Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

31 July 2012

we go on as before

Caught up in catching up, there has been little written of local doings. There have been some.

 While hiking my fixed gear bicycle up this trail, I came across Trail Crew?!?! 2 gals and a guy, a 3' D handle, and a 4'ish cross-cut. They had even cleared that big hanger. One never knows how folks are gonna take a bike in the woods so I was vague, though effusive, in my thanks. Nice work, people.

 The boys and I took the long way to and from the store...

 J and I scavenged some more timber to start the backrest at the New Stairs. Brown Lunch and all. Later on in the ride, I told him the Legend of Comanche- the ghost horse who is out for revenge on children of the Central Coast. 

Another time I rode from home, did some trails, some road, rolled through Ord and then home. Then I did it again another other time, but included 50 and 49 and 82- all of which are perfectly tacky right now from all this grey Summer fog. Fasssst and grippy. Just fine for some 38c road tyres. I love that 2 wheeled drift pedal into the counter steer sandy turn.

And, also- enough with these tired Full Moon designations already. Can we get with the new new and bring it in closer to home? Yes, we can. Tomorrow is the Kick Ass Moon, and I will be rolling out underneath it after work. Whosoever wants to see if we can find some moonlight out there past the edge of the fog, should be prepared to roll from Cside around 6:45ish...

30 July 2012

complete, unexpurgated shameless gypsy trollops

 Things happen that are beyond the scope of this webblog. People of Moab: I had an excellent time! Thank you for everything.

In the interest of packing as much Good into the Times, we rallied Monday morning before my train ride home with a quick jaunt up to the La Sals to ride Hazard County and UPS...

 Rim Tours came through HUGE with the shuttle, the loaner bikes, and the expertise...Thanks, people of Rim!

 It was super super riding with OG Moab. Including, but not limited to B?!? That brother don't swear he nice, he know he nice. Yeah, boyeeee, yeah!.

 It is SO much cooler up there.

 It was not lost on me, the fact that this UPS could have been the final leg of my Kokopelli...

The End.

Youtube thought I should watch this:

Wow. That's a hard situation. I think, having seen this, that I would wait until the guy got on the bike and then knock him over and start kicking. The momentum is there for you that way. It is especially effed that the security jerk asks him why he doesn't park where he's supposed to; as if that were the problem.

29 July 2012

360* nutjob

There is no Gravity in space.

I awoke sometime in the wee wee hours and knew that I should get up and get at it. I lacked discipline, so I decided to sleep longer. This happened 2 times. Finally, in the much less wee hours, I rallied and began preparations to continue riding.

 By the time I'd had coffee and breakfast (I've found that instant oatmeal with maple and brown sugar mixed with nuts and cranberries is a solid morning meal for me- the Quik and EZ, which is what all the kids want) the sky was light and the sun was peeping over the horizon as I headed deeper into Rabbit Valley.

Sport Legs work very well for those of us who are prone to the cramping. I'd taken several the night before and some with breakfast as well. The blues were at bay, and I figured I'd push on at least to Dewey Bridge. From that point I could ride the River Road into Moab or hitch if required.

Tired and broken as I was, I figured I'd take it easy to Westwater and have a swim and a shady nap there. The plan was to take all the easiest routes. I was having a fine old time cruising and ignoring the Western Rim trailhead. Yep, flying along on a sweet doubletrack downhill...


Nice, cool downhill.

Huh. That singletrack down there along the rim sure looks fun. No. Stay on the Quik and EZ. You've already dropped a bunch and you'd have to climb to get back up to that trailhead anyhow. That singletrack looks really, really  fun. No. Now you've dropped even more, stay-

F it. I turned around and climbed back up to that trailhead where the getting was good. And the getting was Good. That Western Rim was the high point. The singletrack is single, right next to the edge, and smooooth music. Well worth the "effort". I rallied.

When I reached the intersection with Kokpelli, I rolled right across in a frenzy of following the fun. It's an ATV track there, and that was a mistake. Those motorheads love to throttle up and down fins with no regard to flow. The trail worsened quickly. After getting further out than I wanted to suffer back, I decided I was back in the pickle and would take the easiest easy I could find. This led me to look at the map with lazy eyes that only saw what they wanted to see- a coastable reroute. So I made my next mistake by continuing in a descending ramble towards the Colorado. Down the Bitter Creek drainage until I was far enough down I figured I'd see it through in the hopes that I could hunt and peck a connector along the RR tracks.

It worked.

At a little after 11am I popped out across the tracks from the Westwater put-in. Yay!

The ranger, Alan- an unlikely cycling fan at 6'3"/258lbs, appeared right away from the HQ saying"It's too hot to be touring the Kokpelli! You look like you could use a cold beer." Allllllright. I swam, lunched, and napped in the shade of the Cottonwood trees.

When the rafting group of at-risk teens began loudly shushing each other right next to the picnic table upon which I dozed, nap time was over. It was still hottt, but it was time to leave.

That is a picture of a Fucko Racing Products sticker stuck over a Land Rover Lifestyle Magazine decal. I imagined, as I slowly rolled along the sandy doubletrack beside the RR tracks, what a Land Rover Lifestyle is. I imagine promenading into town at the end of a long day spent riding the brakes to get pedicures and sneer at the locals while eating out. I had a lot of time to imagine.

I came upon several antelope (Antilocapra americana) during this ride. They look like beetles to me, due to the weird facial markings. When I was a boy, swimming at Deep Eddy, we used to find the longhorned cottonwood borer. With it's bizarre black slashes on the face, the antelope looks a lot like the beetles of my youth.

 That is a picture of being sick of riding a bike along a sandy doubletrack beside the RR tracks. Notice how the bike is thrown down with abandon. Actually, this section was packed down pretty well from the showers in the week prior, though still sandy enough to wear away at my thin veneer of cool.

 That is a picture of storm clouds gathering about the La Sals, toward which I was heading.

So. The cramps came back. My thumbs began to convulsively pinch the hoods. My fancy black shoes got so hot in the sun that my feet got hotspots where the pinky toes touched them?!? Etc. I knew I would be done one way or the other at Cisco Landing.

I reached Cisco Landing around 4pm. Took a refreshing swim- well, except that my feet would cramp if I kicked too hard. I lounged around in the shitter as the rain came driving in, pushed by fierce winds. That was rotten. Really rotten. After the rain dwindled, I was afforded the luxury of lounging in the porte cochere. There was an opening under the wall through which I had my legs stuck when my toes cramped. I reflexively pulled my leg up, which knocked my shin on the wall, which started my anterior tibialis to cramp, which caused me to reflexively pull my leg up, which caused my hip flexors to cramp...I'm my own 3 Stooges.

One wonderful thing: when I am so worked over, I am at peace. Just stretching out on the solid Earth and not pedaling was fucking delight. I wanted for nothing. It is a profound sensation, the lack of desire. I didn't want entertainment. I didn't want food or water. I didn't even want to shift position. Totally satisfied just lying there. The Amtrak employee with the talk had told me about some guy who'd had his gear stolen the night before a big back country excursion. He'd asked his father to wire him some $ to get replacement stuff, but the nearest he could receive the $ was a ways away and he decided to hike through he Arizona desert with nothing to get there. 3 weeks later he was rescued, floating in his underwear and weighing 100lbs. He was completely lucid, and wanted to stay there and "talk" for 15 minutes before leaving. The crew gave him 8 minutes. I can see relishing the place he'd reached and being reluctant to return to the world. How far out must he have been? Beyond want I'm sure.

As dark fell, I heard the honking, slaloming arrival of my own rescue. 5 hours of  glorious loafing ended with the arrival of Mysterious BS, the man of the hour.  The inglorious end of my Kokpelli: beers, laughter, and a ride into Moab.

27 July 2012

Extreme Safety!

You gotta be more than a butt that's booming.

After "sleeping" on my double coach platform (yes, I even pulled out the sleeping bag) I eventually washed up in Grand Junction at 10:10AM.


 My bike was extensively disassembled, so I puttered about on the platform for quite a while, putting the bike together and listening to the Amtrak employee tell me stuff about Freedom and the dangers of heat exposure in the backcountry.

 By 11, I was no disassembled and ready to hit it. My 1st stop was the nearby bike shop for a Latitude40 topo map of GJ and Fruita. After some lunch at Main St Bagels I rolled West on 340, heading for Fruita. I had filled only my 3 36oz water bottles and 1 100oz bladder, thinking to save weight/effort. When I reached Over The Edge Sports (the shop to patronize in Fruita) I axed those guys for pointers and filled all 4 100oz bladders. It was nice to meet you, Greg. It's still a new experience for me to meet the live humans behind computer screens.

 By the time I reached Mary's Loop, gateway to the Kokopelli, it was hot.



 At a certain point along Mary's it was no longer fun. I skipped Steve's. Hottt, loaded heavy and tired is no way to flirt with the edge. At a later point, on Troy Built, it became hateful. Usually, I can keep a sense of humor whilst suffering. I went well past that point. I began to hate. I hated myself for committing to such a stupid plan, and more for not being smarter about it (like I'd "planned") by riding in the cooler hours. I hated Troy Rarik for putting such rotten lines in his loop. I hated you.

Truly, it is rare that I cannot laugh about how bad things get. I knew the jig might be up. I sweat a lot, and my electrolyte balance was out the window. Whose idea was heading from my constantly cool coastal kingdom up to 4,000' of 98* in the shade? What a jackass.

I stopped in the good shady wash, pulled out my pad, and napped for an hour or so. This was an attempt to bring my core temperature down. I was beginning to feel nauseous, and that's an early warning for heat exhaustion.  I poured some over myself several times, but my water was all too warm to help much. It felt hot, not refreshing.

When no more napping was to be had, I got back at it. I immediately felt just as ill as before. I wanted to reach Rabbit Valley as close to 4pm as I could for reasons of my own, so I pushed instead of staying there in the shade as I should have done. I should have waited for cool.

 That above is the cut-off down to Salt Creek to reach the Kokopelli as it branches from the Mary's/Lion's Loop. It is a bitch.

I dropped down and crossed the creek. I wet my socks, bandana, and hat. I was very bitter about any "unnecessary" elevation gain. I could see climbing up that fin was gratuitous, but I knew no other route. After following the train tracks for a bit, the trail turned up. I got off. I began to push. It suuuucked. I settled into a routine of pushing the laden bike an arm's length away and climbing up to it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. On the (frequent) occasions that a (surprisingly small) rock stopped my wheel, I felt like crying. It was a total emotional breakdown. I have never felt so broken.

I reached Rabbit Valley, and my camp site, as the sun dropped below the horizon. I was surprised to have cell reception. I texted several folks with my dejection- I was cramping and sad. I knew I should sleep on it, but I felt like abandoning. It would have been easy to hitch to Moab as that campground is only a mile at most from I70. Eventually, I rallied and got up from my prone position on the table top to  heat water and make tea and dinner. Then I slept.

26 July 2012

old news

 Announcement to follow.

I chose the train over driving because the total cost was lower and the mode more efficient (less pollution,  less effort/concentration/fatigue). Airlines will rape you on bike transport fees. The Amtrak folks wanted $5. If you box your own, great. If you use their box, it's $15 for the box but it is much easier, as all you need to do is remove pedals and bars. Although, 29" knobblies made for more bike than they anticipated, so it requires front wheel removal as well which isn't optimal. Everything is a compromise.

 Successful train journey to Grand junction? Certainly. The leg room was all for which I could ask, and the seat bottoms swung up, LazyBoy style. They handed out questionably hygienic pillows. I didn't have to focus or keep it together at all, which is the opposite of driving a car.

There is an observation car. In Reno, from the observation car, you can see weirdos (in this case, some Amishy guys) taking smoke breaks. Other places the view is more scenic. Not least because the train panoramas aren't intercepted with billboards and gas satans and other cars.

You can take pretty much whatever you want onto the train and no one bats an eye. The guy in front of me had a coolerful. Sipping Old Grandad in the privacy of your own seat(s) whilst not driving is to be savored.

The train was dope until it was sleepy time, and then it was kinda sucky. I was one of the lucky ones who had both of their seats to themselfs- and don't think I didn't act stinky and unappetizing (relax- it's all an act...) in order to facilitate this good fortune- but there is only so much comfort one can achieve in a confined space.

It was a good beginning.

17 July 2012

see you in the funny papers

Feel that bass line? This (well, the extended version) has been in my ear for a week straight now. I just put it on repeat and it's head down/GO! Legs are feeling full of giddyup. Kick, kick, kick again.

I'm something like a phenomenon.

The Fargo is all boxed up, I think I got enough 100oz bladders, and it's off to ride Kokopelli in July...who says Adventure needs to start with a good idea? I'll catch up with y'all after some Good Times is had...

14 July 2012

Listen. Let's get down to brass tacks. How much for the ape?

Feels just like yesterday. That is a picture of the Fargo's front end, as it stands. What you are seeing is the test ride, which verified the Minimalist rack configuration viz light position and 8 beer minimum capacity. Those beers are now resting behind that one log along that trail, so the focus is really on the light. It is that Supernova E3 (remember? the dynamo-powered 800lumens?) and it works grrrreat. I'm not certain the placement is optimal, but it's the best I've figured out so far. The lighting quizality is top notch, though, and that's what counts.

This is gearing up to the ill-advised train trip/Kokpelli ride next week. I wisht I could take a squishier bike, but this is the set-up that works given the hauling and (more) lighting needs. This trip will be taking place in the dark of the New Moon (you can't force me into your categories!) and during the hottest month of the year, so I'll ride a bunch of night hours...

If you need bike lighting, the E3 is totally bad ass. And it never runs out of battery! It's available through your LBS (QBP carries them) and, as of now (sadly too late for this trip), so is the Plug- Supernova's top cap USB charger. That's some sweet technology.

11 July 2012

there's nothing more American than that

It's for the best that I not say too much about crashing KB out 2 times. Once when he was attempting to pass on the " Hot line", and he called it, so. One thrown elbow, a bad line through the litter and stick up the spokes equals badly mangled derailer (bent backwards/inwards/sideways, blown out lower jockey wheel)  and hanger. Seatpost as a lever to bend hanger back, rack hardware sourced nylock nut to back up jockey bolt.
Super PRO. Worked for the rest of the evening. The second time was running the red light across Fremont, while KB checked for traffic and he ran into me

Anyhow. Nice work, fellas. Please ride with me again ?

09 July 2012

you got to bring ass to get ass


Summer is coursing through my leg veins. Meditate on it.

My commute (part of which is pictured above) is a good one. Made even funner by the 37mm Paselas with the gumwall. Now, whatchoo know about that?

I see velocache is heating up again. Why don't you head on over there and learn a thing or 2?

06 July 2012

Welcome _______s- Back from the ____ Life!

 Happy Independence Day, America! This photo represents everything for which we stand. Soak it up.

Straight to the top!

Bikecamping Coedown in July? Sounds like a terrible idea. Count me in.

In this heat, it's nothing but swimming hole to swimming hole. Don't kid yourself. Team FRP, putting all you pretenders on notice: the gloves are off.

After work on Sunday, we gathered all of our piles of stuff into the one car and hied to the now-usual parking spot to get it together. I had been attempting a new set-up, getting the sleeping bag offa (out from under, where it interferes with me getting off the back for technical stuff) my saddle by throwing on a Salsa Minimalist rack, mounted in front. This did not work so well. I think the rack is versatile and well- thought-out, but the bag bound against my handlebar bag, and the front end was unmanageable with all that weight swaying around. I swapped the sleeping bag back onto (under) my saddle again, and it was better.

This was an experiment. I will mount the rack to my Fargo for some upcoming off-roaded touring. That should be a better match.

KB's super sano carbone hard-core off-road touring fork...

That's custom right there. See how the carbone is cradled with steel brackets from the local hardware store. Notice how the u-bolt is dremmeled for maximum (any) clearance with the rotor- which has also been customized, a.k.a. dremmeled.

I learned a lot about technology on this trip. Especially when my cones came loose, which explained the odd-feeling front end I had tried to blame on a loose headset and then tightened said headset which produced ominous creaky pops as the bolts were bone dry. Later, my stem would abruptly and terrifyingly shift 45* to the left, necessitating a bolt lube, using TriFlo cuz that's what we had, and a gentle and scared re-tightening. I was so frightened on the descent(s) from Kelly Lake...

Suicide shifting. Superleggara.

Day 1 was just getting to the park, loading our bikes, and getting to camp via the funnest and easiest route possible. Where there was a conflict between fun and easy, fun won every time.
P______ Camp is just so nice. It is undeniable.

Cold showers and warm beers.

Day 2 was unloading our bikes to the least we could get away with for some extended riding and swimming. We stowed our gear in camp, and rode out unencumbered (relatively) for a big exploratory loop.

Swimming gazebo destination resort, where the elite meet.

...for some YSL 1977 photo shoot action. It has been our experience that actual clothing is the better call in a wilderness type setting. As opposed to the lycra gear. And, plus, it lends some real credibility to otherwise questionable kooks. Kerchiefs for all my friends!

Poorly defined super bumpy singletrack through steep ups and downs combined with gastrointestinal troubles make for some giggling from 2 out of 3 all-terrain bicycle tourers. BURP! FART! Hee hee hee.

Backcountry swimming holes for me and mine. Maybe for you and yours, too. That is some Good Times.

Surprise! More climbing.

Coe is ridiculously steep. Punch after punch. No stopping.

Uh, except for a couple flats. But they are few and ringed with steeps.

There is now a bottle of rye whiskey stowed near camp...

Day 3 was repacking our reducedly loaded bikes, and heading back to the car via a ~4 hour swimming break which included nudity, dozing in the sun, multiple swim sessions, "cliff" jumping,  mild sunburn, hilarity, and farts.

Yay! Summer.

Riding=climbing through a beautiful series of ridges as far as the eye could see amidst a low angled golden light.

The Dummy of the Year title has now passed to you, because you missed this one.