Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

26 September 2010

you're the one barking

I lost a lot of Roshambo, I'll tell y'all that much.

Oh! my aching liver...back from Interbike, mind and wallet emptied. Some people fuss about Vegas (which is mooter than ever since the show is going- without me- to Anaheim next year) but I enjoy the place once a year. I stayed in my van, sleeping on residential side streets, so I saved on the cost of a hotel room. I missed all of y'all reading at home (looking at you, Moab) who've been faithful hallwalking/heckling companions at shows past, but there were plenty of Good People with whom to gawk at bike bits and talk about bike rides.

I particularly enjoyed the Demo this year. I wore my finest Primal Wear, and had a banana in my chamois so you knew I was glad to see you.

I rode the Salsa Fargo and liked it quite a bit. That's good since I took delivery of an XL/22" upon my return. (I got it on sale!) It will replace the Karate Monkey as my all arounder/camping bike. The taller headtube and 6(!!!!!!) bottle mount options will be well appreciated. I liked the Woodchipper bars on the demo even though they are a mere 46cm, and I hope the changes made to this year's model (change in BB height, 5mm shorter chainstays) are minimal enough that I haven't jumped the gun in pulling the trigger sure as shooting, so to speak...even though there is now to be a titanium option. Whatever, I'll be swapping parts from the Karate Monkey (including it's creaktastic drive train) and riding them until they break beyond repair.

It's how I roll.

I rode the Santa Cruz Tall Boy, and was well impressed with it as well ( save for the double pinch flats on the pinner Maxxis tyres). I have no desire for a new full squish, but I wanted to feel the ride. The 29" wheels felt well placed and as snappy as I could want. As always, the Santa Cruz folks were pleasant and knowledgeable.

But what I really rode? For the better part of Day 1, and all of Day 2 (forsaking all others) was the Surly Pugsley. Yep. That bike. The one we've all- myself not least- pointed out as being ridiculously single use. I rode that monster up the fire road for laps on the long singletrack down and had no trouble at all keeping up with whomever on whatever. It wasn't grotesque in it's heaviness- it was like the graceful and stylish fat man of days gone by (remember Sidney Greenstreet, remember Huey P. Long) as it danced it's dance of PARTY TIME! Those big wheels soaked up every bump and dip, allowing me freedom to take any full squish line that struck my fancy. And plenty struck my fancy. I fancy the Pugsley as an insanely capable camping bike, among other things. Though I can't see getting one at this time (it is pretty limited), that doesn't stop me from wanting one.

The Surly trailer is every bit as sturdy as you'd expect. The Surly staff is every bit as sturdy as you'd expect, as well. Nicely done all around.

The show itself? Eh. The more I see, the less I covet. In corners and odd places there were shiny bits to tempt any of us (Euro-Asia had the hammered brass fenders from Honjo!), but overall it was more of the same. I am continuingly glad that cargo bikes and real world bikes are the current "in thing". Raleigh and Bianchi have very nice lines this year. Swobo continues to make things and make them well, and I am favorably inclined to their worldview. Talking to a brand manager about the excess of "Stuff" is a refreshing change of pace.

You know there're better photos and reviews other places- go look at them.

...ask me about my 1st tatoo.

17 September 2010

learn more

Just so we're clear.

One way to get to work...

Autumn is falling. I saw this thick necked fellow herding his does across the trail while 2 young bucks sniffed along after. I rode in between, and he seemed reluctant to move on.

Lucky for me, he didn't mess with my cache. Deer don't like easter eggs, I guess.

Later, I saw another equally stout emir tending to his own harem.

Later still, it was time to get the boy from soccer practice.

This cased some concern amongst the mini van and soda set...

but it looks perfectly legit to me.

15 September 2010

emergency Bluegrass intervention

For Gunnar, who may be the only one who bothers to really listen:

To start.

Suffering. Familiar and well worn, like a climb that huuuuurts and is awesome.

Talk about your training.

...and if you wanna see some folks getting it right while updating, look no furtherer.

14 September 2010

I don't think it's smart, and I don't think it's funny

We went to Amarillo, TX (where I was born) for a cousin's wedding. I saw a total of 2 people on bikes, but the only riding we did was on horseback. Palo Duro Canyon (the Grand Canyon of Texas) is an oasis of interesting geography in the otherwise dullsville of the llano estacado (which makes for good westerns, but lousy hometowns). The highway on ramps impressed me with their deadly design; there was no merging lane, they simply put you on the freeway. From frontage to mid stream in ~40feet. It was scary.

We were able to visit the Cadillac Ranch, and mark up some cadillacs.

There were billboards promoting the teaching of Creationism in schools and featuring the monkey to man standup sequence in the center of a red slashed circle. Which is funny, but also scary.

Related? (And which I saw on the always good PROfessional Abdication.)

This trip is now known to me as Fast Food Weekend, and my intestines remember it to this day. I can honestly say: the Cracker Barrel is to be avoided at all costs. You will find better quality "food" at a gas station. Even the grits were inedible! How is that possible?...I believe glue is a second only to rancid oil in their ingredient supply.

I will also say: if you cough into your hand (insert full stop) and then proceed to touch all kinds of public surfaces- well then you are an asshole. I was truly dumbfounded at the general lack of consideration/hygiene evidenced by our fellow air travelers. Seriously. My 5 year old takes better care, and he smells.

First thing Monday, I hauled my gut(s) up this road in the hot sun, with the crisp shady sections under the redwoods, chasing ___ who dropped the hammer early. Amarillo has destroyed my fitness?

No worries. What Fast Food Weekend hath taken away in physical prowess, it hath rendered in fat and salt! Look at me sweat...

Singlespeeds in their Natural Habitat.

This redwood was amazing. It had 3 distinct side trunks that looked to be nearing 2.5' in diameter theirownselfs sprouting off the core. There is a campsite at the base. This trail could be linked to a sweet tour route, though it gets so off-camber washed out skibbly, that plenty of sections would be terrifying with a load. But it would be so sweet. There is an even sweeter (and remote) site further down. It would be sweet. (And my birfday ride is coming up...) But it would be rougher than rough. And there would be no water available at that sweet remote site where no one else would be. Tougher than tough. But it would be sweeeeeet. I dropped the front wheel off the downhill side several times, including one slow motion head over heels down the hill.
Well, I was tired and confused.
Mayhap a little gouty.

It does have some upsides, apart from the tight singletrack and shady redwoods.

Fresh ability to appreciate Goodness...achieved.

So, yeah. Glad to live here.

And, plus- sorry for those of y'all who are Godly ("Howdy."[which actually translates as "how are you", for those not from the finest state in the Union] "I'm blessed, thank you!" "..."), but this is (NSFW) funny to me:

and of which I learned while visiting my local bike shop. Which is reason enough to support them, if you ask me.
That is all.

09 September 2010

you should occasionally

Sometimes a ride is just a ride.

Yesterday, a ride was sublime. I suppose I should be feeling strong at this time of year, but let's be honest about what passes for training around here and be happily thankful about some strength when it is there.

I drove to Santa Cruz solely to pedal. (I know it's not right. If I can't come clean to you people- well.) I parked my personal power plant, and unloaded the SS. I had a water bottle. I will not ride with a pack unless under duress. I wished I'd brought 2 bottles. Even 3. But I had 1.

I don't know about you, but I like to climb. I will happily climb for hours, joyfully hurting. It doesn't make sense, and I don't have the natural aptitude for it- but there it is.

Might as well suffer.

I pedaled up that dirt road for a while. I passed the "top of incline" in a bit of a personal haze and had to think about it to realize where I was on the climb. It felt so early to be there. A sign of good fitness things, and so- confusing. Everything is working right now (knock wood) for full body shoving on the pedals. There are several road climbs in my neck of the woods which match that climbing profile, but none in my current rotation of dirt (maybe Toro Park? It needs exploring...) In that manner, overlook reached and passed without stopping. The 2 ugly steeps following, I stood up and stomped on without stopping. Briefest of pauses at the top to don helmet/gloves and into the woods on Northernlumberjackdomesticporkcutlet, twisty singletrack. It's a much different flow than my local trails. My timing is waaaay off for that type of shimmying and it shows; fun, nevertheless. Segue to Upperswine, and thence to Swine and Deviousswine. All good. Back up the road to the Westsideoftheridge and down down down swoopy down.

Sometimes a ride is just a fucking Good Time.

05 September 2010

a warm, pestilential Evil


Velocache, bitches. Again, it's on like Donkey Kong. Get some!

I'll stop squawking about the weather in general, but I will say that this is a strange place for which to dress. The day was very temperate ( some would say scorchingly hot at ~80*) in town, but in Fort Ord the fog layer was so thick and so low that it was chilly and grey except where there were holes. The strange part is that you can feel the wrongness of it; you can feel the heat underlying the chill. The day knows it should be one thing, but it's forced to be another. It's weird.

Breaking out of the fog...and you can see Toro Park rising up in the background. It has just received a bonus 624acres! To my mind that means it is available to be reconnoitered.

I found these targets while looking at a potential cache site. They are for practicing to hunt the most dangerous game of all. I like how they appear to have been shot once each with a scatter gun.

I will return for them to hone my aim. BB guns may be used to hunt the most dangerous game of all.

You can juuuust see the "Impossible City" training ground for the CSUMB Police Academy, late of the FBI. It is for practicing to hunt the most dangerous game of all. The controlled burns (to ensure all uneploded ordinance is cleared for public safety) sure seem to have been used to make the approach sterile.

Here I see the tracks of...the most dangerous game of all.

02 September 2010

plenty of room for action

My legs got a break today. Limited time saw me out on the Black Cat SS, and man! what a rush. It's a zippy bike anyways, but after extensive fixed riding it felt Easy, like my legs were just barely attached. No heaviness, no drag, just whizzing spin. And, plus- coasting is AWESOME. Timing pedal strokes to avoid pedal strikes? Awesome. Swinging your power foot ( yes I said it) back a 1/4 revolution so you can clear that back and forth singletrack up and around that one log? Awesome. Big ass 29"x2.3" tires? Awesome. A punch in the dick?


I haven't been riding that bike so much since it isn't efficient to ride to the ride, but it's just so fun I may have to slither on up to Santa Cruz to ride up and down under the extensive redwoods and remember how Good it can be.

Thanks, Todd, that is a sweet ride. Smart like bull.

A couple singlespeeds parked in the driveway.

Also, it is time to adapt the green kid bike to the growing kids...

01 September 2010

punch me in the face

Another fixed mixed terrain session.

skip to 1:20 if you're in a rush to get to it...

I have become such a delicate flower.

I'm lovely and all, but my optimum operating temperature range has narrowed to between 60* and 69*. It's this coastal zone. It's ruined me. Today saw a high of ~82* in Fort Ord. It was murderous. Just Africa hot. After the "summer" we've been not having, I felt every one of those degrees.

Still, with nothing but Parliament and Talking Heads (so good) in my ears, what a day! I love to ride bicycles. 35ish hottt miles.