Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

30 September 2009

wait...what was the question?

Today we were "secret boys". I picked J up early from pre-school and we rode the Big Dummy down the road until we came to that one gate. The one no drivers notice on account of it's so tucked in between the willows. We know it, though, and it leads straight to some deliciously uphill singletrack.

Alternating riding and hiking we made our way to where the lollipops are stashed. We cleaned them out.

My children are under the impression that if your Tootsie Pop wrapper has an Indian (that's Native American to you) on it, it is redeemable for free lollipops. They are unsure about the specifics, and I am unable to verify this. We are saving them just in case.


Looking back at my extended bikecation, the day after the SSWC09 G__ and I dragged The Enigma on his {GASP} 2nd mountain bike ride of the summer?!?!? If you knew what an impact he had on my riding when we lived in Telluride, and what an animal he is on the bicycle, you would join me in being aghast. Time was, you could be cruising up to Mountain Village for a powder day and see one lone figure on the highway. It would be The Enigma riding his lonesome road bike. In February. At 9,000+ft of elevation.

So we went over to Dolores to ride Boggy Draw Trail. I will say here, in print, that that trail is far, far superior to jokey Phil's World, and y'all can smoke that shuttlecock. We ended up passing the bottle and hotboxing the race van waiting for the rain storm to pass. I was Doubting, but G__ would not be denied, and in the end he was gloriously Right.
The heavens cleared.
He led us (the wrong way) around the trail, but it was so splendidly flowing that we rode the whole thing backwards only to turn around and ride it forwards. The backside faces out on seemingly endless rolling pine forest and you can see Sleeping Ute Mountain to the Southwest and Wilson and Lone Cone to the North. Epic scope. Calm and quiet Goodness. Also ripping fast twisty singletrack. If you are in the region, GO!

Regrettably, I only took the one picture. But you should believe me anyway.

Then G__ and I drove to Moab and went to sleep.

29 September 2009


Josh Rey is responsible for ALL content on this blog. Any good ideas that have been put forward are solely his, and it is only through his skill as a Life Coach that I have achieved the modicum of happiness and well being I tentatively enjoy. Please contact him as often as you like to share the love. He may be reached at this address, or you can call him on the phone (a lot) at odd hours. (435) 260-8325. Josh Rey (dzhosh rray)

my finger puppet says: I think I shit my pants.
[in a squeaky voice]

because I'm still in love with you

image from GoldenAge Comic Book Stories

October 4th is the Full Harvest Moon. Ride your bike underneath it.

If you are in my neck of the woods, meet at the usual- Parker Flats Cutoff. Dirt and pave. Beers. Stuff like that.

28 September 2009

SSWC09 part the third- you're sick of this by now

image from Golden Age Comic Book Stories

Alternately titled: "What's your gear, Bro?"

Up and technical. Up was the word. Technical was a word. By now you've seen coverage and pictures other places (if you're innerested), which is nice because I knew I'd end up breaking the camera if I raced on it, and words are hard to come by. I actually registered for and paid for this race. #835 is my number.

My personal observations and highlights:

bitter running guy- I celebrated this guy at first. He blew me away when I passed him on the climb out of town astride his itty bitty 16" Street Demon, not least because in the idle drunken speculations about the course it was mentioned by someone that it'd be a great course to trail run if you could carry your bike. Lo, here was running guy wearing a super gay running short outfit with an external frame pack to strap the bike to for the hike-a-bike sections. I (and upon hindsight probably 834 other people, too) heckled him lovingly (it was done out of love). When I crowed about beating him at the finish he was sour as green apple gum and bitterly told me "Whatever. You couldn't do what I did!", to which I replied "No, I couldn't nor would I want to. It was just a joke. Have some whiskey." But he would not get past his pout. Pity. He was a stud, just a bitter stud.

unicycle guy-Same type of deal. Only I didn't offer him any whiskey on account of that was just dumb, and plus no one had mentioned how unicycleable the course was...

realizations about attraction-I never really gave a lot of thought to sexual fantasies before SSWC09. No, really. Now, I can honestly report that I know I am fetishistic about very small women dressed as CHP officers in tight fitting uniform shirts and short shorts while carrying large black batons. And diminutive women riding singlespeed whilst wearing football pads (What is it with Durango and the football pads? And the knee high sports socks?) Also women dressed in checkerboarded fake leather bodysuits sporting false moustaches. Please to add ladies on skates wielding dull machetes. Regrettably the ladies on skates would not come down off their safely smooth cement pad onto the "neutral ground" of the gravel, no matter how I tried to sweet talk them.

beer stops in first 1/2 mile? 2 of them. The organizers were really on to something with their tactics for spreading out the race.

extended hike-a-bikes- Here I am on the conga line 1st hike-a-bike. Beers and other refreshments flowed up and down the line like...well, like beer and other refreshments. Someone would yell from above or below and someone else would pithily reply from below or above. It was a real smart move on the race organizers' part to break up the race like that. There was zero potential for place improvement through aggressive passing, so everone settled in to pace.

passing- Though I yelled "Track" and "On your left" as often as I thought of it, I only really got serious about passing fools once. Here's how it went down: Shortly after the top out of the hike, the ridge got fairly technical but it's a technical with which I am comfortable. (Look at the connectors in the slabby broken up sandstone, don't look at the cracks and holes, and the lines will be there for you.) I was in line walking behind 5-6 guys when I realized we were walking out of habit/tiredness, and there was a huge gap in front of the lead guy. So I said "We can ride this, y'all. Let's get on." and someone in front said "Yeah." but no one made any moves, just kept walking. I got on and clicked my levers and rode at walking pace "Let's go fellas, we can ride this. It's a race." and no one said or did anything but keep walking. So I got a little louder and said "Get on your bikes or get out of my way!" at which point people scrambled. The 2 yahoos immediately in front of me 1/2 assed it and left their bikes partially blocking the trail, so I had to zig a little. The lead guy (BIG PIG! woot woot) stood off to the side at the base of a 45 degree slab of sandstone that was maybe 6feet high and 12-13feet long. I'd ridden it in pre-ride and knew the line was high, so there I went. I punched over the top like a good race monkey. I did not figure on the dust from 600+ other racers having passed, and my rear wheel slipped shooting the bike away from me and sending me ass first down the slab to tangle up in the bike and bush. The lead guy, whom I'll call Chaos, had to help me up. I picked up my bike tossed "Sorry about all the big talk fellas!" over my shoulder and was gone.

crash-Shortly after that, I dropped my front wheel off a ledge and came to a dead stop. I began to pivot around the front hub, heading for endo. I shoved back as hard as I could and my feet came out but the rear came down and the bike righted. Trouble was, I was 3feet above it horizontal. I cleverly absorbed the impact with the lower left side of my abdomen, only to hear a screechy pop. No pain. Quick check showed the saddle rails to be well and truly _ucked, but not broke. I bent the saddle back into shape as best I could, readjusted the nose down, and raced on. Today I rode the bike down to the shop to use the long pry bar to fully realign the rails. Golden. Try that shi_ with your carbon fibre, bicthes. I would have been gutted by the sharp punjied seatpost. Titanium for life, yo. 200lbs of fury. Rails and post, and do not forget it.

missing a turn- What I said about Durango coming out in droves and ruling it with the course? Forget it. They must have not marked a turn because I got confused and lost on the ridge and skipped the final pitching downhill to the finish/time-check. I knew I'd missed it, but damn if I was climbing back up to come back down, so I cut the course.

whiskey- After the 2nd heinous climb, I wanted beers. I came upon a fellow in a neckbrace at a flat likely looking spot and said "Hey Neckbrace! Y'all got beers?" They had Early Times in giant plastic bottles. It is so lowbrow it only comes in plastic bottles, which is perfect because you're only going to fall on them and bust them in your pocket if they're glass right? Classy.

bacon stop- What it says. People had hauled a table, camp stove, griddle, and 20lbs of bacon to cook up fresh and serve with twinkies and beer. Also, they were blasting Louis Armstrong. They were out of beer. I had 4 of the 8 Schlitz I'd started with left, so I gave them beer. They appreciated the effort.

meeting J__- She was hanging around one of the many beer stops on that side, so as I came up some rotten climb and around a corner there was a friendly face yelling at me and holding beer. That's nice.

the little things- people pulling me aside for safety breaks because they "knew" me from the hike-a-bike. "Hey Pinky, stop! I know you want some of this!"...the amazing support course side...the guy in the black tutu with SEXY TIME written across his sweaty love handled back...the gal who heckled me with "Go Don Johnson!" (not real sure about that one)...the trampoline that some kooks from Carbondale had rigged up in the trees...all the Elvises...

All in all, just a Good Time. Durango, you are not as cool as you think you are, but you did pull off a hell of a race. Thank you.

The lame after party with the loud and boring and interminable basketball game to determine next year's locale between Italy and New Zealand (won) I truly could have done without. $3 for beers? Fuck you, Ska Brewing. I don't even like your beer.

27 September 2009

SSWC09 part the second- you're a pal of mine

I awoke to immediately get me to the auto parts store and replace the headlight bulb so as not to interact with the POlice again. (Any interaction with the POlice is a bad interaction.) I looked for my fellow travelers at the hostel. They were out. Went to the bike shop and bought a new 8speed chain and a map.

I returned to HQ, kitted up, and pre-rode the course. I looked again for my friends at the hostel, as it was on the way. They were out and I was left feeling very lurkerish. They carried no cell phones.

Once on the course, I came upon a series of other pre-ride gruops and eventually fell in with one which seemed on pace and knowledgeable. Most of the folks were from Steamboat, so the altitude was taking no tolls there. One young fellow noticed I was carrying beers and seemed enthusiastic about it. When I did open one, I offered him some. He returned the favor (and in kind...get it?) and started talking about himself. It got to the point, after several stops, that when he'd begin talking about himself I'd just ride off. I don't believe he ever cottoned on.

He spoke (a lot) about drinking beers and riding bikes. These are things I also enjoy combining, so I tried to be polite, but. I mention this because shortly after the local guide said "the cool line is to the right...don't blow it", our youngster blew it and apparently fell off one of the stone features atop the ridge and wrapped himself around a spine of sandstone to the tune of broken jaw, bleeding face, broken nose, etc. Though I wish him nothing but well, this is an exemplary example of the necessity of managing your risks. Drinking while riding is a skill, and as with all skills it must be refined and honed. Practiced. It is not a cute little hamster you can pick up and cuddle only to put down as soon as you smell the piss on it's legs- oh no, it requires some respect. Let's be careful out there, people.

I heard about this from G___ and E___, 2 guys I recognized from Grasshoppers and such. I'd ridden off by then. We waited a little while, but it was more fun to ride, and he wasn't my partner so off it was for more attempts to find the 2nd loop. I got lost trying to find it 3 times. Then I gave up and rode in to HQ.

That night was the Run What You Brung Show; a sort of mini-Handmade Show for builders who had bikes in the race. It was much too crowded, so I sat on a bench outside and drank beers from my pockets like your brother does. I met several interesting people while so doing. Most prominent were J____ from Tennessee, and the Rev(wha?!) from Texas (specifically Dallas-Fort Worth ). These were clearly people worth hanging around. That night ended boozily.

The next day we toured the WorldHeadQuarters of King Cage, which was well worth the effort. Ron Andrews is a true gentleman and inventor. The fixtures were laid out so it took 7 movements to turn a piece of titanium or steel tubing into a cage ready to be welded. Amazing. He also had a new product debuting, and allowed us to customize our own if we responded well to "Can you run a hammer?" (Which apparently one fellow had taken too long to reply and been denied the chance on safety grounds.) His coworker, Matt, took my broken cages I had brought in hopes of repair (yes, I am that guy) and fixed them on the spot. For free. Good people, good products.

We skipped the pre-party that evening, as _rad (from Dallas-Fort Worth) was cooking a masterful feast. _rad ended up having such a fine time that B__ (who is a paramedic and firefighter) wired him up for 2L of saline solution the following/race morning. Apparently B__ has partied with this crew before. At 10:30am, _rad pulled the IV from his arm and put on his race suit to make the 11am start. He was dressed as the Flash. A gal asked him at the start who he was supposed to be and he answered "You're obviously not a history buff." Good people, good products.

Then it was race time.

26 September 2009

SSWC09. down and dirty in Colorado, part the first

So much.

Things that were planned did not come to fruition, things that were not planned came off without a hitch. Someone from New Mexico told me I should get it together and blog from the road as he was awaiting updates. I can't begin to imagine the consequences of that. Uh, no. Thank you.

To kick this all off, I drove hard for Baker, CA where I slept in the race van. The next afternoon, after driving so much I stopped at the Fremont State Park for a quick leg stretcher.

It was Moab, UT the next night, for the hospitality of friends. The morning came early, and saw me on the road again. I had to get to Durango and drop off the race van as a shuttle vehicle. Along the way, I attempted to rouse the Telluride posse, and set up camp on Lizard Head Pass. It had been raining for several days at that point, so I pitched my tent in the rain shadow of a big old spruce. This ended up to be the site of a wood rat warren too. I made it to the Durango

home base of S___ and ___ the Enigma and hitch hiked back.

The only tricky spot was Dolores, where I spent an easy 1hr and 45min waiting. I showed up in Rico, walked a block off Main and met my old friend Walter "G__" G_______.
We washed up at the "Toxic Hot Spring", where G__ schooled me on the etiquette. Apparently you are supposed to wait at least 15min after showing up to allow anyone already there to finish their session. We waited, and then headed in. We'd been there a short while- just long enough for me to fully disrobe- when a crew of women came down the trail and asked how long we would be. I noticed they hadn't given us the nice 15min buffer, and made some crack to that effect, but they were welcome to join us. G___ was mortified by my boorishness and was extra polite. They asked then if we were from Rico. I gathered if we had been, it would have been "cool". I may or may not have made further remarks about staying all night and partying without clothes. I for certain received some more advice on etiquette after that.

The much planned Telluride-Durango ride did not come off. It was snowy on Sheep Mtn. when we awoke on Lizard Head Pass. I say "awoke", but with the GD wood rats foraging beneath my tent floor and communicating via squeaks and chewing holes in my saddlebag! and the massive thunderstorm 3feet above my tent, I did not sleep so much. The weather was threatening. In conjunction with said weather, I was blamed for it and informed that my"life is an exercise in futility. [I am] a miserable wretch, and everything [I] do is futile. This was the greatest summer for mountain biking in Telluride in the history of mountain biking until [I] came and ruined it with the rain" which was no accident, and Cavey P___ had "grievances" he wanted addressed. He, uh, did not show up for the 9am start. Yes, we waited, just in case.

At 9:01am we piled in the car and drove back to the "Toxic Hot Springs" for a soak,

and then Cortez to ride Phil's World which is fun, but tame. T___ expressed it well when he said purpose built trails feel easy and repetitive. It was a lot of swooping, but it feels like a dumbed down version of 18Road in Fruita, which already seems mild enough.

We pulled up at Trimble Hot Springs to pick up the race van, and S___ had been true to his word and filled a bus tub with a 30pack on ice. We stayed and soaked for a while. I drained the bus tub and placed it on the passenger side floor of the race van. It was filled with beers- both full and empty. On the way to my hostbody, I was pulled over for a non-operational headlight.
I saw him flip on his lights and pull a u-turn and I (frantic only from the shoulder down cuz you know they watch you to see what you do...) threw whatever was at hand onto the tub. Maybe a magazine and a hat. I held my papers out the window with both hands, and filled as much of the window frame as I could with my self. He never even noticed.

12 September 2009

hadda go to the store for a case of shims

bay bay won't you keep me...HAPPY

Stones over Beatles. Heart over mind.

Please. Please do not sleep on Thin Lizzy.


You see where all this is heading of course. Yes. You do.

11 September 2009

tradition from purest water

So I'm riding home from work on my newish frankenbike, with my super flashy LED white headlight blinking merrily and my Superflash red tailight alerting everbody. I see the one car coming from my right at their stop (I have no stop, right of way all the way ) waiting to turn left as I'm blasting down Carpenter, and it goes. Fine. Timing is good, I'm rolling...but something in the movement of the 2nd car in line tells me to watch it. Sure enough, as I'm coming up QUICK, this car pulls out in front of me. I lay on the brakes and the bike goes into a skid and I'm yelling "FUCK YOU!" several times as loud as I can (which is loud), and trying not to T-bone this yellow cab (as I see now) and continuing to yell and skid as he pulls through.

I very nearly hit him at ~20mph.

I'm pissed. The next car calls out "Faggit!" as I am making a hasty U turn to "deal with" this cabbie. When that car realizes I am coming back up that hill, and doing it rapidly, they pull into the right lane and bail down HWY1.

That made me laugh, as I was looking forward to "dealing" with them as well.

When I reach the cabbie at the light, his window is down so I do not immediately kick in his side panel (which is what I guess I was planning as an opener). I stop and say "What the fuck, man? I almost smashed into the side of your cab." He says "I apologize [like magic I no longer wanted to beat him] I wasn't even tripping on the blinking light- the bike light- I was thinking about cars' lights. My bad. I'm sorry, I should've paid attention." I say "Thanks, man." I ride home with no more issues.

It occurs to me now that what he said really makes no sense; if I had been a car I would certainly have hit him. But it really did drain away my angry fightin' mood to hear the very first thing he said be an apology.

I would still like to "discuss" the lame insult with the jackasses in the black Mercedes, though.

I have discovered the great Ray that first brought Life into the world...

What hath man wrought?

I made it with my own hands- from the bodies I took from the graves, from the gallows, from anywhere!

I know I'ma want some suspension in Durango, so this is my first test of the Abbynormal Karate Monkey. Off to the shop for a front brake cable and housing. Should be fun cruising down the hill with just a rear. More later, hopefully.

10 September 2009

give it up and get with that

This ride is just a test. If it had been a real ride, the drivetrain would be in perfect working order. In the event of running a blownoutShimano (and really, is there any other kind?) 10speed chain, you would be directed to steer your bicycle into the weeds and begin replacing the POSShimano (and really, is there any other kind?) chain's rivet with a 9speed SRAM masterlink you'd carried for just such an eventuality...

If this were an actual ride, you would then be well served by leaving the roads and piloting your bicycle into the woods. Drinking a beer would help you to appreciate the lovely new hue, and how it blends in so nicely with the trail side.

On a test ride, the fact that your 110mm BB gave a funky chainline coupled with a used and whupped 175mm XTR drive side crank (48/38) tied to an even whuppeder LX nondrive crank, would cause you to head down to the only local shop worth frequenting and slap on a new 105 (them chains are ridiculously priced, so low end it is) 10speed chain with a KMC masterlink. Sugino XD cranks sounding better and better.

Well. Even if you did, the ride would still be plagued by the poor chainline and the somewhat beat-on10speed cassette. You'd be attempting to stay 10speed on account of that's the shifters you got, and new shifters is essssssssspensive...but you'd know that if push came to shove, you could just run some 9speed bar-end shifters and still be happy to be riding. You would clearly see that 109ish is the narrowest you can go with the size rings you'd like to use, and you'd start pondering on getting a Phil Wood BB-with it's high class lustre, super rolly and durable bearings, and adjustable (up to 5mm!) chainline. All this because of the fat, fat clearance chainstays.

If it were real, a real experience in the actual world, you'd feel so good on the new bike you'd finally take a picture of this place on the climb up Veteran's. It's a nice place. Well situated.

You'd take notice of the fact that Veteran's Hall is now open for parties...

An honest to goodness ride would entail marveling at the nimble feeling accelerations. The short and sweet chain stays would be so intuitively correctable; with the smallest of nudges you'd be on the perfect line. It would be great. The fit? Feels good. Your hair? Perfect.

Too bad this was only a test.

09 September 2009

see hear

Black Cat put up photos of the new (and languishing) cross frame.

08 September 2009

stand in for your life

illustration by Tom Schamp

I have taken the front mudflap off my townie. It will never again darken my ride. It was fine on the road, but. Any time the tyre got knobbly because the going got gravelly, the mudflap wedged itself between the fender and the front tire. This was not threatening since the flap (made by my daughter) was soft leather with a heart branded on it, not hard rubber or plastic. The wedging did not result in crashes (though others have crashed due to mudflap wedgies), just having to stop and unwedge.

So. I do not recommendo the front mudflap for anything but the streetest of bikes.

In other unsatisfactory bicycle equipment news: my cross bike is proving to be a bitch to get together. I had planned on using parts I already own for the build. To this end, 2 bikes have donated parts. I stripped the threads on the non-drive square taper XTR crank (from the fixed wheel Crosscheck). I do not have the right length BB. 3 cross bikes are partially assembled and unrideable in my bike pile at this moment.

The new frame is pretty though.

04 September 2009

Full Corn Moon

Tonight will be bright and warm. Don't kid yourself: out of the 12 (yes, just and only 12) opportunities to ride your bicycle of choice under the noonbright light of a full moon this is one of the warmest and mildest. Take action!

8:30pm. Corner of Parker Flats Cutoff and whatever that other road is called. You know where. Ride bikes: cruisable dirt sections, with pave connectors.

01 September 2009

everbody's got to gravitate to something

An unidentified smallish bug flew straight down my throat on the climb home. Not 10 minutes later, on the descent a wasp hit my neck, dropped down my shirt front and stung me on the right nipple. That was 4 hours ago.

My nipple still hurts.

*EDIT: Next morning? Still hurts like some small electric charge. I know some of y'all are into this kind of thing, but honestly I can't get behind it.