Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

30 September 2008

Newly weds and nearly deads

That's how people described Pacific Grove (PG, if you're nasty) when we 1st moved here to the Monterey Peninsula.. It's pretty much true.

Today I saw 7 different ambulances in total. I think the nearly deads are having a hard time of it with stocks dropping.

Here's hoping the newly weds keep it together.

28 September 2008

What are you holding on to?


Again. This week's race was again in Fort Ord, but moved to the old camp location. How many of y'all noticed the "Hidden Playground" smack dab in the middle of things? Well, that's been a destination of ours for several years now, so these kids know those trails well.

N raced for the 1st time ever. She rode in the Junior Women category, and out of a field of 4, raced to a solid 4th. Doin' it just like her old man. Quitting was ruled out in advance, which was important. We want her to take away from racing the lesson that you keep going when things are hard, and suffer through. Church motto: Might as well Suffer. In case you forgot.

She took us at our word when we told her placing did not matter, only finishing.

I've never seen such casual walking through the barriers.

Still and all, she seems fired up about racing next time.

That's huge. The other girls in her class were very nice. I asked N confidentially if she wanted me to wait with her at the start (It's intimidating to be in the line up, especially when you don't know what you're doing. I am well familiar with it), and she said she did want me there. Next thing, the lead gal went out of her way to introduce herself and make conversation. N turned to me and whispered, "You can go now, Papa."

Then she rode her race. 4 laps on a tough course. 4th place and a carton of strawberries. Cool.

At the start of the 10 and unders, D asked last week's winner if it was OK to heckle him. (I love that kid!) The other kid screwed up his face and said, "No." D comes back with, "Well, I think I'm gonna heckle anyway- that's what my Papa said about races." (See? They do listen.)

D started strong, and passed last week's winner only to crash "into the bushes because [he] was going too fast." He got up and got back in it, and crashed again- why? I couldn't get a straight answer out of him. He then crashed trying to "pop a wheelie over those logs, and the back wheel hit them and knocked [him] over."

I'd like to know how long it's been since you popped a wheelie, biotch?

Now is a good time to mention that I was again working the Thai Massage booth. I was working on a very nice lady when I saw D running his bike up the straight toward the final turn (where the Joselyn's EZ up was) and the finish. I yelled, he yelled- he'd dropped his chain and didn't know what to do. I didn't think; I dropped her leg and ran off in my socks. Another kid was catching him as I grabbed his bike and pulled the chain back on, gave him a push and off he went for 6th overall. Then I went back and apologized to the nice lady.

27 September 2008

The past is catching up to me and messin with my Good Life.


Passed some equestrians today on the paved road. I rolled toward them from behind and saw the rear most horse hear me and start to dance, so I called out to let it know I was a friendly human. Skittish horse, nervous rider. They were 2 biddies and 1 stable henchman to mind them. The rear lady had poor control. I clucked to the horses and rode on by. At the top, I stopped to stretch and wait for them. I wanted to get a feel for how the horses reacted to cars vs. bikes, and let the people catch the idea that cyclists are not a nuisance. Maybe plant some seeds of consideration that bear fruit in the long run.

There is so much animosity between horsey folks and bike folks. I personally do not care for anyone who rides trails in conditions that eff them up (i.e. soft, water-logged switchbacks)- whether it's horses, motos, or bikes. And horse people, in general, seem to see themselves as having a natural right to be on trail in whatever conditions. But, I've seen plenty of bike tracks through mud holes that were better left unridden, as well. Motos? They smell and are noisy polluters. You knew going in I lik bikes, so this ain't a surprise.

But- access is access, huh? We have to sit down without precondition or the talks will never happen. So I try and be respectful and polite first, and see where that gets me.

Then I waited for them to ride on. Wait. Wait for it. Don't rush in, Saturday morning is a bust for sure. Give it a little more time.

GO! Go quick and quiet when you do go, and don't hang around.

This reminds me of a time, when I was riding in this one place and I came upon the proprietor of said place. Officially, bikes were not welcomed there. The guy's truck was facing away from the direction from which I appeared, on a single lane access road. Upon seeing him, I turned right around and rode the other way. He saw me, too. I knew this because, as I was putting the corner between us, I heard the reverse alarm sound off. And keep sounding off, as he came after me at maybe 8-9 mph in reverse. There was another road taking off above the road he was reversing, and I took it. I passed above him (out of sight) and heard his beeping continue on in front of, then below, then behind me. I was riding pretty quickly.

At the time, I was wearing brightly patterned bibs, an orange undershirt, a green jersey, black arm warmers, and grey knickers.It was cold. In my pocket, I had, among other things, a musette. I later decided to ride up a different (and completely legitimate) road, to reenter that one place in a the guise of a regular citizen. I took off my outer layers, and stuffed them in the musette. This saw me climbing in a bright orange shirt, and brightly patterned bibs, with a bright orange bag. Like a totally different person! No one but you would notice the bike ( Believe me- it's true, you're obsessed. And frankly, it's not healthy). And sure as sh__ting, who should pass me?

You better believe it.

26 September 2008

wee comparison: Xtracycle & Big Dummy


There's one, there's the other.

There's they rear ends.

The one.

The other.

Hold on...

25 September 2008

This was today:

I just really like the wear. Evidence of past adventures. Including the pine sap in the lower rear corner that glued me to the seat on one of the longer SC rambles.

Snuck around to end up over here. See those fire roads heading off? Took those down to #50...

which was even more washed out than before. No surprise with continued dryness.

My shadow self is pointing at the square edged drop into the sandy corner. I've mentioned this before. More so, now.

More ssssssssand, on those sneaky trails above Reservation Road. A___ showed them to Fast F____ and me recently.

Washed up here, at the bench overlook.

A___ L____ and I were riding the trail around the edge of the bunkers back in 2002(?), when we came up on a guy with the above bench (newly built, by him) loaded in a BOB Trailer. He was working that trail with a mattock. Which personal initiative is not officially sanctioned by the powers that be. We stopped to talk to him, and the Presidio/military cops rolled by on the other side of the chainlink. I've never seen a smoother reaction; he didn't even turn his head or interrupt his sentence, he just opened his hand and let the mattock fall over. I aspire to that level of super ninja stealth.

Next time (and every time since) we came out there, the bench has been there. He said he made it for the New Year Celebratory ride he and his buddies do. It's a spot to drink champagne. Perhaps the champagne of beers.

Ask me about the time Mysterious B___ S_____ and I were out there under a full moon. It's when the Owl 1st claimed me as it's Spirit Guide. That's right it claimed me.

There were choices:

I found this:

Then, after school was out, the kids and I swung by the shop on the way to Dennis the Menace Park. At the shop, we picked up this:

Which held this:

I've waited 3 years.

24 September 2008

D_____'s Race Bike

Here it is. The "Hidden Canyon" from Marin. It's a 20" wheeled bike he's had for mmmmaybe 4 years. It was a little big to start, and now he's almost grown out of it. Still, he's definitely got another season on it. That's good value, and plus it'll lay in wait for the J_____ator to ride in another year or so.

Parents who buy their kids' bikes at department stores suck. And are shortsighted.

Those crappy bikes made from pot metal and assembled by learning impaired robot orangutans will turn a kid off of riding by performing poorly, breaking, and being heavy as shi_. A department store bike, through required repair (frequently including the initial trip to a bike shop to have the build corrected!) and replacement of junk parts, will cost as much or more than a bike built by folks who care and know from your local shop. Pick a shop in which some staff member has kids and you're even more golden- they get it and will make the extra effort to see that your child's levers are adjusted for little hands with short reach, to name one example.

Choices are limited, even for quality kids' bikes. Most are ridiculously heavy, with silly long wheelbases and useless suspension forks that add weight and detract from performance. I won't even get into components. Chances are, if you're reading this, that you'll swap some stuff. There are, of course, super high end race bikes being made for kids now and you could go that route. I don't think that's necessary, but you might.

D has had his rear derailler replaced, his brakes/levers replaced, his bars replaced, his shifters replaced, and we added a bell. He took a liking to my stylish pink Poison Spider top cap. Fancy stainless King Cage, too. Chew on that.

I don't know about your reputation, in this town...but D has ridden this thing all over.

23 September 2008

Here kitty kitty...

More sneaky linked routes on the SS29er lead to quick impressions regarding the Black Cat SS with the Hunter rigid fork:

Rails around corners real quick-like. I notice this so much right now, coming off the fixed crosscheck, since I have to weight it over the top and stay there pedaling. With the Black Cat, I lean off it and swing it around. Like waterskiing.I hate to do it, but: it pounces. I been jumpin stuff. Little stuff jumpin fnord. This bike feels like it lands on all 4 feet. Ssssolid. This cat moves foward without moving.

And also this:

I'm slowly turning the Karate Monkey (dependable and versatile and heavy as it is- it turns slowly) into a Camping Bike and thinking about the Big Dumb Condor Tour. That entails a bunch of parts swapping: drops (Nitto 177...48cm! wide), about 120mm worth of spacers to push those bars skyward (Hey, it's a working bike and it don't cost nothin. It'll be ugly, but it'll fit so pretty), back to rigid fork status, racks, barcon shifters using whatever guts I have in the drawer, and these SWEET XTR M900 cranks

and deraillers that I'm taking off the Xtracycle, as it morphs into ssshhhh- don't jinx it... It's also back to whatever linear pull brakes I pull out of the brake box, steel railed B17 Champion special in Honey, and Thomson 27.2 mm seatpost. And I can run whatever tires I feel like running.

You can't stop me, I'm a machine.

21 September 2008

Shall we adjourn to the race corner?

We shall, bitches. Sho Nuff!!! The Shogun of Cyclocross is here!

I ____ing love cyclocross! It's such a good scene. Diverse crowd, friendly people, families. I worked the booth, and so did not race. But, if I had, I'm sure I would have won. D did race. His 1st race ever, of any sort. I ran the course with him on his preride (well, 1/5th of it- it was hard so I quit) and we worked on dismounts (he already had that down), and how to pick your bike up to clear the barriers. He wanted to pick up the frame with both hands and let the handlebars fend for themselves. We settled on a left handed down tube grab and right hand on the grip.

This is him ruling it, in 2nd place, over the final set of barriers. They were cleverly placed at the bottom of the sandy downhill. L was here with her cell phone to record the moment. Like the quality parents we are, we did not bring the camera to our son's 1st cyclocross race. From this point he really poured on the speed (just like we talked about) because it was the finish straight away.

Here's the podium. 10 and unders. Race Free. D took 2nd! It was super rad. He's stoked about the series and won't stop saying he's "probably going to win because it'll be no problem getting top 5". I think he heard the term "top 5" today and really liked it. Some kid passed him in front of folks who were cheering, and D repassed him, saying "Nobody keeps their lead forever."

The ladies are threatening to race next week. I am beside myself.

Way to suffer, D_____!

19 September 2008


Sexiest woman alive? Certainly up there.

And these only add to the appeal.

You'd never suspect what a freak she is. Well, if you hadn't seen this, you'd never suspect.

18 September 2008

Perhaps I've watched one too many Westerns

Well, that can't be true.
Seeing as how the formula for # of Westerns watched (or read) can be derived from that of the # of bikes needed, a la: X=Y+1. Wherein X is the # needed, and Y is the # currently in the quiver.

In any event, I swapped the (recommended for SSWC2008, and rightly so!) 20t cog back down to the 16t the other day. Made for some Good Times. Why, just today in fact was Good due to a little SS Action! Rode something sneaky, and had a little STranger danger. Yep. Had to run for the hills- and I mean that quite literally. I ended up, after lurking in some bushes for 10 minutes, climbing (the backside of) a tree to have a crafty view of the coasts' clearness. Ridiculous.

Dude, I'm nearing 40 and this is what I do for fun? Yep.

Perhaps you are wondering what the heck Westerns have to do with this. Well, obviously, I learned all this useful tracker lore from them, and that's why I took the deer trail (since it was an established trail, it would show no signs of my passage and be reasonably clear running) and why I climbed the tree (no one is looking up in trees for fugitives, and climbing the backside is effing woodcraft) and why I waited 10 minutes before moving (most people would blow it and move too soon, unlike the crafty mountain man). That's what.

Use this distilled Western wisdom wisely.

17 September 2008

I don't know if you know, but

I love me some sacred steel. There's more Campbell Brothers right here.

That's that Holy Ghost workin, right there.

Of course, Sacred Steel can apply equally well to bicycles.
On a sad and unrelated note: I will not be attending Interbike . I leave it to others to be thrown out of the Double Down for *something* this year. Dang.

16 September 2008


I wish I were a pirate. I know, you're right-who doesn't? It is not here yet, but it is coming so get ready... Anyways, so y'all get it right:

Stereotypical pirate accents tend to resemble accents either from Cornwall or Bristol, though they can also be based on Elizabethan era English or other parts of the world. Pirates in film, television and theatre are generally depicted as speaking English in a particular accent and speech pattern that sounds like a cross between a West country accent and an old English accent, similar to that of Robert Newton's performance as Long John Silver in the 1950 film Treasure Island; however, the characteristic speech patterns of fictional pirates appear to pre-date Newton's performance, for example in J. Warren Kerrigan's Irish-accented performance as Peter Blood in the 1924 film Captain Blood. [from Wikipedia]
So, to let y'all know....pirates and people who just talk that way are to be found at the wharf (where else) at 7pm tomorrow, Wednesday, on the night of the 17th for a pub crawl. Bring yer bike, a lock, and some piratitude, matey.

15 September 2008

We're gonna talk today about increased mobility.

There is a very good article here on joint-by-joint assessment of mobility, followed by this one ,regarding drills to improve mobility. They are both very detailed, and useful.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as my old issues with the left hip have been reoccurring. That this re-occurrence closely follows my 2 week stint on the fixed crosscheck does not surprise me. While it is a mistake of one sort to assume that events happening near simultaneously are necessarily related, it's a whole 'nother ball of mistake to ignore the probable connection. So, putting aside the potential causality of having a left ankle that is a tiny bit unstable, and riding a fixed gear off road, while clipped in...

As you remember (being so closely involved in my bikes' fits, personal discomforts or rumors of discomfort involving bike fit) the crosscheck is awaiting it's replacement stem. Rick, I'm looking at you here. Since the current stem is too low and too short, I'm essentially in my old position vis. reaching down too far, while being contracted abdominally. All my other bikes' fit has changed to accomodate a more upright/comfortable posture and I'd forgotten my old bugbear, the hip- specifically trigger points in Pectineus:

Gluteus Minimus:

and Iliopsoas:

In each of those images, the Trigger Points are represented as Xs, while the (pain) referral patterns are represented as red blotches.

Thoracic Mobility comes into this mainly due to this blog entry, which felt like the missing piece in the pattern I see so often in (everyone) cyclists in particular due to positioning. Lack of mobility in the thoracic spine dovetails so... uh...insidiously? with the ultra-common pectoral tightness among cyclists, especially as that area of the spine is used to anchor movement while pedaling furiously. Or in my case, languorously.

Time to roll around on tennis balls, while I wait. Don't think for a minute this means I'm not gonna kick your ass come 'cross racin', sucka.

Hope this finds y'all well. If not, poke around and get better. Body Massage, GO!

14 September 2008

Reminder remainder remain there

Full Moon.

Ride the bikes.

Drink the beers.

8th and Giggling...the gate past the old hospital. Dark.

13 September 2008

Ready, WILLING, Able?

photo taken from M. Curiak, link below

I have been following along with Mr. Curiak's off road adventuring here, and dang! am I envious. I know I have been very fortunate in my riding life; both in places I've lived having fantastic trails and in trips I've taken for riding...but that guy is operating on a whole 'nother level.

I personally have ZERO interest in riding my bike through shi_loads of snow and all. Because that does not sound like fun. I'd rather ski/snowboard if it's gonna be like that. But maybe that's what gave him the outlook needed to pull off the stuff he's on about now. Self-supported multi-day back-country riding. That sounds good, huh? Yeeeeeees.

The Colorado Trip this summer was super fun. Good folks and better trails. It has given me the awareness of what it takes to plan something along these lines. That is the hard part- trails can be tough to hook together for this kind of distance, more so when you don't live there and know them. And it has given me the awareness of what it takes to execute a series of epic rides. That is the hard part- day after day riding is hard work, and trail junctions can be hella confusing when you're an exhausted simpleton. But fundamentally, a trip (of whatever duration or sort) takes one thing to make it kickass:

The willingness to have a good time.

That is the most important element in whatever adventure you happen to be on. Whether it's a 60 mile jaunt through alpine singletrack with cold beer waiting at the end, it's yet another lap of the local loop, or it's riding alternately boring and terrifying(cars) same old streets to get to work. It's far too easy to let _________ get in the way of a Good Time. People get tired and cranky. People have expectations that are disappointed. People get rained on, or cold, or too hot, or...People have a rigid schedule that must be followed. People have mechanical issues. People get injured. People don't have the bike for the purpose. People can't be bothered to ride because they are too out of shape, or have to get up early the next day, or...

The willingness to have a Good Time can solve all your problems. The Church of the Sub Genius, before they became embittered and fell on hard times because they staked all their hopes on alien salvation (hmmmm- divine help from the sky. sound like any other religion?) which failed to appear on X Day 1998 as promised (hmmm-appointed day for Salvation did not deliver. sound like any other religion? better reschedule, and this time leave it open ended, or the sheep will get restless and harder to fleece), had a good premise: the Short Duration Personal Savior. The ShorDurPerSav could be whomever or whatever you need to get you through. Maybe you need Jesus, or Mohammed, or maybe your God is nothing but an elephant! Maybe you just need that flattened and sweaty PB&J that's been waiting (already appraised and dismissed) in your jersey pocket for the last 2 hours. Maybe you need the love of your Sweetie. Maybe you need your mom. Whatever you label your need, it comes down to the Willingness to have a Good Time.

12 September 2008

Here's (some of) the Goods

It is the weekend, so let's listen to some music.

Townes Van Zandt...

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan...

Steve Earle and Emmy Lou Harris....

Aretha Franklin...

Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan...

Madness and Elvis Costello(!)

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces...

Little Feat and Emmy Lou Harris and Bonnie Rait...

Curtis Mayfield...

Ali Farka Toure...

Stevie Ray Vaughn...

Those are good.

11 September 2008

Full Harvest Moon

Brothers and sisters! What is this world coming to?

Coming to Church. Church Meeting at 8th and Giggling entrance to Ft Ord, night of the full moon.At, uhhhh, dark thirty.

That is correct. Coming up- Monday September 15th, it is on. Nobody whine about it being a school night either, it's a full moon dammit! Bring yo self, yo dirt bicycle, yo own beers. Be ready to ride real fast with no lights, and to stop frequently to drink beers in the pale moonlight.

Any dancing with Mr. D you do, will be dancin' in the dark. If you simply must bring lights because_______, then you will be shunned. Especially nogoodnik red blinkies! The only thing worse than a bunch of flashing panicky colored lights is when you try to hold a conversation with me and shine your helmet mounted light in my eyes.

I don't know if y'all are familiar with "Hashing", or not. It might be fun to adopt some of the rigamarole. More than a few people would have to get involved for that to happen.

Whatev', there will be beer and bikes. And the moon.