Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

31 May 2008

hey 'mano

This one's for The Enigma...Cockfight,1937 Puerto Rico. picture from shorpy

Las donas anyone?

29 May 2008

soothing pictures of kittens above you

Today I went to the dentist. My (new to the office) hygienist saw my cycling cap and started asking questions: what kind of bike I ride, what brand of bike (which I think was what she meant by what kind, only I assumed we were talking category) I ride, do I race, do I ever ride 24 hour races? Then she told me she had a full suspension S______ with XTR, and I looked at the comforting light fixture and tried not to clench.She asked me where to ride, and (when I got the opportunity) I told her Fort Ord was the best option locally. She said she had heard it was full of "vagrants" and that it was dangerous.

I laughed. I think it really brought her some comfort when I told her there are several squatters' camps in the trees only a few streets over from the office, but none in Fort Ord.

And then I went there and checked with my single speed. Nope, no vagrants. I did wonder if the rumor had gotten started because some square citizen saw some seedy looking guys cooking out there...

28 May 2008

wasted days and wasted nights

We left Santa Cruz yesterday at 3pm for a 60mile tour through the hills. Cross bikes out on dirt, then windy asphalt to a little singletrack down, a little fireroad up, a little more rolly singletrack, and back into town via HWY 1 rolling along the coast at sunset. Amazing light.
A little rye in the woods with a good friend, and some sweet riding.

And I snapped another of those damn alloy nipples! I had spent yesterday morning building a replacement rear wheel for that problematic set I've mentioned before, but didn't have time to get the right spoke sizes to rebuild the front. Dang! I knew that was gonna happen...alloy nipples suck. True as best I could, with the spoke twined about it's opposite, start to round the nipples, call it Good as it Gets, clear the brake?yes, roll on."Yo mama's got brass nipples" ain't an insult, it's a testament.

I have this fantasy island view of Santa Cruz as full of riders willing/able to ride stuff like that in that vein and at that sort of time at the drop of the hat...apparently that is not the case. I know somebody is riding something sometime. What's up SC punks?

26 May 2008

easy on the fads

cause the posers always pose
I suppose they will bite
they'll try not to show it
I came very plain and then feelin' rather loaded...(del tha funky homo sapien)

So those of y'all who've heard this one before can just put your heads down on your desks for the remainder of the period. For whatever reason, I woke up thinking about this. About 4 years ago (!) now I was riding my fixed gear bicycle and I misjudged a bike-path situation. It leaves me conflicted to this day.

So, I'd been riding my fixxie on a poach, and was wearing my knickers, and I felt very, uh, hella pumped up? It was on the bike path through town on my way to the next section of poached dirt that I saw 2 guys playing what I thought was foot down. Derby, if you will. And I don't know about you, but I will... I swear the one guy stopped short in front of the fella on the (apparently) drop-bar fixed-gear wearing desert camo knickers and a messenger bag. And they're laughing and passing each other close, so I'm coming up quick and I figure "It's on".

I passed the short stopper and grabbed the camo guy's bag (to be fair, I grabbed him fairly hard) and tugged him rearwards to kill his momentum as I went by. Then I soft pedalled to let them catch up and make the next move. Which turned out to be the camo guy catching up and yelling "You forget something?", to which I replied "I forgot the beer! Y"all got that covered?" He then says "You coulda killed me!" And that's the point at which I realized I"d misjudged things. I reassessed - empty, spotless bag; fancy sunglasses; diamond (looking?) earring; snug artsy t-shirt; calculated stubble; coaster brake?!?!?

Oh. This was my first intimation that fixed was a scene. I'd seen Fixed Gear Gallery, and was largely stoked to see folks enthused about fixxies. But there was no scene around it here, and this was a surprise to me. The whole faux messenger thing. Surprise!
Now, I'm a jackass for certain, but not (generally speaking) an as_hole. When it became clear to me these guys had no idea what I was doing, I apologized and tried to explain what I'd thought was happening. Problem was, I explained further by saying I'd thought the one guy (who was behind us and calming down) had stopped short "Like this." And I gave a little stop/skid (Jackass, remember?) to illustrate. Which reangered the one guy behind me. Attempts to smooth this over failed.

Fixed as a Trend seems to be on the downswing to me, though I do not possess the clue. Some pundits are laying out cargo bikes as the next big thing. I (clearly) do not have the clue. We'll all continue riding the bikes we lik, I guess.

25 May 2008

Smokey do say

Summit Road is burning. This is a bummer in many ways, not least because the riding around there is so good. Folks who live up there would mention several other reasons, and have my sympathy.

J and I were out for Brown Lunch on Thursday last, when it began. We were in Pebble Beach (Riding short checking the wrist- it's much better, thanks. The swelling is down) and it was windy. The wind changed direction constantly, which helped spread the fire. It also necessitated our finding a little hollow among the Monterey Pines where we were, since those trees are widely spaced and don't offer much cover down low. Corralitos/Summit Road is ~40 miles to the North, so I didn't know this fire was going on, but it was clear we needed to be very careful with our own cooking, given the switchy wind and the dry duff forest floor. When we got back and saw the news, it brought home just how careful we need to be.So, to review: we typically use the Esbit stove and fuel tablets supplemented with twigs for our Brown Lunches, as it's light and clean and adequate for small/one pot meals.(It works with a range of pot sizes, as well.) The tabs cannot leak or spill, and I'm not tempted to drink them. We've taken to using the pot lid for our fire pan, and this has worked very well. It keeps the fire contained, reflects heat upwards, and helps the windscreen maintain it's shape. We always clear (to soil) a radius around the fire of 12" or more, depending on how flammable the ground seems. When we're finished burning stuff, we dump the coals/ashes in the center of our clearing and cover them with earth. Sometimes we'll dampen the cover. We do not want to start a forest fire!

On that note... the whole fambly rode to the Secret Spot on Saturday and we cooked Brown Lunch and made tea/cocoa on the 2 burner Coleman.We needed the Xtracycle for that one. There was minimal fussing (I'm looking at you, N), and a Good Time was had by all. Ride bikes?

23 May 2008

what you've been waiting for.

"...then you get the free hooker every night... You really cannot go wrong with this."

"What fun is it to go riding around, just to wineries and stuff, when you can be banging the hookers?"

I'm very pumped up about his offer. Maybe if a few of y'all will throw your lot in with me, we can get the group discount.

21 May 2008

shameless plug

So, if you are going to Moab this season (and if you can, you should) you need to check out the Love Muffin Cafe for your pie-hole requirements. The food is holesome and deelicious, and I can personally recommendo the vegan waffles. Sexy ladies (I believe they made it a policy to only hire pretty girls...always a good idea, though I am sadly unable to validate the rumors of required footbinding) will pour your joe, and the cook does not wear pants.

Fact.(Though I should except the cook from the pretty girl list, as he's more of a crusty doood. When he does wear pants, they are a little girly, if that helps.)

While in Moab, you should probably ride your bike. More detailed recommendo upon request.

And, plus this guy
might put in an appearance. Those folks are down with pirates.

20 May 2008

leaving well enough alone

Again with the wrist. Rode some in Santa Cruz yesterday. Singlespeed felt good. Legs felt good. I was able to just keep the pedals turning over. Well, it helped that the folks I was chasing (as ever) knew the way to keep the grade so doable. Fast and rolling up and down singletrack goodness in the Redwoods. Lucky!
Since I've been in Ft. Ord so much lately, I've come to anticipate the amount of slip needed to maintain good lines there. The dirt is a lot different up in Santa Cruz. When I let the front end ride up the inside of the turn and expect it to slip down just so, it didn't. And that means I was pointed at the tree, not just under it. So instead of catching it on the clavicle, I put my hand out and received my impact by bending my hand back. T___ said he fully expected the scene to involve a run-over dog, judging from the noises I made. Probably a lot of high pitched squeals and some wheezing. Sorta teary, little sweaty, kinda tired...
It isn't a big deal (no swelling or severe pain), it just concerns me because wrists take a while, and are easy easy to reinjure. And I got shi_ planned that involves riding on healthy body parts!So today is ice and arnica with some recovery drinks.

J__, your hard work planning the CO Trail day by day is much appreciated.

R___, this one's for you and yours...

19 May 2008

the Ant and the Aardvark

I barely remember these, but here it is...

I love how the Ant seems like Deano.

There's a lot of skwauking on the interwebs about riding your bike to work, etc. And lots of it is holier than thou bullshit. If you wanna ride your bike, you don't need me to tell you to do it.

18 May 2008

ladies?...put your hands up, put your hands up

So N and I went grocery shopping today. I hate going (anytime) especially on the weekend, because the freaks come out. Even if they don't, it is just damned crowded. Today there were three people (that I noticed) wearing their sunglasses in the store- and no, these were not the prescription kind. I mention this because it bugged me.
And right away (Right Away) we can barely maneuver the cart it's so packed. And all the yahoos leave their carts in the aisles, etc. So we're almost done, and this cart is blocking a major corner in the coffee/bread interchange. There are 3 other people at a dead stop, rolling their eyes at one another and waiting impatiently. I walk up and I move it, muttering curses, and one of the sunglass wearers (an older woman who's maybe wearing hers to cover her latest round of plastic surgery judging from her bloated, misshapen lips) snatches it, saying "That's mine! Sorry." Then she moves one aisle down the artery and leaves it, blocking that intersection...

But I spent much of the afternoon changing the set up of L's Crosscheck. She's been riding her townie exclusively because it's so much more comfortable. This played a part in her crash (32 stitches! 5 in the muscle belly and 2 inside her lip!) at Arroyo Seco. The tires were just so skinny. To get her rolling again in offroad style, I swapped in the WTB MutanoRaptor 700/44s. Complimented by the swap of picture from Rivendell Bicycle Works
Nitto Albatross Bars (which had been on my Long Haul Trucker, and came complete with sweet shellacked cork grips with nifty reflector plugs, super good-feeling Paul's canti levers, and utterly hoardable & impossible to break Oooold skewel Shimano Unishift shifters {with the clamshell aluminum body! allowing cable routing from either direction...} hmmm, that setup may get swapped out again...) and a longer stem in place of the Moustache bars for a more upright position. Also, one of these. And while I was at it, the Tektro CR720 cantilevers. They have a real nice action, and are super reasonably priced. And finally the Brooks B18 I have been hoarding.I had been holding this stuff back, waiting to place it triumphantly on my Big Dummy. Honestly though, L deserves it more than I...

It's going to be such a useful and kickass camping bike! Now her bike is so shiny and transformed, it whispers to me. It's a good thing for L that it isn't my size.

and speaking of stylish ladies' bikes not in my size but I wish they were...

16 May 2008

Let's hear it for the boy...

whoa, whoa maybe he's no romeo
but he's [your] lovin one man show
whoa, whoa, whoa.

So there's that. But there's also this.Personally, I'd rather hang out in front of a BAR and have a bike dance-off.
Ride bikes?

15 May 2008

Bike to Work Day

Today was a scorcher. Rode the scorcher to work.
This is my bar bike superbeater. I recently got the bug to complete the Campy, so I put the 165mm cranks I had laying around on it.
That was a mistake.

14 May 2008

meet the old boss

Affect the tone of the day...go ride your bike of choice and, while you're at it, hide some easter eggs for yourself. You know you'll be happy they are there later, when you come sweeping through on your long, hot ride. Them eggs stay plenty cool when you stuff em up under some stairs.Why, I've known eggs to last for upwards of 5 months, good as ever- No Lie.

And on that note, stack something warm in there, too. You know, you might want that at some point, too. Me? When I'm stocking the creek, I like to keep the price down because poachers will poach. But that doesn't mean suffering through something bad. There are plenty of serviceable, even enjoyable, cheap whiskies. And when your friends are apt to ride up and try some "just to see what it tastes like", but less apt to ride out and stow some of their own away,there's no sense in throwing good bourbon at them indiscriminately. Old Grandad is your friend here. He's the Head of the Bourbon Family!

Bikes are real similar to whiskeys this way: a reasonably inexpensive one will do the same job that a high end one will. Either will take you to the same place and be fun to ride. Some have fancier parts or a nicer finish, but what's your real aim? I like both (at the same time) for different reasons. There's a wealth of silliness about what's important (especially on the silly bike sites I look at), and maybe a lack of actual use.

Today, I wrapped my mitts around a cheap whiskey and a cheap bike, and it was a real Good Time. And, plus there's colorful eggs waiting for my next dirt ride...

Nice 'tude, bro

So. Your spirit animal must be the Plastic Bag Caught In A Tree or the Roadside Empty Budget Beer 24oz Can, I guess.

Regardless, there was singlespeeding yesterday in Santa Cruz. I don't know if you've ridden there, but it stacks up against anyplace you have ridden and called "the Greatest Place I've ever Ridden!" It really is world _ucking class. I went up there with a fella I had met a total of one times, and who's been agitating to ride. And he's from the East Coast, so his demeanor is a little...pushy. (Don't get all puffed up, you know it's True.) And he insisted he knew the trails real well, having lived up there for a couple years, several years ago. And he didn't want to ride the trails I suggested, but said he knew these trails in _____ ______ that were great, and could be linked to UCSC for a real Good Time. And I have very limited experience with those trails, and new trails knowledge is always welcome.

So we rode there. And ran into a ranger right away- who was incredibly cool and friendly and insisted that the area was closed to bikes. And then we took a trail straight down the hillside and crossed a creek to pathless forest. And then we bushwacked up the steep loose hillside, because he knew the trail was right above us. And then we bushwacked back down the steep and slippy hillside to the creek and crossed back over.

At this point I was finished with the bushwacking to nowhere. I don't know how much bushwacking you've done, but I have done a lot. A Lot. I will readily admit to being lost at least 1 in 5 times I go out. As the King of Being Lost once said to a group of us, "That's Naural Style! It's how you learn!" The fact that he said this while attempting to stop (my) fancy fixxie on a dime and repeatedly crashing it merely lends more gravitas to the axiom. When we did our tour as ski bums, getting lost in the trees was the only way to find the secret=awesome private powder stashes. Sometimes you'd get hung up in tree wells or just beat your way through willows to more bushes, and other times you'd pop out in a secret spot no one had tracked. It's an Adventure.

There will come a time when you either find it or you don't, though. A time at which, there is no sense in throwing good effort after bad, so to speak. And we had reached that point. We discussed, and he wanted to push further downstream to the end of the sandbar/sound of the chainsaw. I agreed, and we ended up sneaking out behind some houses and getting back on track. Could have been better, but that is how you learn...

This fella wants to ride a secret spot around here that I know well. And, I will probably take him. He had respect. East Coastliness aside (and it is just a cultural difference in manner, not a lack of manners) he had asked what I thought about taking the known trail (middling fun) or the potential bushwack (huge fun, if it worked out), he didn't just ride ahead and make choices. Although, asking me if I think we should take the road less traveled is like asking Polly if she wants that cracker.

12 May 2008

Lift that barge...

So before Mysterious B___ S_____ scurried back to from whence he came, leaving nothing behind here in California but a lingering odor, we used to ride the bikes at night. A lot. We rode together at night so much, and so frequently under rotten (and completely self inflicted) conditions, that new vistas of dark possibilities opened up for us.

We became expert in riding with only one functioning light-the tete de la course taking the side to allow the beam room, and the lanterne rouge swinging wide the turns to better keep the trail in view for both. We rode for miles at speed with only Petzl head lamps to light the way forward. When you are lightless under a new moon, Redwood forests get so dark the only option is to look up at the gaps between the treetops and navigate by the stars. You might not know it, but you can ride fireroads by feel- the hump of the shoulder, the crackle of debris on the sides, the terror of the sudden drop. If you ride long enough without lights, there'll come a moment when you feel like the starlight is disconcertingly bright. As though you were under a searchlight. You'll look behind and above you wondering who or what is tracking you. Trails or roads... in the dark it's magic.

And, when riding at night sans lights you will come across far more animals. My people believe that your Animal Totem will be revealed to you in the course of Great Adventure. In my wanderings by bike, I've encountered all kinds of animals: coyotes, turkeys, skunks, owls, rabbits, crows,bobcats, hawks, deer, snakes, mountain lions, even bears. Now, it is a mistake to claim any old animal as your totem. If you co-opt a foreign Totem, you'll be living a confused life; your plans will come to naught, your relationships will fall apart, food won't taste right.

B___ and I met a lot of skunks. Way too many to be accounted for through simple local skunk demographics. So many skunks, that it was clear this was somebody's Totem. None of y'all will be shocked to learn that neither of us accepts this. Clearly, my Totem is the wily Owl, symbol of wisdom and famously creepy.B claims, falsely, that the Owl is his toem. He has also claimed the bobcat (about which he makes outrageous claims, saying there is a giant variant known as the "Mountain Bob"), the mountain lion, and most recently the bear. I am simply stating, for the record and here and now, he is a cad and a liar, and this is his totem:
Yes, that is correct, you heard right. Not just the totem Skunk, but the totem Chubby Skunk With It's Head Stuck In A Jar.

Now, you all know me and you know I'm fair and impartial. So, in the interest of living up to those standards, I will admit that this may be actually my totem animal:At least it's not a jack ass, I guess.

Oops. It was pointed out to me, that in fact this is my true spirit animal guide:

What is your Totem?

08 May 2008


Sometimes, when we're riding in Fort Ord and especially when night is coming on, I'll tell the kids the story of Comanche. The real story- not that pap printed on the little fakeout memorial at his (not her) grave...
And this is the real story: Once upon a time there was a wild stallion named Comanche. The arrival of settlers in the west caused Comanche to move further and further west, as they encroached on his range. Comanche did not want to become anyone's beast of burden, for he was fierce and independent. Eventually his westward migration ended here on the edge of the Pacific (for obvious reasons), and he grew fiercer and independenter in keeping his range free from Eurotrash who would want to pave over his grassland and harness him to the plow. (The worst of both worlds? paved over farming? consider my sounds good)
Anyone foolhardy enough to venture into his maritime chaparral was subject to his wrath, which usually resulted in him running them down 'neath his sharp hooves. This was a problem for the Pirates who frequented the area and needed access to bury their ill-gotten booty. The Pirates began hiding their chests under cover of darkness, but Comanche found them and was terrible and dreadful in his anger. So they took to using children, still at night to avoid the sheriff as well, to bury their treasure for them. These children had been kidnapped and forced into servitude. The children had to use torches, since flashlights had not been invented, and one night, they set some oak leaves alight while digging beneath the canopy. Ft. Ord was burned to the ground, and Comanche was killed in the blaze. Legend has it that he haunts the place still, looking for the children responsible for burning his home...
This is a great story, because the grave is Right There. It's incontrovertible proof that Comanche was there, and is a ghost now. And all the hoofprints (from the large number of horse folks riding) around Ft. Ord are the ghostly tracks he leaves. There are many latrine holes left behind, which are now "proof" of the holes dug by Pirates/slave-children because they're exactly treasure chest sized. And the area has been burned many times to look for unexploded ordinance, so there's ample evidence of catastrophic fires...

The kids want to know if Comanche would blame them for burning down his home, even though they had nothing to do with it, and it wouldn't be fair.

I tell them, "Probably."

So while searching for images of "dangerous stallions" this came up. Freaky results on that one.

07 May 2008

We love Wayne the Train

Get some if you can...
Today was trailering Brown Lunch. Where the hell is the camera? Y'all need some more pictures of that shi_.

06 May 2008

Careless Robots the heart and mind, Ignorance is kind.There's no comfort in the Truth- pain is all you find. Sorry, had to be done.

And, I gotta mention: J is rockin the Batman kneepads now on trailerbike rides.

Different J altogether,here is the link to the kickass cartoon about bikes and rain capes. It's called Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery. True and wonderful.

Special for Mysterious B____ S_____...remember that shi_ Avid pulled at Interbike? Let's get them this year. Really raise a, uh, stink. If you will. And I know you will. Show up each morning to plan the assaults and receive our missions, skip the middle of the show each day and meet for drinks and strategizing at the Double Down, and then implement our plans in the afternoon...and on. Maybe even spend whole days in the hotel bathroom...strategizing.

Speaking of's his birfday on June 6, and the trip to Mineral King is in a strategizing phase of it's own. All y'all California uberalles see me after class. A shuttle from the central coast is being arranged. Those Western Slopers and Moabites innerested should contact B____ with their questions. A shuttle from Moab is being arranged. Get on it! June 5,6,7,8... 4 day weekend and guaranteed Good Time. This 50 miler out&back is A-mazing in it's pitch, surface, and lack of traffic. Camping optional, and it'll be a cheap thrill regardless. Last year a bear snuck up on us as we were laying there gasping- uh, resting- on the road.Don't be caught left holding your bag with your pants down. How's this look?
That's right, it does. And, plus there is a potential for offroad bike action as well, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Notice to all them that haul ass: Acorn Bags has a website and some pretty, pretty luggage to hold all that ass. Handmade by/for cyclists in the US? Yep. Check out the roll up bag. Those of you who are slow, you will see one below the finer part of me soon...

05 May 2008


You need something good to read? Can't do better than this.
I'm reading the trilogy for the second time, and it's freaking good.

Brief trailerbiking today. Nice and uneventful. Remembered all the gear, and took care. See? You can't teach me, but I'll learn the hard way.

04 May 2008

History repeats the old conceits...

the glib replies the same defeats. A reputable parent and child ride combo

J and I went riding last Thursday, him on his trailerbike, me on the Long Haul Trucker. I didn't let him pick the route that time, because I wanted to get out and ride South Boundary over to Laguna Seca so we could get some more distance on trails in by dropping 50. Oops. I forgot Sea Otter had already taken place. 50 is well and truly _ucked for the summer now. Brake bumped all to hell, and sandy sand.
So we had Brown Lunch in a glade instead of the stairs, because since he had nearly fallen asleep on the Xtracycle the week before (did I mention that? Maybe not- he started swaying and nodding off. I had to hold him on with one hand and call L to pick us up. I had gotten used to the distance we could go when he was sleeping for an hour and a half in the trailer...), I wanted to have him nap out there. It worked great one day last week. We just brought a blanket for him, and a book for me.
But this time he seemed so perky I made the mistake of asking him whether he wanted to nap or push on. Duh. What's any kid worth his salt going to say? So we kept riding, and the trails were great. Rallied up 50 and did Mud Hen Express (C'mon people-NOT Shi_coaster! What a lousy and incorrect name) over towards the Stairs and back through SeaSIDE!
And a block from Acme, on a sidestreet (Give Thanks!) he fell off and skinned his knees. Just all of a sudden doowwwwwn. I couldn't figure out what happened. I swear he was talking to me not 2 minutes prior. So we went over to Acme to get some Oreo medicine, and again called L to pick us up. Lucky she was off early! She informed me that he had fallen asleep, and I am a jackass.
She is correct. Lesson well learned.

Cuz we're back at it this week!

Also, check this out: Parkour. I am just blown away. That looks so fun, I've got to find a way to train to run and jump off stuff. Without I wriggity wreck myself...

01 May 2008

This is a notice to all y'all intruzers...

Beware of the rider, cuz the rider is a boozer.

Something like that. Just a little something to remind y'all that this Friday night is a booze'n'cruise friday night. Get on yer bike and fill yer bag with easter eggs. Bring a light(s) as you will need it(s). Wear a damn helmet. Meet at the bocce courts near the wharves. 9:00pm start.

Pull my finger.