Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

30 August 2012

more heart than ever

You know and I know it's the Full Kick Ass Blue Moon. We can feel it. Feels like a creepy swelling. Keep feeling it.

Friday Night SS just so happens to coincide. Happy happy. Get your one speed bicycles and your good times, too. We gonna celebrate and party witchu. El Encinal Graveyard, NW corner, 7:30ish.

27 August 2012

meanwhile...from a secret HQ, somewhere over your head

Aside from all the observations regarding corporate BULLSHIT (at a bike shop?!?) at work(s)- and there are a lot I could make, at this point- I will confine it to addressing the absurdest of "issues". To wit: the way to ride to work is the most direct route.

That is a false statement.

A way to ride to work is the most direct route. The way, in my opinion, is the funnest way. Taking into account your time limitations, and your laziness, and your lack of any substantial understanding of the radness of actually riding (you know, versus talking about riding), and your weather concerns, and your whatever sort of physical limitation it is, and your deep seated need for any ride to be a scheduled and regimented training ride, and your sand bagging, the point stands. If you got a opportunity to ride then you got a opportunity for a real Good Time. Cram some fun in there, and you won't have to fill that void with a bad attitude.

22 August 2012

Are y'all FUXKING KIDDING ME? This camping with bikes and children (you know, if you got them and stuff) is the greatest thing going. Full stop. No one recognizes this? Sheeeeeeeit. Fuck y'all

So. Y'all prolly slept on this Lyrics Born last time around, too. WTF? Press play, losers.

I swear. I try to throw y'all niggers a party and y'all don't even care.

What? Is hearing about how badass it is to SS that hillside ish again worth reading? I'm unmotivated to document it turn by turn save to recall how much value there is to be had in fucvking sweating so much your eyes hurt while ripping saingletrack. Bitches. Shut up. Damn.

20 August 2012

automatic detection

Day 3 of the Last Camping Trip of the Summer 2012 followed, as mornings will, the night before. My lovely wife is the menu planner, and she had wisely, deliciously, planned the more involved dinner on the 1st night. I say that because she would be there to chef whilst I would be there to have hauled heavy stuff and be drunk around the campstove twig fire. Point being, the 2nd night was tofu dogs. Easy enough for a 1/2 in the bag Papa to feed his boys after Mama and daughter had left and gone back to town. But, as we had picked up an extra and retained an extra, there were still 5 children to 3 adults. 3 men who'd been lazing about in the river in the sun with beer in hand. E made all the mac and cheese in his arsenal, and every child stepped up with a plate. I made each tofu dog, ran out of buns even, and every child was back. We dug out the (cans!) of black beans, an onion, some chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt and kept after it until every child and every adult was full and the clamoring for s'mores had begun. Oh! those Summer nights.

The afternoon before that night, we'd all headed up Indians Rd to see off those of our crew as were bailing. We parted at the trailhead to the Gorge, where those of us who remained headed down for some serious cliff jumping. There were some folks camped (?!?) right at the foot of the trail. J asked them why they were camped there. He then told them there were better spots, and when asked where said "Not telling." He is 7. I love him so much. I couldn't help but burst out laughing. The campers were sour, but they are idiots too- that place is a well known day trip for nearly everyone who goes out there. It is not a camping spot.

There had been much rehashing of whats and ifs regarding what to do with the 3rd day. E (wisely, given the 1st timerness of the kids in his crew) decided to head back to town after breakfast. So after breakfast, when the bugs had come out in force, we packed up camp and loaded it all onto bikes to facilitate a quick get-away. Then we loaded out necessarys into dry bags and began the hike upriver.  (I will say that the Sealine lightweight 10L drybags are both lightweight and too damn thin; I wore a hole in one on the Kokopelli trip just from minimal wiggle room twixt bag and strap.) I had the lunch stuff, and J had the booze.The boys each had a floatie (the seasl and the shark), and J and I had commandeered the rafts A_______ had brought.

We have made the trip up to The Narrows 3 or 4 times now. It is worth doing. The walls are 30ish' high and maybe 3' apart at the tightest of spots, forcing the seal's flippers into some serious bending. The waterfall at the end has several ropes fixed at the top, but for us thus far the water level has been too high to climb the falls. This time it was perfect.

As I swam J up the tight bend, we talked about what to do if he fell out of his raft. He is a good swimmer, but. It is important to not panic. Having a plan helps. If he were to tip, he should get to the surface and find the raft, then hang on. Simple. I pushed him, in his raft, to the foot of the falls and we paused there to watch and see. There were some folks having some confidence issues on the crux, whereby one crosses the torrent at the head of the falls via a separate fixed rope. Seeing as how it was easy looking, I sent D up the falls to sus it out. Easy peasy. So he stayed at the head, and I at the foot and J went up the rope between us. The old gal who'd been mildly freaking out must have been spurred by the sight of a 7 year old handling the climb with aplomb, because she finally committed and got  the hell out of the way.

Thus we accessed the natural water slide above the falls. No joke. Though only 10' long, it started right and hooked a strong left that threw you right over and dropped you into a warm, clear pool just above the falls. We ran the slide many times. The pool around the corner had some half-assed cliffs for some half-assed jumping, which suited us just fine at that point. We were tired. And there was the hike/float/hike back to the bikes and the ride out to consider.

When we got back to the race van, it was night. We had 3 lights for 4 people, and it worked just fine. I will not forget the image of my sons riding back, loaded with camping gear, in the full dark. Our feet had suffered (as of this writing my toes and insteps are still scabbed) from the wet hike, and we were bruised, bitten and tired.

What better?

18 August 2012

each and everyone of you be on some kind of shit

If I ever wondered what I might do on Trail X at spot Y when faced with Ranger Z, well now I know. I'd immediately (as soon as the white service truck is spotted) turn that bike around and begin my sprint. Upon getting out of view I'd begin looking for a shallow enough angle in the slope above up which I could scramble. People in cars don't look for routes that aren't apparent. It's the blinders on for them- if it isn't clear for their car-based perspective, they won't see it. When I was far enough up that slope to be out of the immediate line of sight of a driver, I'd stop and listen. I'd have had to have hurled my SS up slope several times and climbed up to it to hurl it anew. When no noise greeted my listening ears, I'd continue up that slope and marvel at the density of the poison oak thicket. I'd pick my route as carefully as I could. I'd hit the high trail and head back the way I'd originally been going.
But this is all purely hypothetical.

Friday Night SS Ride went like I expected. We don't talk about it. I had some koozies made:

that's a sideways picture taken at the graveyard. It has a picture of le coq hardi, with the classy Latin phrase "est non ad nutrientibus se". Pretty self explanatory, really, but: everbody is all crazed about the Belgian lion and have made it the symbol of cyclocross in this country. I find that nonsensical. This is my rebuttal. I may be throwing these at you this cross season. Keep your eyes open in the tight spots.

16 August 2012

warnung warnung

Yo. Friday Night SS Ride is on (again) like Donkey Kong. In order to keep it fast and loose, below radar, and fressssh the meet up shall be:
San Carlos Cemetery...the Northeast corner has a perfectly situated bench for ____king and stuff.

Don't kid yourself. Route(s) to be determined on a ride by ride basis. Bring: your big boy/girl pants, a bike with lights if you got em and repair stuff, a good attitude, a list of grievances, and this paddle game, and that's all you need.


14 August 2012


Interjection: if you happen to be out in it, riding your bicycle, equipped with the disc brakes, and you find pad wear has gone far past the point of acceptability you can use the pull tab of a cheap canned beer as a shim between pad and piston in order to limp home. Or, say _uck it, and keep riding for a while.

*edit- that's _utha _ucking Kool and the Gang right there, playing Summer Madness!!!! You better click it.

12 August 2012

guaranteed to give you the creeps

Day 2 of the Last Camping Trip of Summer 2012 began with coffee,breakfast, and agitating for the rope swing to be set up, like, now. I declined. It isn't too early to learn anticipation...

And, plus, in the meantime the kids come up with entertainment on their own. They brought out a couple chestnuts: Little Sally Walker ( a musical chairsesque dance party), and the new to me Good Day Bruce (an Australian accented word game). Hilarity ensued. Way better than everyone off in their own private virtual world.

For those who wondered what I'd forgotten this time, it was the tent poles for the 2 person tent that the girls would use. No problem, we drank a couple a Hamm's and pulled out some Surly Junk Straps and a pair of bungees and it was all of a sudden ultralight! Worked...

Children who sleep in tents deserve to be hassled.

Bike pile!

The water was way too low for grown-up rope swangin.  It was fine for the kids. I gave it a shot, and alls I got in return was a banged up foot.



Low hanging cliff jumps.


We gained some company for the day, and then lost them plus 2 of our own. Camping in shifts, if that's what it takes. E____ told us we were "core", but I think it's just doing it. Your kids are subject to your whims...make them toe the line. They will (maybe) thank you for it later.

09 August 2012

know the joy of dirty living

Perhaps it is joys. Definitely joyous.

 Joy us. Joy for us. And I'm jumpin on it. Regular Arroyo Seco route, with a surprisingly expanded cast of characters.  4 adults, 5 kids on Day 1.

 Friend J is a seasoned PRO, as evidenced by his rig:


And we took on loan M____, #2 daughter of a friend/neighbor as well as our own pickneys. Remember that GT I expanded with the Xtracycle kit I had laying around from pre-Big Dummy days? Of course you do. I set it all up (back then, even) with the side-loader bits and the deck we've been using so that E____ could take his son L____ on a Spring Break camping trip that got rained out...well, they made it this time round:

 This was L's first ever bike camping trip. He has been used to the camper and electric conveniences. I believe it was eye-opening for him. He and J have been bros (what can I say? They're from Cali.) since they could walk. J was suuuuuper stoked to finally have a friend his age along.

The loan of the Xtracycle platform necessitated some last minute bike swapping as I tried to distribute all our customary Arroyo Seco gear amongst my family's bikes. A rope swing is a bulkier item than you think. And there are floaties to consider. I ended up running the Fargo and pulling the BOB trailer. It worked OK. That bike is more suited to personal bikecamping than the gypsy wagon set-up required(?) for camping with kids, but we made it work with everyone hauling something. 3 days of backcountry won't haul itself.

 Man, I sure do love turning that corner from the shitty, gangster-strewn lower level camping areas (seriously- spray painted XIV etc. on the rocks in the river, for crying out loud. Salinas needs to chillax.) and opening my eyes to the Ventana.

  Flip the switch.

 It was a stark contrast between the 2 youngest boys' experience levels. We all start where we are. Hopefully the hook is set, and inspiration follows. There was some whining. There were tears.

 E rallied on his 1st ever bike camping trip. Especially when taking into account his non-biking surfer ways. Loaded. On a cargo bike.

Day 1 was really evening 1 by the time all was said and done. Getting there and setting up camp were about all we accomplished. Fire ban= s'mores over the twig burning stove.

04 August 2012

with a hippity hop and a hippity ho

With the howlingest of howls. The Full Kick Ass Moon remained shrouded both of 3 nights running, riding, looking. The misty fog did seem lit from within (though that may have been us) and it was enough to creep along at a pace that felt scary fast but wasn't. Fast. It was a little scary. But, as we all know, the trails in Fort Ord are comprised of a magical sand which luminesces during Full Moons. If you missed it, you're ______. I won't even go into reasons, cuz there are only 12 and all of them irrefutable. Monterey.Pfffft.

I ride my bike.

No ride is only good stuff. If you have driven to the sweet trailhead, well- among things left unsaid, that was the bad part. A real ride, which is one wherein you have been riding the entirety, will have it's bits of...for example, Cside. Bits which must be gotten through to get to the Goods. Obviously we all try to minimize the negative. It is impossible to avoid completely, so just cut through the Embassy Suites p-lot, catch the light perfectly, and head down GO! up Sonoma. SS heaven. Perfect go fast grading. You can catch and pass the weirdo commuter that ch-ch-chugged past you on the bike path with his running suit wind pants tucked into his white socks as he huffs and puffs up Broadway. The secret? Don't even look at him as you smoothly pull by.

Point being: there is fun to be had aboard your bicycle. What do you want to do with your Life?