, it's looking kinda shaky.

I've started this post 3 times now, without being able to stop the slide into hateful ranting about Lance's  (the guy doped, it's officially official now) army of loyal fans. There is no good in hateful ranting, so here is :

Lance, and his type (ilk? fuck all you beautiful people) would deny us that. It's a celebration, bitches.

13 January 2013

makes it easier

Heading out into the surprisingly cold evening, I had several meaningful and worthwhile thoughts. A dozen miles, several pulls on the bottle of good corn squeezins, and a couple cans of beer later, they have been driven from my head and all I can think about is holding the bars with one hand so I can shake some feeling back into the other. COLD!

Stay as dimly lit as possible. Take it how you will, it'll be true and keep you out of the clutches at the end of the long arm of the Law. On account of some of them trails are open in real life though shut on paper. Shift- shift your weight, shift your gears, shift your perspective.

We are not letting the lack of moon light hold us back. A few weeks will make the difference, and I am thinking about the steely resolve it will take to make the next month's Full Moon Coedown happen. Februrary 25th will be the Full Snow Moon, so it seems reasonable to schedule a celebration on the weekend nearest it- February 23rd and 24th. Locals, let's make it happen. Who knows what? Who wants to camp and where? What shall we ride? I know already where the bottle in the bushes is hid.

And, plus- ride your bicycle. It's real fun.

10 January 2013

mind blown open

It was only a matter of time. I, for one, welcome the time. I love Kool Keith like I love Ralph Stanley. And if we are talking about hip hop that is off the beaten track (which track has beaten like that dead horse in the 2000s- we need more cowbell!), then:

09 January 2013

the chicken is to be examined by the crime lab

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Meditate on this: pedaling smooth circles on the plastick bike out the valley. Imagine the sun is shining, and it is quickly warm enough for shirt-sleeves. Consider the lavish climb up the South face; which climb is so steep and so sustained there are false 1/4 of the way points, to say nothing of false summits. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Upon the triumphant return you might gather a child  from school. And by triumphant, you would mean alternating concerned glances at the watch with hammering and tonging the soft, over-worked and over-hotted legs against the anvil of looming dismissal bell.

Picture high-stepping through the Monterey Piney woods in search of mushrooms, gripped in the feverish tug of the real Treasure Hunt...

 Quite literally "bigger than your face."

J______ wants it known that he is the finder. After 2+ hours of fruitless meandering, we were headed back with the quickness as shadows lengthened...and there it was tucked into the shelter of 2 downed pines. Success!

FYI we are reading Micheal Chabon's wonderful "Summerland" at bedtime these evenings. If you have kids, or love baseball and sasquatches, or just enjoy reading well-written books then you will love it.

A: it prolly had ish to do.

07 January 2013

a post of ribaldry and violence made from the juice of Life

Time to lay it on the line. Every day I feel stronger and stronger. I don't want to let anyone down. 110%. Etc.

Success lies in 2 little words: bike ride.

There will be no deliberation. There will be simply a homely fellow on a fat bicycle in the woods. Eyes peeled for the King Bolete (Boletus edulis), a.k.a. Cep, Steinpilz or Porcini. I only started paying attention to the local annual mushroom bonanza last winter, so I have no frame of reference to hang on this current season I'm hammering into the wall. Last year the little piglets popped out all over; the place was lousy with them. I couldn't not see a few every ride through the Monterey Pines in that 1st half of December, many right on the edge of the trail. But this winter it's been a real struggle. Before today I had only found 4 that were worth taking home. Given the right environs, it is all a matter of timing (a day late and they are spoiled) and luck.

And you rascals out ahead of me, don't think I miss your little sneaky tricks. People smash the pulpy remains of ruined old boletes into an unrecognizable mush so that location will remain a secret. Folks be knocking the Fly Amanitas (amanitas muscarias) off trailside and into the underbrush. Since the bright-red-with-spots amanitas grow in similar conditions, though more widely, and are very easy to spot, they are a nice indicator species. Today I saw the most beautiful and perfectly shiny electric red bulb which had just burst through the duff ; so round, so perfect... Anyhow, mushroom hunters with an eye to keeping the spots secret will knock them over to keep the casual looter from favored haunts.

I been seeing lots of holes, where presumably somebodys are ripping out the whole shooting match (we've spoken before about the proper technique for harvesting, which is to leave the bottom-most portion of the stalk in the ground so as to keep the mycelium as undisturbed as possible) but until today it's been sorry for me, my friend. After the most recent rains, I am again motivated to get into the woods, ride a bicycle, and rustle up some grub-free porcinis. I found one as big as your face and several which were roughly tennis ball sized.


 leaving the stalk

and covering the tracks. Oh, I play the game too. It's a good one, a treasure hunt. The thrill of finding a hardy specimen is all out of proportion to it's not inconsiderable deliciousness; especially when the picking have been so slim.

Since we are on the subject of food, I will reveal that I've been off the wheat for 2 months now and it feels good. I stopped drinking beer during the week as well. I've dropped 21 lbs. Well, I ate a lot of bagels! My elbows don't ache like they used to, either.

There are several varieties of chard volunteering on either side of the trail along that one section of valley floor, so I stopped and cut a bunch of leaves. We had fresh mushrooms sauteed with onions, balsamic vinegar, swiss chard and toasted walnuts over quinoa-based pasta tonight for dinner, and the remainder are in the dehydrator right now.

05 January 2013

hero worship is not a productive pastime

What? You scared? Slouchy, hungover and aching is no way to go through life, son.

There are certain protocols, specificities of etiquette. Niceties, if you will, which it were better to observe. Consider: say you are riding with nameless "friends", in the woods, in the dark, and you get separated. Established behavioral norms cemented in place to a diamond hardness and sheen by millenia of Fine Upstanding Tradition and reasoned discourse and a consensus of mutual benefaction plus Goodwill to All and to All a Good Night has it that you stop. You assess. You maybe hoot the International Distress Call* (whatever your local and- hopefully- recognized variant may be). You listen. You maybe hoot again. Bearing in mind that you might be in a er situation that could be construed by the narrow minded as technically "off limits" or somesuch. ____ing, etc.

If your party fails (and I use the word lightly. Gently. Tough lovingly.) to show then Logic, Reason and Experience dictate that you retrace your pedal strokes back to the last intersection at which all were present. Simple as that.

But. In the real world, folks get tugged along by circumstance and shit goes wrong. That has been my experience, anyways. Last night I dropped that short, steep doubletrack to the 3 way and hooked a left. The left is the direction we'd discussed taking twice, and it is the flowier option. Straight up the middle there is singletrack, yes, but it climbs and is no joke right away and goes another way and stuff. The right is not worth considering. The drop, the way we'd come- well, it is a reverse and all.

So. Like I say, I railed that sweet assed descent and flowed like water along the further and delicious descent around several corners to the correct singletrack and pulled up to wait for my faceless associates. It being a dark night, and us being in flagrante delicto, (best Latin phrase of all time?)  I shut my lights down and stood around wondering what might be the case as I was all of a sudden alone. I waited. I hooted. I reckoned La__y and Cu_ly had to be back at the 3 way doing something, and rode back up to see.

That 3 way was black and empty. I repeated the lights-off and the hooting and the listening. Nothing. 3 possible routes, with 1 of them being unlikely. Eventually (minutes), I walked up the middle trail because it was most likely to my mind, and sure enough- there was a tire mark. So I walked back down and got on the bike to pursue. Up and up steeply. Hooting. Listening. Across, around, under, over and up again steeply. At that one meadow I stopped and hooted. Shut my lights down- batteries wear down quick!

I heard a voice. "Take the wrong trail?" Man, did that tear it for me.

"No. I took the right trail." Then I made some remark about them not hearing me or hooting themselves or seeing my lights, etc. This was rebuffed. I asked, hotly- it's true- why they didn't head back to the 3 way, as is to be expected. This was rebuffed.

I really popped a wheelie. There was a yelly confrontational lecture. I was told to drink a beer and to lighten up and eventually to shut the fuck up- all of which were good advice. I stated that I would be willing to part ways on a semi-permanent basis. I was less than polite. I may have actually sputtered like a wet hen.

So not one of my finer moments. It was brought to my attention that "it's not Antarctica" and that there really were no serious consequences that had arisen, which are true. I acknowledged that I had gotten overbearing, and they are not my kids... after a while. What got me and kept getting me was that Subject M would not acknowledge any responsibility nor proper procedures. I felt that I am entitled (oops! that can't be good...) to a certain amount of Respect and that that amount of Respect was not being given. I think that's probably the real issue. REspect due.Yes I.

It is easy to seem reasonable and in the right here on screen. Who doesn't want to seem the good guy? Do any of us see ourselfs clearly, without the fog of our self-perceptive beer goggles? I have the moral high ground ( for fucking SURE!) but is it worth holding like a grudge? Do 12 minutes alone in the dark woods warrant a total freak out? No. My reaction is disappointing to me. In the big picture, it is some small hot potatoes.

Anyhow. The whole affair is a bummer- including being introspective about it. I am happy to drop the subject now.

*Remind me to tell you the story of the international distress call in person. The hoot is very distinctive and funny.

01 January 2013

the coelacanth!

You need to stop being a celocanth and start being a coelacanth. That's some free, unsolicited, and real advice for you.


Welcome 2013! My podnas and I ushered in the New Year with the 1st ride of 2013 Ord style, while the getting is good. As Suga Free breaks it down- if you stay ready you ain't got to get ready.

We closely examined "the Bee Tower".

Then we rolled over to the New Stairs for some Brown Lunch. It was J______'s idea. We haven't been doing that with any regularity in years. Time was, it was what this blog was about.

It was a real nice intro for all the Radness we have in store this year. Speaking of which, if you are in NorCal (bro) and you are also into Radness then you know about the Grasshopper Adventure Series. If you already didn't know, the 2013 schedule is posted...

Old Caz would be a (maybe) Good Time. OK, it will be a Good Time, it may or may not be a messy, cold, and rainy Good Time.