Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

30 September 2011

you know and I know

Taking the long way to to school:

We got there a little late...but I'd say it was worth it. OK, we will leave earlier next time.

29 September 2011

27 September 2011

on the incognito tip

You call up your ____, however works best for you.

Secret Boys hand deliver by bike a shrine of sorts...

We'd discussed possible placement for this, the inaugural shrine, and decided on this spot as both knowable and hidden. Which, if you know where it is, it is. The boys are looking for likely spots in the above.

We settled on this. I'd drilled mount holes at home with power, but here in the woods it is all hand crank. Something like this is always vulnerable to thuggery, though we tried to make it secure with 2" wood screws. I think it would frustrate would-be despoilers to the point of simply wrecking it before it comes loose.

Aha! At last we see who hands off the bidon.

By this point they were done "helping" and were just chasing lizards.

We'll see how this goes. The shrine contains: 1 bottle of the good corn liquor, 1 patch kit, 1 box of matches, 2 tire levers, 1 26" tube, 1 700c tube, loose allen keys (3,4,5,6), 1 box of assorted common to bicycle bolts, 1 chaintool (you can't front on that), 1 short length of 9speed chain, 1 lighter, and some hoodoo.

It isn't exactly hidden, and it isn't obvious either.

And, plus I swapped the Nitto Northroad bars (which have been on the fixed Crosscheck for years) for On One's Mary Bar and it felt fantastic! So dialed. I was loving the feel of my cockpit. You would love the feel, too.

Then I banged my wrist on some wood while we were making some adjustments to the New Stairs and the fun was over. I burst that vein and my wrist started stinging and swelling. It was time for an immediate one-handed ride to the race van and home.

Jury-rigged ice pack. I can't be having wrecked hands. In fact, this post has been entered on the left. It is time to rest the right.

24 September 2011

a little something, you know, for the effort

Saturday at the races. CCCX#2 back at in in the Ord. Finally, some drizzly legitimacy.

Good course this week- a back and forth between the 2 low ridges around the old Boy Scout Camp. I was very close to vomitus for my 1st lap. 2nd lap...DNF. Front flat. I'd gotten a front flat in my pre-ride and rushy rush changed it (using the 1 spare tube I had) just in time for the 35+B's call-up and to talk a little smack about thorns on the course (you know to get in folks' heads. How do they race where you are?) only to re-flat. I guess I should get a new tire for reals. Apparently the duct tape booted sidewall tear is not kidding around.

This did, however, give me the opportunity to stand around and heckle with the rest of the seedy bottom feeders from Monterey. We chose the 3' drop over by the hidden playground as being more prime time than the barriers. I had opted for the right hand line in practice and found myself with much more hang time than I'd bargained for, so it was the place to encourage others. To encourage them to race fast and take chances!

It goes without saying that_______________. But, a few did take up the gauntlet and let fly. Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted: "Men will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon", and it still holds true though it might be paraphrased as "Cyclocross racers will perform for some jeering and cowbells." Leave it to DFL's own P__ M____ (whose brother _uck, 1st introduced me to fixed wheel bicycles and the phrase "Cuz it feels so good when you stop." in Moab, UT circa '96) to pick up a little bit more speed and a little more air each time round until the inevitable.
Somersault dismount.
P__ had already been taunted. On his 2nd lap, his front wheel had been hit with an empty beer can. He'd flipped the bird and raced on, head down. Not catching anyone, but still- willing. I don't know if it was the determination to win at all costs or the increasingly antagonistic "cheering", but he took the right line and sent it. Sent it sideways and high-sided the landing for a dramatic tumble.
No stranger to this type of set back, he wisely sat still where he landed and regrouped. Asked for a beer. (We failed him there-the beer was all drunk- and I promise it will never happen again) Got back up, straightened his rear shifter (I failed him there- I'd checked the wheels and headset, but did not check the shifter...DOH! Always check the shifter!- and I promise it will never happen again) and jumped back in that race. Well played!

The Little Corporal also said "It requires more courage to suffer than to die."

21 September 2011

you are led to Look and See

The Brooks Boultbee Jacket. Their hat in the ring (as it were) of cycling apparel. That up there is some dude/not me getting fitted by master bespoke tailor Timothy Everest and his lovely British assistant. I assume.

I want that jacket so bad.

I been sitting on this one. Everone (you would be amazed at the # of show goers who did not spend time in the Brooks booth!) I took to see this jacket- the Brooks employees accused me of it being the 4th time I'd come in just to ogle the coat- was unimpressed. Maybe it's the (estimated) $1,400.00 price tag, maybe it's that they were sober, maybe it's just that they all lack taste & sophistication... Whatever it is, I gots to get a better class of friends. Ones who'll buy me this coat!

I want that jacket so bad.

If it appeals to you in at all the way it appeals to me (I would live in it), then perhaps you care to geek out with a video. It mentions the details-there are many- I examined at length. Not limited to the integral ribbon shoulder straps so that if you overheat it may be worn off the back (like a cape!?!). Seriously, it's like my 6 year old mind was shown Lawrence of Arabia (minus the part where it's implied he is buggered by the Turks, which is inappropriate for 6 year olds) and Batman was in there for good measure.

Jackets suck. They all overheat you, and none are waterproof like they claim. At least in this I would be uncomfortable in style.

Imagine if this were not pussified with a motor. How bad ass is that?

I'm sorry you had to see this.

20 September 2011

clean out of sight

SS on pave to dirt. Because A) I am fortunate enough to live within riding distance of dirt, but really B) I am more willing to ride than to drive. That's because I am a cyclist. I lik to ride bikes.

If you are not riding to your ride, and you have the option to so do, then you are losing. Get with it.

I frequently see large birds on that one hillside. Mostly Red Tail Hawks and Buzzards, but an occasional owl. Today I heard a snake, Coluber lateralis lateralis- California Striped Racer, making a hasty retreat for his lair. Heard him and then saw him. I especially dig that, even though it's only due to the protracted walking on account of the SS.

Bobcats have been players these last few days as well...

Today I ventured into some new-to-me trails, and saw the above bobcat (Lynx rufus). I got much closer than this, but photos weren't happening. The cat had a large field mouse dangling from it's mouth. Yesterday's cat, I forgot to mention, I chased and was gaining(!) when he bailed to the side over a fence. I lik to see the wildlife.

Riding the new cleaned section and the fresh reroute was worthwhile. It will take some time to set in, but it has begun. Now it's not just a headache ever time I ride through there thinking "Man! This could be so much better." Because now it is. I also cleaned up some of those arm slappers on the descent to the other side.

I see this sign, but I'm unsure as to what it prohibits. I feel certain it is unrelated to my own activities.

Thinking of saws...

The Silky Super Accel 210 (Large Teeth) is recommended by a person whose bona fides we cannot access. At $37.95, it is made in Japan where they make solid cutting tools. I think I'm leaning more towards the American made Bob Dustrude Quick Buck Saw at $44.99 from Duluth Pack.

I'm through being cool, and I'm through with being stymied by large branches.

19 September 2011

so low brow, you can't get under it


Class of '87, yo.

In other super ghay news, there was the cross riding to the velocache. There was 1st the pave climbing (cuz that's how it goes), and then the sweet singletrack connector I cleaned up yesterday, and then the narrower pave climbing, and then the velocache deployment, and then the one lane pave climbing, and then the dirt. Ah.

On dirt it was paying attention and going quickly. Then it was time to clean up that other section of trail. You know, the one I been squawking about...

These are looking up. It doesn't look like much in the photo, but this is the sweet new route. You'll thank me when you ride it.

These are looking down. It doesn't look like much in the photo, but this is the sweet new route. You'll thank me when you ride it.

The flow is as good as it can be now, and I cleaned up all the little snags that were worrisome. My folding saw (a blown out Gerber, and one which I had "fixed" by drilling through the handle and bolting it together) crapped out for real on this one. Who has a line on a quality folder? I'm thinking I may just have to bite the bullet and get a buck saw.

At the bottom, I decide to hug the hill some and head back to more dirt options before dropping down to the cloaca (who doesn't love some possum ass?) of Seaside to catch the Swampside cache. On my way, I saw this little guy:

Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii
- Monterey Ring-necked Snake.

I've hadn't ever seen one of these. So that's nice. He was very aggressive, and resistant to being handled.

I took another picture of my saddle. Look how green it is. That is British Racist Green, that is.

Then it was on to the velocache and wrapping the Peninsula to more trails homeward.

18 September 2011

one after the other one

Back at the old home on the central coast, it is some Summer. We get a real fine Indian Summer. You should come ride.

Singlespeeding is good for clearing the mind.

I felt surprisingly froggy. After pickling meself in Vegas, and riding nothing but FAT tyred (as opposed to fat, tired) monsters, the featherweight flickability of the Black Cat 29"SS was noticeable and relished. A nudge was all it took for course correction; no muscling, no pushing or pulling. It's a fun bike! Climbs like a frightened bear cub, and that's fast- even with the flailing limbs and wasted motion. I hadn't ridden this bike in months and months. The fit felt slack. I dropped the stem 10mm, and it made a nice change; more tuggable/aggressive as opposed to feeling droopy off the back.

Saturday after work was for quickness. Sunday after work was for cutting. I took the clippers up and cleaned that one section nicely. All that poison oak is gone. Those pesty Monterey Pine saplings crowding the singletrack and soaking me (they hold a lot of foggy precipitate) on the way to work are trimmed. Hey _ick, remember that one time you pulled out your belt mount clippers and were all "Yeahhhhh!" and no one gave you any respect? Well, now I understand how well chosen that tool can be. So, yeahhhhh!

Trail maintenance is a must. Still lots of cleaning to be done, and I really need to reroute that other section around those big dead falls, as well.

Stay sharp! But also, know that rubbing is racing and CCCX#2 is coming up on this Saturday, the 24th, so being against racists in a sense means some pushing and shoving on the cyclocross course...

17 September 2011

every clown has a silver lining

Every interbike has it's seamy side. There're lots of quality photos and words on the computer screens regarding the new bikes/parts/etc. I will add these words: beers, fat tired bikes, bourbon, brownies, go-karts, lost wallets.

Lost my wallet. Several hundred in cash, my credit cards, ID...In the parking lot of a casino. In Vegas.

Thank goodness for kungfu bicycles and Priscilla Presley. In large part, their influence enabled me to gladhandle my friends into enough cash to drive home.

Friends- THANK YOU!

You will see your dollars come back to you.Whatever version of the story you heard is the Truth, and anyone who says different is...misinformed.

I will further say that Surly employs the worst kind of trash. The squirt guns, the ring tossed tires, the insults, the lowbrow conversations. It's almost enough to put me off the cold beer and the Pugsley I will be purchasing.

11 September 2011

we'll start the party again

Camera issues. Make yourself useful and imagine the following:

Self medicated. Complaints of sore and achey thises and thats require you follow a rigorous course of cheer/heckle, race. Following, lay about in a sun warmed hammock and hot tubs and ibuprofens and beers. Cap with MOONlit ride of your choice.

Everthing has been prepared as you ordered.

Ah. Nothing like scrambling to get to the races on time. Mad dash with #1 Son and #2 Son to make the (sign in) 9am start. Feels like old times. D_____ got off to a gamefaced start. Racing 14-unders at 11 will make you hard that way. LOL at 14year old ex-grommet C___ for (riding with a camelbak, foo?) charging hard off the front up that hill. Extra points for looking back at the pack whilst so doing. Extra extra points for being 30seconds back by the 1/2 way mark of the very selfsame 1st lap. Extra extra extra read all about how he crashed on his "bad shoulder" and DNF. Ouch. Go bag that sand somewheres else, son. Honorary member of that club, and fellow 14year old, S___ rode a smooth race for 2nd. D_____ took 6th. Just barely off the podium, and it was some hard work. Nicely done, Puerto Rico! 4 laps of a fast course.

My own foray into the top 20 of 35+ Bs was...incredibly well executed. 5 laps. Black Cat cross bike on the start line, on the course, everwhere. You should have been there. Not racing- cuz then I would have been out of the top 20 (bitches!)- but heckling and beer and riding gauntlets of boozy cowbells makes good better. You're not tired! I talked a little smack, called some racers chumps, and gave the top 19 the dirty finger as they paraded by on the road section. Blank looks. Passed some fools, skidded out and almost crashed, got passed back, bumped a little, shut down a pass attempt, broke some guy's spirit (so good, I heard him whimper as he recognized a 600 plate passing meant he was losing!), passed in a sprint on the road bit, got repassed...battled.

Forgot how fun that can hurt. Thanks.

J______ rode the Kids Race (a half a lap) and was stoked. He claims a victory. 6th or 8th. He opts for 6th and the win. Strawberries and medals 12 deep. Thanks, y'all. WE back at it on the 25th. Show up if you like losing...

My plan is fool-proof. But just in case...

I could tell about the silvery soft drinking of canned beers while stopped in the midst of a night time bike ride. The sky- clear, the heavy heavy governor of all type tides hung lightly overhead. The bench-well shadowed, the peaceful quiet of sleeping ghosts hangs a hush over the graveyard (which itself is so well positioned for meet-ups, cool- downs, and exercising your drinking muscles).

Through Cside and on to the Ord. Eucalyptus is "progressing"; it'll be all paved soon. Whatever. Makes for easy access to the fire tower full of bees. Yes, we checked. Yes, they are all hived up in that North wall. Something should be done. But by whom? You, prolly.

Night rides beneath the overhanging fog layer are well familiar to us by now. Singletracks, the New Stairs, the Caprock Bar. The these and the those. The light was nice while it lasted. Good riding with those who rode. Do it again next time.

Communications will now be suspended for an indefinite period. interbike beckons. Wish me luck. If you are in Vegas...find me, Drinks are on you!

07 September 2011

a ___ of enormous erudition

I don't know about you.

I do know that the Full Harvest Moon has been rescheduled from the officious and restrictive 12th of September to the free-wheeling and debauched 9th and 10th! You like apples? This may or may not be a horrible mistake, given that cross season begins on the 11th!!!!!! but we must gather our rosebuds while the moon shines, mustn't we?

-insert screeching needle party stoppage type sound here-

I just checked the cccx site, and the race has been rescheduled for Saturday the 10th. Eff you, Keef. Now the wind is gone from 'neath my wings. I had a whole spirited roll type thing going and now it's lost like spilt sour mash. _uck! I got the day off and everything.

The moon thing stands.

06 September 2011

change your Life in a safe retreat

3 hour tour style trip to Santa Cruz for a quick sampling of some Westernest ridge aspects under a well shaded Redwood canopy. Dirt road climb to the serpentine ribbon of all downhill from here. Only one way to get to the top...and that is to climb.

The FNG, M___, wanted to see some new riding. He was in waaaaay over his head fitness-wise (big talk for a slow guy here) going up, and at the very most edge of his technical abilities coming down. There was a lot of waiting. There was a lot of waiting.

I looked at the trail in a different light considering his present limits. That is a hard trail. You forget some of that, knowing it so well. It is exposed side-hill skibbly water bars, there is the pedal biting stump, here is the off-camber root ball, coming up is the fast section into the L-bend with an overhanging limb, etc.

It was still a healthful Good Time (riding hecka tight, buffed singletrack is great- if you're into that kind of thing), but faster is funner.

05 September 2011

work your fingers to the bone, what a you get?

...bony fingers, Brothers and Sisters. Bony fingers.

A Happy Labor Day to all my friends!

This is a blue belly workin man's lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). After submitting himself to several catches and releases on D_____'s part, he graciously became the 1st ever lizard catch for J______. Maybe he was just tired.

Studies have shown that Lyme disease is lower in areas where the lizards occur. When ticks carrying Lyme disease feed on these lizards blood (which they commonly do, especially around their ears), a protein in their blood kills the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The ticks' blood is therefore cleansed and no longer carries Lyme disease.- Wikipedia says _uck yeah.

Though, it could have been that J was up to speed on account of his new cockpit parts...we all know how fast carbon fibre makes one.
J needed a new saddle.
And his old post is clamp-style.
It was in the parts bin.
He only weighs 63lbs.

Ruling it on Mudhen Express.

Chasing him on foot.

He catches up to his brother,

...and they both ride off and ditch me.

Taught them well, I guess. Since Cross Season starts next Sunday(!) we talked race techniques. And how it is OK (and encouraged) to stick it to the other racers- but never hurt anyone.

Picking up longtime leftover empties from the cache in the Caprock.

Sizing up the competition.

Right before I pipped him at the line.

Old age, treachery, etc. And speaking of, my arms are feeling on the mend. Thanks to RestIceCompressionElevation, soft tissue work and some acupuncture. Riding was on hold. Frowny face. Now, I am feeling happy again. Smiley face.

Welcome to your future. I hope it has gainful employment, bicycles, checking for snakes under plyboard, secret hide-outs, rope swings, and beers in the woods with your bros.

01 September 2011

like herding pussies

You people.

I try and I try. Y'all leave me no choice but to subject you to what has been filling my head, then. My motha ucking forearms are killing me. It's a combination of factors, resulting from grabbing and gripping at work and at play. I been laying off both as much as I can stand. I could complain about that.

Fine. It's Classic Country for you, my creepy internet connection (except you, Joe. You are a stand-up guy)...

You brought this on yourself.

...sorry, Kitty, but EmmyLou really owns this one.