Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

28 June 2012

too itching for action to look for it (I'll make it where I am)

Details? When you've taken off your glasses because they're spattered in sweat from the extended climbing and you're coasting so fast tears blur your vision. When your cap and jersey and helmet straps are caked in silt. Salt? When one ride is so climb sweat filled that your legs cramp on alternate down strokes (left, right, left, right) but on the next and climbier sweatier ride they don't. When you laugh out loud with the joy of the moment. When you curse the "friend" who brought you to such a breaking point.

That's some reasons why and what for and how come.

I snicker when people here talk to me about "the grade". Seriously? That climb is so trafficked and thankless and hot and exposed, with no descent worth mentioning. The grade. Tell me about some shaded, one-laned, backroad or a hike-a-bike to illicit singletrack if you wanna talk about riding. For real. Shit.

People come into the shop (or wherever) and talk about being a local. Do they do that where you are? I talked to some old gal who has been here "forever" and she throws a attitude after asking (and I suppose I should have seen it coming) how long we've lived here. Lady, I've lived here for 13 years now. (whoa) My kids go to school here. You "guess" that's local? I roll my eyes. What do these "locals" know about that one section between the 2 East-West ridges where it feels all quiet and it's always still (always) and a mountain lion is maybe- it feels likely- behind the next 180* twist around another fallen Monterey Pine? Or the single perfect line through the broken asphalt screaming down the North facing back way into town while the road, as it Ts, leapfrogs toward you so fast it's as though your vision was frame by frame? Oh. This used to be a bookstore.

We used to live in a small mountain town in Colorado, at 8,750'. I rode a lot of bikes there. I used to live in a small desert town in Eastern Utah. I rode a lot of bikes there, too. These places were/are hard to get to, hard to get by in, and hard in which to ride. We were young and thought ____ __ ___ ___ the ______s. We had a lot of locals only attitude our ownselfs. We were full of shit.

I don't care what you ride. I don't care where you ride*. I care that you ride.

*If you live in Santa Cruz, or Telluride, or might _____ that you ha[ve] all the answer_. I don't care that you've gotten tired of your backyard, and no one knows the goods anyhow because they're from somewhere not where you are at the moment or have been all your damn life... Look how good it is. Go find some nook or cranny unknown to you and check it out. You might rediscover how kickass your riding is. This could apply somewheres else, too, if you are tired of your local. Prolly not if you dig riding dumb stuff like Laureles Grade, though.

26 June 2012

choking on the freedom

Gazos Creek Rd., dirt Gazos Creek, North Escape Road (which is abbreviated No. Escape Rd on some maps and gave me some welcome distraction from the relentless climbing as I thought about cartographers' jokes and how that's quite the chestnut), 236, 9, 35, dirt Alpine, Alpine Rd., Portola Rd., Old La Honda Rd., 35, Tunitas Creek Rd., 1, Stage Rd., Pescadero Creek Rd., Cloverdale Rd., Gazos Creek Rd.


I'm beginning to suspect that there will be a Full Thunder Moon Campout in Henry Coe. Next week, Monday Night. Mmmmaybe Sunday as well. Monday fer sure. Get ready for this.

20 June 2012

____ful despoilers of everything decent

What follows is a list. It may or may not mean something to you. What it (shall I say "should"? No. But it would not be inappropriate if I did.) could mean is this:

Road riding is just as kickass as mountain biking. It can be as good as...a powder day! That's right, you heard right. Have you forgotten throwing your weight into the deep and solid arc of the sweeping asphalt switchback? Has it been that long since you put everything you had on the pedals and then did it again? And again? And again? And again? Is the thrill of one lane undulating through Redwoods too farfetched? Oh...

Trout Gulch. Fern Flat. Rider Rd. Eureka Canyon. Highland Way. Soquel San Jose Rd. Redwood Lodge Rd. Schulties Rd. Old Santa Cruz Highway. Mountain Charlie Rd (and never to be mentioned save in whispers- it is that good). Glenwood Dr. Granite Creek Rd. Branciforte Dr. Mountain View Rd. N Rodeo Gulch Rd. Etc.

Can I say something? We family. If you are not on board with the road riding, you're doing it wrong.

Oyez. Oyez. Oyez.

It is further noted: there is a new sheriff in Santa Cruz with the revelation of the Redwood Lodge Chapter, a branchito of the Church of the Sweet Ride. Welcome! All rights and privileges are hereby accorded to they and theirs (a.k.a I&I people) under the tutelage of Padre T___, Diocesan Social Director. FYI, Redwood Lodge Rd is a magic carpet of Ewokian proportions; a single lane of rough asphalt flowing as fast as you dare through shady goodness. Really. As fast as you dare. That's fast.

I am so full of Summer, it is bursting my seams.

18 June 2012

perhaps too highbrow for this crowd

It's not over between you and me.

Summertime is in effect, though. Schedules are all aflutter. Dropped kids off where kids get dropped in this ya time, parked at the skate park, and rolled through Cside(!) to shuffle around variously packed sandy singletrack.

Fixed Crosscheck, reanimated for it's 2nd ride since the shoulder/ass crash. I'm not sold on the Surly Open Bar. I tried it on the NeckRomancer, and it was too flexy. Now I'm trying it on the Crosscheck, and I think it's still too flexy. What I am loving is the quickness. 46x18 freaks out some folks, but it works real good real world style for me. I can ride thru town and ride up some hills and ride down most either and we're all gonna walk something, right? But, hey. Whoa! That bike can pick up some speed and keep turning it over. Quick to get up and enough to roll roll roll- I'll take as much as I can get.

We sashayed all around the old Friday night SS tracks, hunting and pecking the gradiest, most flowy climbs and descents, and it was faaaaaast. Fast and hot. I got the sunburned head on account of I forgot a helmet and a hat. Oops.

Riding fixed offroad makes for some fine dance moves. Cat-like.

Also, if you are riding around with powerful Western Diamondback mojo, take care of it or it will crumble.

15 June 2012

no me vengas con chismes

I think your organized gravel events are a little bit silly.

I see it if it's in your backyard. I get the suffering for extended periods- I'm into that. It's traveling for something so...tame...that raises my hair. You are gonna do what you want, but I feel it should be pointed out: if you are bothering to plan and travel for a bike ride, it should be something more worthwhile. And yes, I am the arbiter of such things. So stop fucking around and plan a kickass back country adventure already.

Along those lines, who wants to ride Kokopelli Trail in 2-3 days July 19-21? I've yet to ride it, and how hard could it be? The Heat Index will really be something, you say? Whatevs, we can ride in the cooler nighttime hours jes fine with our sweet generator lights. Some good folks is getting hitched in Moab, and I think I'll take the train (no driving? observation deck? bar car?!) from Cali to GJ with my bike and roll over all super fun style.

Anyhow. Think about it.

14 June 2012

ice cold nerves and deep warm curves


The quick roundy round through some Western States finds us washed up and gritty and once again shrouded in fog. It was a fine time seeing old friends: family go-cart racing, trolling sandy reservoirs, hassling the locals, exploring Anasazi kivas and granaries in secret locations, riding bicycles, lolling about on white-water rafts, and generally kicking ass.

Secret remote location:

It is a hike from the end of a 4WD. See the ruins...

and get in them.

Ancient support timbers still in place. In several spots you could see the finger streaks in the ancient mortar. Wherever you looked in this canyon, there were little and ancient granaries tucked away in the hollows. The spring at the head of the canyon was very large and sheltered. It's clear why this place was settled.

We organized some of the ancient pottery shards we came across, and we left them all in place! This stuff is roughly 700 years old. The boys don't appreciate how rare and wonderful this adventure was. Hopefully it will still be there for them to drag their own tired, hot and bored children through. I'm doing my part by not telling.

Secret, secret.

This ancient granary was only accessible via a somewhat/slightly technical climb, and still had the capstone in place!!

Unfortunately, the 700 year old shaman mummy used some heavy hoodoo to turn his ancient bones and magical weapons invisible so we couldn't, you know, loot and stuff. It contained some tiny ancient corn cobs and some not-so ancient pack rat nests.

We replaced the capstone and were very careful with the whole investigation. RESPECT.

After the route and timing switcheroos and the drama and the dropping outs and the...

It was time to ride from Telluride to Durango the dumb way. Nearly all dirt. (Team 1/2 in the bag at altitude totally blew it from Illium to Lizard Head. Totally.) The route has changed significantly since we lived and rode there, and of course there were multiple wrong turns and let's see if we can get through on that trails. Compatible riding styles/preferences/levels of expertise enabled us to smile all the while. 22 beers packed in and on the NeckRomancer bikecamping rig helped as well. 2 days of alpinity and a camp fired night along the Colorado Trail beneath the Full Moon later we arrived at Trimble Hot Springs to be greeted by local Church of the Sweet Ride muckitty mucks.

Goodness. You would have been fine and better than fine.

From the high country back down to the high desert, it was time for the celebration of R__'s 50th...

     Happy Life, Brother. Thanks for the Good Times. Westwater at 3200cfs. Wind gusting to 45mph on Day 1. Canyon walls and whitewater on Day 2. Good crew.

It could be worse.