Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

28 February 2009

music to share

Loretta Lynn.


Allison Kraus and Union Station

Maxwell Street.

Roy. Orbison.

The Manhattans.

We miss you, Jerry.

shaping up to be a good tour day France?

Super interview at Belgium Knee Warmers with Andy Hampsten regarding the '86 tour and the infighting between Lemond and Hinault. Looks like I'm not the only one who is wishing for a similar shakedown in '09...

on heckling

So D is an impressionable 9years old, and his view of acceptable behavior at sporting events has (unfortunately) been shaped by people like you.

He is now playing basketball in the YMCA league around here, is why I bring it up. After this cross season's bell ringing, etc. I had to explain to him that it is (confusingly) poor form to holler "Stop Sucking!" at the opposing team during your time on the bench.

24 February 2009

I will now sell 5 copies of the 3 EPs by the Beta Band...

I know. A break in the rain. whew! I do apologize for having to exercise the mighty power of cold wet blanketry (that I usually hold in reserve for important occasions such as impressing my wife's friends/coworkers at parties or the kids' school functions, where I come on like a cold wet blanket by only being capable of talking about bikes and parts and bike rides) in calling down this monsoon. But it had to be done. January was setting us up for fires, come summer.

Be glad for the rain.

Given today's brief window of sun, I'd planned on the quick short local loop (and taken a bottle and no food...) but it was so nice I ended up going long. Checked on our mystery tarp situation, and it looks like that operation is being maintained. We shall see what develops, and I was careful to leave no footprints,etc. Quick easter egg pickup, drinkup, and roll on- with an eye to connecting that area further via that one hillside. I think it can be done. I just need to bring some clippers and make it happen.

Today was exploration day. Have you ever been here?No, you haven't. Because this is so far off the beaten trails it was just me and coyote tracks. Finding this type of extracurricular goodness can only be done when everything falls into place just so (like having all this glorious sunshine after the gloom) and you are alone (no one else wants to be dragged along on your bushwacking sand ride). When it does come together, it is magic. This will be good for the next Full Moon Ride. March 10th is the Full Worm Moon...

I had no lunch,was out of water in my lone bottle and was bonking well before I got to the back side of Fort Ord, scaled the fence at Laguna Seca and begged water from the Mazda racing HQ.

Then it was fast as hell down 50, with the front wheel slipping into an understeer in the wet sand and getting all drifty in the corners. That is fun.
Sorry Minnesota, Spring is sprong here...

See Fremont Peak off in the distance? That is why y'all must get crossbikes! We could be riding this to access that, there and back. It is ridiculous not to. Everbody: get a cross bike...GO!

With all this sustained wetness, each of my bikes has been ridden and put away wet at least once. My road/cross bike is still hanging in pieces from the Countyline (and I have not yet retrieved the front wheel from Craig Ashcroft or Victor Montenegro), so when we rode the Dog in a Hat Ride/Cold Pig in a Wet Blanket Ride in Santa Cruz on Sunday, I reached for the long left hanging Kampe Monkey. It turned out to be just the ticket and I was Glad.

Kooks come out in droves on the VO site to argue that only their personal choice of tyre size is legitimate and I don't comment. Shi_ like that is personal preference, with the caveat that the bigger the headache, the bigger the pill baby. And I am the big pill, so I prefer a big tire for most things and a really big tire for offroad. I forgot how fun that bike is. Gigantic stack of spacers aside (and that is on the 20" frame- Surly! I love you, but why such baby housecat headtubes?) it is rockkk solid and rolls on and on. Like I lik. The drop bars at seat height are perfect- I get the upright 48cm(!) width for the climbs and easy rolling, and the drops give me the technical position to get hella technical on technical terrain. Just Goodness.

With regard to the Cold Wet Pig Ride, I will say it Once you commit to something like that, what is there but to enjoy yourself? To the people at the back who continued to enjoy themselves (even though poor planning on your own part(s) led to not having the booze you really needed) I salute you. Even when it hurts a lot, it only stops being fun if you let it stop.

22 February 2009

Cause they's a fat man in the snowbank

I said Lance...What are you up to?

So, I saw on DC how this yellow devil attempted to upstage the show...

and it did not work out.
I love the smiles in the peloton. I am happy for everyone in these photos for various reasons.

21 February 2009

Licensed to ill?

It is as if "they" have reached into my dreammind and brought out a picture of my deepest bicycle desires...

photo from SOMA Fabrications via the flik'r mixte group pool

BRASS FENDERS?!?!?!?!?!?!? Are you kidding me?
I didn't...well, yes-but...when....who distributes....

The fenders are tagged as Tanaka, but my searches have come up with naught. Someone help me realize my dreams of the Big Time, and all my dreams will come true. I'll be happy at last.

20 February 2009

s24o...some people call it kidbikecamping, mmmmhmmm

s24o=sub+24hour+overnight. Kids these days...

Children out of school for (not "winter-", not "spring-") just "break" ? Time to drag them out on bikes during the lull in the monsoon. That means I am a pack jackass for 4, since L had to work and couldn't come. It's OK, I've got that much jackass and more if it's bikes...

Photos to follow.

Switched up the load arrangement this trip. The 2 dry bags in the front contain 2 sleeping bags per, plus a camp pillow each and clothing odds/ends. The cooler? Not enough beer, soy yogurts, soy milk, blueberries, and a mysterious pancake binder. The big bag on deck contains the stove, food, cookware,TP, and the 9,000lb griddle. One side load is a 4man tent in a dry bag (used) and a 2man tent (unused...why did I bring it? I don't know, man), and the other is 2 paco pads (at 10lb each!). Strapped on the ass is 2 folding chairs. You're daaaaamn right.

Close to home, heading up the hill. Starting out is always tough. You aren't warmed up, it's not as rosy as it was painted out to be, everyone's cranky from organizing,etc.

I took them the super back way, and they were 2nd guessing me like nobody's business until we got onto some dirt here.

But then, some credibility was lost. That is at the tail end of a "trail" which is currently more of a spillway. Potty break crew back there...

"window on the bay"

D tore it up on his little guy mountain bike. 20" wheels compared to N and myself on 26"? Like poopin and peein, that is hard work!

Bike path!

Since we started late (and who doesn't?) the light was waning fast. There was a lot of fussing, but the sunset don't care what your little excuses are, so tell your story walking-er, riding. I, of course, took us out the ridge 1 trail too soon, and this necessitated some small backtracking and a little lowlight bushwacking to get to the cunningly hidden game trail entrance to the Secret Spot. It worked out in the end. We all had a hot meal, sat in the dark (all the firewood is wet...) and looked at the stars. I told the kids about the Alamo (clap, clap, clapclap) deep in the heart of Texas. We talked about the deguello. We talked about how every story has at least 2 sides, and maybe the Alamo shouldn't be remembered with quite such gusto. It would have been ghost stories, but N was solidly against them on the grounds of nightmares. We checked out Orion the Hunter. There were only 2 beers, but there were 4 Tootsie Pops.

The frogs are going crazy out there right now. Sleeping to the sounds of frogs partying and coyotes singing is allright with me.

How some people spent their leisurely morning...

...and how others spent it. But hey, those are blubbery pancakes! aaaaah. "What is this mysterious binder?" you ask. Not eggssssses. It is coconutmilk and flaxmeal. Works so well, and gives the pancakes a surprise!freshness.

And, plus I remembered the spatula. You have some small idea of the joy this gave me. The collapsible tupperware bowl came in mighty. handy. too.

Sunny campsite breakdown. This is after we collected all the sleeping bags, the ponchos and the tent rain fly from their various drying out spots on the oaks. It gets super dewy at night next to the ocean.

Notice the much improved harnessing on the dry bags. This setup does not allow for ruts (with it's super low clearance) but it is so nice in it's modularity? modulation? Anyways, it's adaptable. The load being only down bags and pillows, it is fine; if it were heavy and down low the load would torque and shimmy like...something that shimmies real bad.



Homeward bound series:

Up and out.

Down and out.

On the road again.

He is just messing around here, showing off how cush he has it, but later on he did fall asleep at a very bad spot trafficwise. He fell off the back last year (yes, into the street) due to falling asleep on the Xtracycle. Parents considering this type of setup: consider yourselves warned.

Salty views.

Back under the oaks for the climb up and over. Those little freeloaders had no qualms about a lightly trafficked back way at this point. They both sqwuaked a bit about how easy J has it on the Bug Dummy air cushioned perch.

I can't say enough good things about this trip; short and sweet, quick access to fun. Maybe 20 miles each way?

Good Times. Good kids. Y'all can do this, too! Make them do it. They thank you eventually.

Do it for the children.

17 February 2009

Stage which ___________gets his oughts

We took some time out for fun. Are we not men?

What a bunch of degenerates.

A Good Time was had by all at the Santa Cruz stage. Somebody won it, I'm sure. It was chaos from where I stood. All's I know is, I had a firme grip on my youngest as the cars/peloton zipped by.

Another thing I know is: the way in which Lance Armstrong is portrayed in the hype surrounding the ATOC is disturbing to me. The terms "Immortality" and "Redemption" are loaded as hell. And not in the Good (stagger around and compliment all your friends on their fine life choices) way. Lookit this box of chalkhanded out by the LAF before the race. Are you kidding me? As much as the sheep need a shepherd Lance is no Jesus. While acknowledging that he has never been convicted of doping despite numerous tests, I must admit that I personally think he is on some future space meds that maybe 1.6 cancer research scientists even know about. However you feel about Armstrong's culpability in regard to doping it's got to be apparent that he is comfortable holding up cancer as a catch-all with which to deflect criticism. Nope, I can't be ________, I had cancer! Witness the exchange with Paul Kimmage making it's way around the web.

Heroes can only stay HEROES if they stay perfectly still. The giants of the past all took whatever was available at the time. Look at Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx. Why does the modern dope seem so much uglier?

I truly love the history and pageantry and epic scope of road racing. It means alot to watch those feckless hardmen leave it out there on the pave, knowing in my own bones how hard that must be- we've all given some fraction of that suffering a go. That suffering speaks to us. What it tells me these days is that the Glory and Power are not worthy. The admiration for winners solely because they win is tepid and dissatisfactory. Admiration bordering on worship is sickening.

For whatever reason we are how we are as cyclists, and it is a sport that elevates suffering as a Virtue. I'll take my suffering personally, thank you. Meted out in bike sized doses alone or with fellow penitents, voluntary suffering somehow offsets the little defeats of the everyday. I don't require a scapegoat or a master. What seems valuable to me is the ride.

13 February 2009

Fresh tracks mean nothing to y'all

I love you, Boba Fet.

My Valentine made it possible for me to go long. From home to here to home. Mostly dirt! But I'll tell you what- there is more dirt to be had once someone finds the connector trail down that one North face and across that field. There has to be one.

"Here" is between Ryan Ranch and South Boundary Rd. It's a trail set I usually avoid, because the initial flow from the Frog Pond is not great; it's walking-for-sure steep to the ridge.

But then you are here for a while. which is nice. And while it doesn't stay as nice, and there are bits on the road, you can stay mainly dirt all the way past that one private school (I forget the name) before jumping back on South Boundary for the climb up the backside to here:

Lookit that ribbon. Follow that for a while, and then it's fresh tracks down 50! At least sometimes. Like today, when you could've dropped 50 and then zippity doodahed your way up 49 to climb 82 and all that new school ridgeline junk A____ R_____ adds on(84 and what not) to drop 82 and then climb up 50 on the other side for this:

Super bright unconnected duo.

Then there is the possibility of a backwards Mud Hen Express to here:
Where this guy was digging for ground dwelling bees? For honey I guess?

That is one of the uppermost wetland areas. The lower wetlands are refilling up real nicely from all this rain I called down. The ducks are already working the lowest of the low under 49.

More razing:

And reflecting on today's version of the constantly in flux view from the Stairs.

Ride bikes?

Swung by Old T____'s place in CSide(!) for a debate about the ridership in the upcoming ATOC. I gotta say,I am with Burt Friggin' Hoovis on this. And I must add my fervent wish that Contador chafe at the bit and rip Astana apart come Tour day France time! You think Hinault held on like a badger? That's nothing on what Lance would that would be bike race. Floyd? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Your boy Basso dopes. And plus, Millar is a pussy. Plain and simple, and proven on the Angliru.

Working up plans for Monday's stage. Tunitas Creek? May be too far to drive...perhaps Bonny Doon. Does anybody know anybody with a conveniently located HQ? Take the kids, mark up the road a little.


These cats in Boise have it going on. Look for someone to copy them locally somewheres.