Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

30 December 2011

de gustibus non est disputandum

We try to treat everbody right. It's important.

We have just returned from a loop over to Colorado/Utah for some family type recreation. It is inappropriate to share every aspect of one's life, and you jokers (there are ~54 of you, unless somebody double dips) can speculate to your black hearts' content about the nature of things I decline to reveal, via this anonymous medium, fruitlessly. Were you so inclined.

I will say: I hate your Facebook.

It is the mall of the internet; the lowest common denominator. It equals People Magazine for sheer yuckiness. Oh, you'll say it is useful for keeping in touch, but you just like the peeping.

I realize the irony of posting this screed via a weblog.* my flimsy rationale is that this is an anonymousish dead-end of directed (and frequently fictitious! this blog is an alibi) content as opposed to a steaming toll-road of drivel.

I have been called to task (sometimes rightly) for putting names of locations on the computer. When we lived in T________, CO, folks would take you to the secret powder stashes, but they would never tell you where they were. That's an important distinction to my way of thinking.

And even though there was no powder for stashes to be had this trip, that mindset presents itself when I am confronted (via email notification from a sober and impartial 3rd party) with too much posse via the facebook. Specifically the posting of specifics. You know who you are. And no, I am not talking about the recent embryonic journey in Moab. Shamans need to commune with powerful spirits on occasion in order to better bridge the gap between the sacred and the profane.

Also, I may have grown some whiskers.

So. For our last ride of the 2011, the boy and I attempted some old school Fort Ord. Entering the old Stairs Trail, we were happily surprised to find the twisty singletrack has been reinstated! It's been 2 years at least since that area was dozered. A fine, rare feeling to rally sweet singletrack you thought was gone forever. I am sure the proposed horsey park will actually ruin it all permanently soon enough, so if this appeals to you, go get some while the getting is good. The whole of the old timey Friday night singlespeed loops may be calls for more experimentation. Maybe a reunion of old timey Friday night singlespeed riding?

We met and talked father-son to father-son with G___, a representative of the local IMBA chapter here. A sleek and well-spoken personage. MORCA has some leeway with regard to the trails maintenance (and lay-out/construction!) so I think in order. Though I wouldn't be a member of any club that'd have me.

The highs and the lows. You need that. In the review. The low here being that the preliminary dozer work and ominously piled hay bales at the top of Mud Hen Express were the heralds of further mess making. They graded? the entrance. That delightful off camber rutted section which was juuuuust wrong enough to be interesting is now sedated into a boring fireroadly opening. I was pleased to see the MORCA rep was displeased. Lends some credibility to an otherwise sleek and well-spoken personage.

Anyhow. We're back. Hope you and yours are well. Ride bikes.

*Blogger is attempting to extort dollars from me to post/"store" more photos. My cue is full. Eff them. I will piratize space from old posts I suppose. This blog will be free, for all it's hypocrisy.

13 December 2011

an old fashioned murder ballad

I will show you these, but I don't want it getting around so keep it under your hat.

These were the conditions.

These were the tools. Cross-cut saws are SO cool!


My fancy pants held up very well. I wore wool pants underneath and knelt in mud and snow for 5 hours. Win?

Moonset over the Sugar Pines. My wife laughed when I told her snow was forecast. Who's laughing now?

Those jokers were up and making a racket before dawn. That is not how I typically roll.

Day 2 saw a lot of snowmelt, and work on south facing slopes. It was nice. We can talk about the meaning of this in person.

11 December 2011

MEN'S adventures

Hey! Whoa!

Don't just lay there. Get up and do something.

This case of beer made my pack super heavy. S_____ and I rolled quick over the hill and picked up J, who said that with all the bikpacking options I have at my disposal my rigging was lacking finesse. What he doesn't know about all my itises and particulars is what fills this blog. I was led to this behavioral dead end and currently I live down here; in the gutter with a flat barred full squish test bike and all my s24o crap piled on my back.

I was so happy to dump it when we reached the Secret Spot. With the wisdom we have earned through blowing it spectacularly many times, we set up camp before we headed out for more moonlit rolling and more cheap canned beer.

What can be said about riding singletrack in the moonlight?

When we got finished having fun, we emptied our packs and set about refilling them with dry oak branches.

Then we lounged around the campfire. Drank beers, cooked beans in cans at the edge of the flames, etc.

Folks awoke.

Folks broke camp.


That looks ridiculous:

because it is.

J's 2012 Salsa Fargo. This was it's shakedown cruise.

We tried to get it together asap so we could meet L and her lady friends on the bikepath, since they were running their "Poor Girl's 1/2 Marathon" (no entry fee since it's self-organized)...

We booed them roundly.

After the fellas peeled off to do their dos, I figured I'd ride thru an area that shall remain undisclosed to squeeze the last possible adventure juices from this whole thing and to find some more Porcinis before the rain wrecks our good times (for the season?). As you can see, they are still everywhere. Just waiting to picked up, like the hot little numbers they are. As of this writing, Porcinis are retailing (this is fresh, not dried) for $38/lb- so the sous chef with the $500 story was ignorant.

I try to leave the mycelium as undisturbed as possible to ensure future harvests.

This is so cool.

09 December 2011

I wasn't even going to tell you about this, but

I've been working on something VERY big.

That is a 700c wheel. Yes, I ride those tyres on trails. Impressive? Pfffffft. This is less than 3 minutes into the trail system. I wasn't even trying yet. King Boletes...these are more like princelings.

Fly Amanitas (Amanita muscaria) are easily spotted (see how we do that?) but are not edible except for psychodelics.
They are very pretty, though.

I was after the kings:

They are commonly referred to as Porcinis 'round these parts. King Bolete (Boletus edulis) as big as your face! Unfortunately, the giant was too far gone/softened to be worth harvesting, but the one on the handkerchief is the size of a cantaloupe and firm as zucchini. Perfect.

Then I found another even bigger! This was some mushroom hunting as a side project while riding to work via some trails.

Because this is how we do it.

So here is a picture of them at work.

I talked to the sous chef, and he was excited. He claims the large mushroom is worth $500. That porcinis are selling for $80/lb. Hey! Whoa!

I tried to sell them at a couple fine dining joints (we got a lot of those here on the Monterey peninsula) on my way to pick up the boy from after-school-care, but all the chefs had their stock for the weekend. The way to do it is to hit them earlier in the week. So I may.

The boy and I rode home in the dark and looked for recipes...

but we eventually simply sauteed them with olive oil and garlic. some are drying now, as the porcinis supposedly make excellent soup stock, and can be re-hydrated with good result.

Pretty girls love big mushrooms.

That $500 was _ucking delicious. Rich, buttery, substantial.

05 December 2011

automatically converted

Straight out of 1979:

Don't kid yourself.

Apparently, the cure for what ails you is to load up a musette with 9 Hamm'ses and a quart of OJ to follow some ladies and their entourage up a fire road and onto some trails. Under a canopy of Redwoods, Bay Laurels, Madrones, and the like you might pop a top or several, slam the top 1/3 and fill with OJ to formulate a "Hammosa". You could share them with your fellows, pass around whatever you pass, and have a small (small) pinch from Christopher St. John's tube of wondrous materiel. That is, if riding loaded is to your taste. You know, on singletrack and such.

Or, not. As you like. Though it was pointed out to (not by) me that it takes a certain bent to ride the bikes and partay.

Monday (that's my Funday) saw a return to my monkish solo fixed road/off-road ramble. Inspired by the ant-like efficiency shown on the girls' birfday party ride, I brung the clippers and used my left hand to clear up a little of that bushy section under the tower. You know the part.

I stopped at Goodwill in Cside! and was sad these fine art pieces were for auction and not for grabs. You _uckers would be finding them in Velocaches for months. I was able to score a sweet bedroll:

Which was the perfect compliment to stopping on the bike path and taking pictures of hobo bikes:

This guy was sour to come back from the beer store and find me there stealing his bike's soul. I tried to mollify him by offering to erase the image, but he would not be assuaged and acted put upon and long-suffering.
"(sigh) No. You already took it. It's done."
I pointed out the fine technical aspects of his set-up and explained that I was/am genuinely enthused and we had us a conversation about living on bikes. It was worth it.

I didn't tell him I thought his white gas heater (contained in the big black bag on the trailer) was frivolous. Who am I to say?

Finally, it is prime mushroom season here on the Central Coast, so on the way home under the Monterey Pines I kept my eyes peeled...Granulated Slippery Jack ( Suillus granulatus) mushrooms IDed with the handy (pocket sized!) field guide titled All That the Rain Promises and More... and sauteed with onions, rosemary and oregano. Not the finest boletes available, but right there, fresh, and nowhere near unpleasant.

[those links are safe]

A full day.

And, plus there is the plan in place to spend this coming Saturday night riding trails under the Full Cold Moon from a hidden campsite at an undisclosed location nearby. If you are within the sound of my voice and you kick much ass, get at me.

I will bring the sweet bedroll, you bring the hobo trailer full up with beers.

29 November 2011

no talking to the New Kid

Sitting here with a budding saddle sore, and my swellbow on ice, I am a fine figure of a man. The saddle sore feels like a shiny walnut dead in the middle of my right ass cheek. For what it's worth, the swellbow is on the right too. It's all right with me. But really, I feel great! It's funny, but these 2 local issues aside (and how glad I am that me swellbow can be relegated to a local issue...knock wood) I am filled with the quiet storm of heartiness. Why, just this very minute I feel so good I could let slip a ass whooping from hell on any uthaucka cares to ride a flat barred bicycle on twisty, moderately technical singletrack with lots of rollers and open areas for recovery.

You know, unless that person were a 120lb girl riding a singlespeed up and down relatively technical twisty singletrack in the dark.

There might be that.

I took a test bike from a company known for their big red S (branded even on your sleep, it's so prevalent- geez.) up some climby redwooded fire roads and down some grippy trails. I didn't like it. Rhymes with jumpstumper. The narrow saddle was very grippy- it kept ahold of my knickers (and I mean that in the 'merican way) and forced this saddle sore a head. Sorry.
The seat post was slipping on the way up. I also could not find a sweet spot to sit "in" the bike. Played with seat position,and height to little avail. I didn't like the bar- it felt like I was fighting it to hold my hands at the angle they require. I think a longer stem would help. The auto sag was cool. It climbed well, and in the long fire road sections I felt good about opening it up and giving it some stick, but the tight stuff- not so much. To be fair, I should put a longer stem on it and try it again (just getting used to the different balance points and the action of suspension bikes takes a little time), but you know how some bikes just have you grinning from the start? This one didn't.

So. Looking forward to getting that Pugsley...

Carbon road bikes have been whispering their slutty come hithers to me as well. Is it so wrong to want to ride the shit out of some potentially dangerous robot bike and then sell it every year to a square/rube/lawyer so I could (maybe) get another year's flawless porno ride from a throw away blow-up doll of a machine?

It's wrong, huh? I know it. I cannot condone a bike that requires a _ucking sticker to protect the downtube from "impacts" (like, uh, gravel?) in order to not crack and shear.
But. They ride so nice. Brief, but niiiice.

Whatever. That is back seat to the call of the fatbike, and this is all academic for now.

28 November 2011

it's like an exercise machine, only a lot more fun

I lik to drink and smoke when I feel I should.

I lik to ride bikes when the riding looks good.

Act like you know.

Given the auto assist by Mr. S_____, it was rigid fixed dirt all day. Given the givens, it was beers at the stops.

Q: How many bushes hold easter eggs in the Ord?
A: Many.

That one's been in there a while.

Whoa. For so many reasons.

The bees have moved on. Pigeons are moving in?

Riding home in the dark.

Again. Who could ask for more?

24 November 2011

Give Thanks!

...I remember what my bike looks like all covered in muck. Cold, wet, covered in Glory.

Stoke em if you got em. Alternately, get it while you can. A.K.A. "if you got it, flaunt it".

Thank ___! Health, Family and happiness.

In between stolen cookies and watching babies and riding bikes and drinking does come to the forefront of consciousness that when moments are perfect, they are perfect.

When I was a boy, I spent hours reading stories of oddities in the abridged Reader's Digest in various forms...I am reminded of the True Story regarding the sinner (I believe he may have been a railroad man) who sold his soul to the Devil for a stopwatch which could freeze Time. It seemed like too good a deal to be true; and the Devil was willing to make it on account of everybody always waited for conditions to be perfect to punch the clock, and of course nothing is ever as Good as it could be, so they ended up dying waiting on that perfect day and owing their soul when they did. Well, this railroad man ended up being no different as he waited for his pregnant wife to give birth, and then for the child to grow to the perfect stage, and then...he did die and did not stop Time because it would be an eternity of suffering the agony of a heart attack athwart the train tracks. The Devil came to take his soul as he boarded the train to Hell with all of the other losers.Here, versions differ as to whether or not he allowed Old Nick to leap from the train before he froze Time and spent eternity aboard that gambling, rollicking train of drunks and Goodtimers.

Point being, when is it any better or worse? Live it up, people, with an eye to partying again in the future. This is it.

21 November 2011

how do you want to handle this?

Put on your headphones, and turn it up:

I feel for our brethren and sistren in the colder areas, but early winter on the Wiziiziest (wiz-eye-iz-eye-est) Coast is mmmmmmmild.
Suck It, I guess.

After all this yakking about the familiar loops and the boredom, and the possibilities along other vectors, and the other...

Hypothetically speaking, would you ride it?

Would you ride it?

Speaking hypothetically.

Where the bobcats chillax, and from which there may or may not be fantastical possibilities for further backcountry pussyfooting.

Would you ride it?