Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

31 October 2008

Fruit flies like a banana

Our truck has been making a jingling(baby) sound. Almost as though it had sleigh bells ring-ting-tingling. I figgered it was bearings (hope not) or brakes. So Friday the 31st, Halloween, I dropped it off in Cside(!) at 9am after dropping J at his preschool out in the valley.

Then I rode my bike:

Stopped at Baldemiro's for a burrito to go.

Sneaky entrance...looking back at the penninsular ridge.

There are some trails over that way. {motions with eyes significantly}

I used the phot-op as an excuse not to jump it. Again. Sometimes I jump it and when I do, it is fun. I'm just not so good at the jumping, so I keeps it on the ground mostly.

After some time in the woods I came upon a fella out running with his dog, who both kindly waited off trail for me to come speeding by. I thanked him and gave the customary summary of who's behind me, "No more." After riding several other trails, I came out onto the road and there they were again, 20 minutes later. The dog was leading and as I went by he increased his pace to match me and I said to the guy, "He wants to go." The guy clearly wasn't innerested in chit-chat, so I left it at that and made to pull away. Only the dog started after me. So I poured it on, and the dog pulled up next to me and looked over at me as he paced me (speed increasing the whole while) as if to size me up. At that point I was way forward, attempting to sprint {no comments necessary from the coaching section} and that dog just held it, not even working. What could I do but laugh? The dog pulled up after 1/4mile or so and circled back to his guy. I circled back too, and when I came up on them the dog moved in to cut me off! I put out my hand, but he was having none of it. Then he followed his guy onto another trail. That was a Good Dog.

I used to have the quiet conviction that if it really came down to it I could get away from a _____________(insert predator here, but I always assumed Mountain Lion). Aaaah, you know you think the same too.

I do not have that opinion anymore.

Today was eye-opening in terms of all the trails being clearly visible. Even the little trafficked game trails seemed clear. The underbrush foliage has well and truly dropped.

I, uhhhhhh got confused, and took this freaky bone trail. It was bones and more bones. Some cow, then the deer you see, then more cow...

Including the pirate arrangement...

and ending here with this black helmet on a pole?! Never seen this trail before. Maybe it's only findable on All Hallows Eve.

I stopped for lunch.
Sometimes I am smart. Here I demonstrate the possible use of an unopened beer to work out Trigger Points in the base of Levator Scapula. Put that in your shuttlecock.

It is not TexMex, but it is Good anyway. Looks like lunch to me.

And so. Due to a combination of poor decisions which reveal far more about me than I care to share with you people, I had to ride back home to get my wallet.

On the way I spied a person on a (what appeared to be fixed) powder blue Pinarello. I assumed it was fixed because the person (I could not tell) was wearing very snug black pants and had only a front brake. Then there was coasting. What?! So I taught that damned gypster a very clear lesson about pretending. I did this by riding away from this person and not even looking at him/her. I feel certain that hit home.

Time flies like an arrow and all. Once home, I had to modify the plan further and swap bikes (from the Kampe Monkey to the LHT+trailerbike)

and ride out the valley for the boy. He liked that. I keep having the intention to take him out and back via bike, but it never seems appealing to ride Carmel Valley Road. And with good reason, this time of year- the vicious/ capricious head winds are back. But it was a Good Time anyway. And worthwhile. Let that be a lesson to me.

N called as we were riding. She had gotten a rare ride to school in the car this morning, and had been counting on catching a ride home with a friend/friend's mom. No such luck. So J and I swung by her school and loaded her up, too.
Here she is sharing the trailerbike with J while wearing her baby costume. That rig handled very shiftily.

What? Huh? It was the brakes. Had the rotors resurfaced, new pads, new fluid. Car expenses are hard to swallow. Especially in this time.


Ever year I want to donate some washers, nuts and bolts to the Trick or Treat bag people. Sadly, I lack the nerve. I wanted to feature the Coneheads segment that had them sliding a plate of runny fried eggs into kids' bags and following that up with a 6er. Good stuff. This was what I came up with, and it's high-larious. Watch and learn, it's Natural Style:

Happy Halloween

In honor of the day, here are some spooky sites worth checking.

Morbid Anatomy

Street Anatomy

Skull A Day

This picture is creepy/Haloweeny and reminds me of Paso Robles.

And these guys are riding...

just like you should be doing.

29 October 2008

What the hell is the ________that passes for Country Music these days?

Today kicked Ass! You know, for me.

I had a 3 hour window to get to work, and I took it. Up a hill and through some trees. I wasn't sure how long it would take to ride this route, so I gave myself plenty of time...I thought. It takes me between 30 minutes (if I lie) and 50 minutes (you know, if I'm riding a slow bike) to ride straight to work via the road.

Sorry for y'all Midwest farmer's daughters, it was in the 70s today.

Here the Kampe Monkey in what I hope will be it's natural environment. Woodsy singletrack.

So I hugely overestimated the time, and was at work an hour and fifteen before required. Next time I'll hit a few more trails. Then there was work, and when I got out it was dark and chilly. 53degrees made my eyeballs water on the downhill. Now it's y'all's turn to laugh Midwest, East Coast.

We were out of beer. Hamm's is sold only in 24packs, and that won't fit. But look with your eyes at the 12 pack and the sweater vest and the paperback (it is "Trouble", and it is Trash) and the seatbag full of tube+tools+patchkit and the Moleskine and the camera (well, obviously you can't see that) and the phone and the arm warmers. There is also a light rain jacket and headlamp and taillight (the batteries died). That's all stuffed in this bag.

We are not out of beer anymore. It took buckling the extra straps into the regular closure straps to hold it all in, but this type of thing is what those are for, huh?

I'm hoisting one right now, hoping today was kickass for you, too.

28 October 2008

Hey! Las Vegas,

To the person searching the internet for "sleazy old bicthes" (sic):

I am so glad you were directed here. I hope you found what you needed.

27 October 2008

there's a large ____________ coming in our direction

Rode this one area today. Only- get this- I took the trail I usually only look up and ride past. Then I mixed it up even more by taking another trail I usually skip when I do take this trail (which I usually do not). After which I rolled around and took another turn I usually skip, and wound up going back to the 2nd unusual trail...Oh yeah, that's where that goes.

So I rode the 2nd section again (faster) and stayed on my usual unusual route after that. Riding the Kampe Monkey was real fun. It's rock solid and comfortable! It's also very damn heavy. Very heavy. Noticeably heavy. Slow on the road type heavy. But, this is made up for by the stellar off-roadability and plushness. And, plus it will work so nice as an off road tourer.

It worked real nice to take me around and fetch those antlers from their hiding spot in the woods.

25 October 2008

Cross bikes in the pearly light

Slept late; led to frantic jamming of gear into a musette (not my camelbak-which I only wear if I must, but what has happened to all my bladders? I think someone is throwing them out when I'm not looking) and jumping up the hill on the Kampe Monkey this morning to meet ____ on top of Huckleberry. He is relatively new to the peninsula, so we rambled some down Veteran's trails and dog-legged our way through Cside(!) seeing what's rideable on our way to Fort Ord. Picked up _____ at the water tank and hit some dirt. I must admit I took some pleasure in dragging those guys around (always knowing what's around the corner is a big leveler) in the sand and the tight Manzanita corridors.

I got no pictures (dead batteries) of those guys coming to a full stop in the one sand pit, but you can imagine. Slapstick. I will admit I cheated; running 29x2.1s will allow a brother to float over lots of stuff. Nice loop on trails that cry out to be linked in certain orders for best effect. Linked and linked.

That's what cross bikes are good for aside from the racing. You want to ride to a trail? You see a trail and wonder where it goes? You like to ramble?

Find out, man.

And plus, these bags look very useful and fun know, speaking of camping bikes and all.

24 October 2008

Time to get out

Hey, ___ if you are still sitting in front of the house in your truck... Get up, get out and walk in. Take her by the hand, give her this:

It will make it better.

For all those that don't understand...(Terminator X)

23 October 2008

conditioned thinking

I think:
Most people are unable to look past their handy screen of interpretation. Which, for our purpose today, we can label as MEdia. Magazines, television (TV is a nickname, and I only use nicknames with friends!), and movies. Oh, and this blog.

If someone looks a certain way, people interpret them accordingly. That means bringing to the experience expectations based on Type. "Beautiful" people can do little wrong- and that easily glossed over. Woe to the slobby, ugly, or overweight _utha_ucka with whatever they try.

California is nasty like that, but it's all over your town, too.

22 October 2008

as my lawyer I advise you

Heavy ____ flew in to CenCal to interview with the Big Red S. If he gets in, they have no idea what a back door I will make this. Fair warning, fellas- there it is. He stayed in San Jose for bidness, and travelled down here ( each way an hour and a half more or less) for not 1 but 2 rides during his stay. The least I could do was ignore my now healing saddle sores and ride.

As I have said before, Mr. Heavy (as my legal counsel he tells me to do things) is a Man Who Will Make The Effort, and that is a rare thing in this time. Tell me it's not true- tell me you can name mmmm 6 people who do what they say they will (and don't just idly make plans and then bail when it actually comes down to the effort). Count them off on the fingers of one hand right now. You can't. Because most people, whether they mean well or not, at heart are lacking sand.

Not this yahoo:

Obligatory Great White Hunter shot.

Heavy had spotted this poor bastard on the way down from San Jose, so we stopped here on the way up the hill to honor our fallen comrade by harvesting his antlers for future incorporation into an ofrenda de las bicicletas shrine. Moreover by doing it via las biclicetas as part of a sanctioned Church ride.

Shortly thereafter we stashed the antlers in the trees (antlers are pokey!). Immediately following the break in which we checked out my seat stay real close up, Heavy crashed my other bike- the newly repurposed Kampe Monkey on it's maiden voyage and later speared himself on barbed wire. All in the name of "Good Times". Or perhaps in the name of "riding just beyond your ability on a borrowed bike". Then we rode some super top secret shi_ which was fun and drank some beers in the woods.

This from a guy who advised me to ride through the woods with a thin pack full of antlers?

It really is all about making the effort.

21 October 2008

...sometimes you are the bug

So hey, I have the worst saddle sores I've ever experienced! Yes, it is incredible. I should say they are incredible. Last week I wore my sh___y Voler team shorts (allright, so they're Voler and they're 4 years old...) on the long fixed cyclocross jaunt out to Fort Ord and the reward was the beginning of my current triumvirate of sores. My own private feifdom of abscessive discomfort. 2 have merged to form 1, which is actually the smaller of the remaining duo- the other is swollen and throbby.

I applied tea tree oil to my crotch (refreshing!) and laid off the riding for several days, but Sunday's commute caused a resurgence, and yestiday night I went for a sneaky night ride with a buddy in from out of town (how are you not gonna do that?) which was short and in plainclothes, but really brought the situation to a head. So to speak.

This morning it was lancing. That's hard to do: there's stuff in the way; and it's a weird angle; hard to see what's going on; and honestly, who feels comfortable wielding needles around such? I hope this gets better quick now that I've, uh, opened up? come clean? Because going to see a doctor about this is not so appealing.


19 October 2008

thoughts about Grandads and library runs and commutes

My maternal grandfather, Grandpa Tom, knew Jerry Clower and we used to listen to his records together. I laughed and laughed.

We all rode to the library on Saturday. We had very little time to spend, because I'd gone to the shop for brake mount posts for the Karate Monkey's latest incarnation as Camping Bike. I, uh, lost track of time. I came home to the doghouse...

Sunday I rode to work on this bike:

Who can say what it is? Some old English racer, probably a Raleigh, that was given to me years ago and has been many incarnations of itself.

Today it is a 5-speed mixed-group beat-on Campy drivetrain, with Diacompe centerpulls and Mafac levers. Jitensha flat bar. Brooks B68. Nigel Smythe bag. I decided to go with downtube shifting in order to keep the bars clean, and I figured I could use the front lever for controlling the generator contact. {after not being able to find the correct cable end to fit into the bracket on the generator and riding this set up with it's impressive reach to shift- I'm a mount up some thumb shifters instead}

The heart of the bike is the lighting. I had this Union-Marwi BB mount generator powered headlight/taillight that's been sitting for several years. The Shimano generator hubs are so much more efficient feeling that I've let this set up languish. But a true beater is a beautiful thing, and the ratty looking wires spiralling around the tubes really add an air of dilapidation which communicates to potential bike thieves that they should move on, that this is not the bike for which they're looking.

Those ______-____ing pedals are on my short list. They blllllow.

So, roughly 22 miles total commute, and it feels real nice. Though the lighting wires are something of a pain in the ash in spite of their awesome tattiness. I had a lot of contact adjusting fiddling to do in the dark by the side of the road tonight...

17 October 2008

I wish I could articulate so good...

"I wanna be good. Really I do. It's harder when the other person's a porky republican lobbyist-lookin' asshole in a big-ass SUV without a spot of mud on it. There's so much contemptuous iconography involved, it's like being threatened by a comic book villain made of everything I think is wrong with the world." (italics mine)

-posted by chiggins, in a fit of truth, with regards to a run-in with a rude motorist.

It's so...apt. Thank you, chiggins.

And, now you must watch:

For real, you must watch these. Particularly if you enjoyed Horrible People. Yes, they're that good.

16 October 2008

mas y mas

Yep. More fixed in the forest. When I have a short time frame for the riding, I head for the SS or the fixie. It feels rightest. Mixed the route up some today, which was fun.

Now that I've had a few good rides on the Hunter stem, other problems with the Crosscheck's fit make themselves felt. (Perhaps it's just that I ain't ever satisfied? Non, there are other bikes in my lineup which are perfect...) I am not completely stoked on the Midge bars. The flats are pretty narrow when the bars are angled to put the drop section flat enough for use. I used the bars at a different angle in the beginning, and this provided a wider platform. I think I'll be going back to using the Nitto 48cm(!) bars that are on my other drop barred rides. At some point. I got a lot of irons in the fire bike-part-swap-wise right now.

And, so. If you find yourself with some time on yer hands, watch this: (HI-larious)

15 October 2008

Everthing looks better moonlit.

Hey. It says right in the banner: "More moonlit riding...your eyes'll adjust." It is true. And unless/until you actually go out and ride solely by the light of the moon, you are fooling yourself that you know. You have no idea.

There it is.

People. That is some magic shi_ right there. Don't short yourself, give it a chance. It is a revelation (to be followed by another when you're hooked and riding lightless during a New Moon only to realize your eyes have adjusted so exquisitely that you feel spotlighted by stars.) I won't go into the whole Jedi riding thing-though it is true, I'll simply say: there are 12 chances per year to experience this Full Moon magic. That's it. It's part of why it's magic. You can do whatever you chose to occupy your time last night pretty much any other night of the year. Nope, it's true and you know it. Step up and put yourself out there.

Staying true to my yahooery, I showed up after it had been dark for at least 15 minutes last evening. A cold Tecate placed strategically at the corner proved Little Jewford had been and gone. So I kitted up slowly to see if anyone else showed, and ultimately rode out alone. This cut the ride well short because, uh, it's magic and all but riding offroad alone at night is spooky and scary.

There are pumas in Fort Ord. (even if this pic is from elsewhere)

So today I rode the fixxed crosscheck today up and over out to Fort Ord. Much of the same route taken last night. Here are some photos:

An inkling of the route.

The meeting place. End of Parker Flats Cutoff.

Leaving pavement, entering Fort Ord

Looking through the scrubby Coast Live Oaks at the Stairs. These can be creepy at night, what with the Spanish Moss and rustling critters.

Overlooking #50 and Barloy Road, at the end of Mud Hen Express. This is where I sat for some time drinking another cold beer and listening to the cicadas. Moonlight so bright you could see color!

Singletrack through some tunnel-like Manzanita.

Then back through town and up over the hill again.

Home on singletrack through the Monterey Pines...

where I changed into my fancy pants and odd jacket to shuttle my sweetie, via Big Dummy, down past the Carmel Mission to Mission Ranch for the sunset and cocktails....