Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

20 December 2012

just the tools that I use to get me in a good mood

 Get a rental bike and a rental tent-cabin to get yourself a real fine time.

 A little to the North and a lot into the dank redwoods there are trails to be ridden. Loamy, leaf-strewn, by turns slippery as hell and tacky as heaven, buffed ribbons of twisting, narrow singletrack are tucked up under the redwoods, through the madrones (who knew they get as big around as that?!?), bordering the tan oaks and 'neath the bay laurels. Kitty litter and spattery mud share the same surroundings. Separated by elevation, direction, and hard pedaling are some of the finer things in life- the myriad trails of ___ _____.

 Dank and dark tent-cabins make for some fine lies. 9 times out of 10, I'll opt to sleep out. That 1 time is justifiable if the temps are getting into the freezing range, it's raining on and off, and I'm soft-hearted.

I was real happy to be wearing some neoprene extremity covers. Notes to self: blinky light, overshorts, clip-on fenders (duh!), water bottles.

Full squish is a fine time when kamping (meaning there ain't no loads on me). I rallyed as best I am able. It was Fun. I'm into fun. Whatever's funnest.

This is an area I really (REALLY) enjoy riding. The times I've been through there before have been loong cross bike EPICS (uh huh), that have me too head-down following wheels to have any but the slightest idea where I was. The 2 back to back days of uppy downy dropped some key pieces into place for my personal mental map of the place. I feel pretty good about our options for daring do come warmer weather.I feel pretty good about some looong cross bike epics.

Yo ho! Riding so Xtreme it rips the clothes right down to the skin. So pretty.

16 December 2012

we be like some Mr. Independence, takin' our own sweet time

Now that I've quit everthang disgusting, and am subsequently on a higher plane of existence than you, I return to offer Perfect Solutions to everyday problems that lesser folk have. No, no- think nothing of it.Oh, and for all of our sakes, don't start a religion over it and insist that this way is the only way and everyone has to follow it or else. Because that would just wreck the wisdom.

Step 1: strap your crosscut saw to your bicycle.

Step 2: head on over to the corner store and pick up a couple tall boys to take over to the bike tunnel and sip whilst you enjoy the graffitti and bullshit and party and bullshit and party and bullshit.

Step C: take your show on the trail, up to that one (surprisingly lengthy) downed tree- the one that fell with it's length along the singletrack.

Step 4: be smart and (who's kidding who? we know you consider it) do not get into the whiskey prior to handling and operating a 2 person saw.

                (hatchet with homemade guard, tall can, just-picked porcinis)

Step 5: saw that shit! This step has several sub-steps to it, which consist in part of: clearing the surrounding brush/debris, removing the bark so as to save your saw's teeth, placing bark skids below the log to spare your saw's teeth, beginning the cut, cutting, taking a break to drink a beer, inserting a wedge (to keep the cut ends from closing up on the saw), and finishing the cut.

Step 6: manhandle the loglets off the trail.

Step 7: show up where they keep the whiskey- beneath some bark slabs leaning against that one mighty oak.

Step 8: ride some trails.

Step 9: repeat as needed.

There you go.

11 December 2012

I don't care what's new

A guy comes into the shop and says, "My bottom bracket is creaking. I'd like it fixed." Mechanic replies, "We can do that. I'll just pull it, clean it, grease it, and reinstall it." Customer says, "That won't fix it. This is the 3rd or 4th time it's had this problem."  "Well, carbon fiber is like a resonance chamber. Any small noises will be amplified." Punchline: there is no fix. That creeping creak will return and return and return.

Folks get excited by Kawasaki Green color schemes, or lightness of weight, or going to 11, etc. That's their 1st mistake. There will be others. Perhaps among them will be mistaking the equipment for the experience. That's their worst mistake.

I don't care what you ride, I care that you ride.

10 December 2012

cheaply sensationalist

You tell me tonight.

Rolling.Trundling. The fat bike has it's ups and downs, it's strong and weak points, its pros and its cons. I like the traction, but not the draggy, sloppy road feel (I may have mentioned before how the rear tire deforms with the camber of the shoulder, even). I do not love the super-low-PSI-induced brake dive, but enjoy the float. It is pretty much intolerable for any road distance, but it shines real bright on craggy, chunky steeps and some off-piste exploration is not only an option but a fine one.

Sorry, bros and dudes- the beach is a plain drag however you slice it. You can love it if you want.

I am not impressed with the Surly Ultra New Front Hub. It keeps loosening. I use the 15 and the 17, and drive myself crazy looking for a tight front end. Is it just me? Am I crazy? Is this as good as it gets? It consistently feels like the front end twists and dives.  I am a princess and my pea is the perfect balance of tyre pressure front and rear. The lardy 1 (one) pound tubes lose air at an alarming rate. Any time the valve is opened it's a crap shoot. And yet, I have a 4.7" Big Fat Larry on order as I type this. As of now, I love the NeckRomancer as a rough stuff camper, but not as a grab and go bicycle.

I did ride it in the woods today. Some rallying and some stopping to hunt for porcinis. I only found one (1)?! and it was a day past its prime. I know, because I been watching certain amanitas and I flatter myself that I have gotten a handle on gauging their age by their deterioration- paying daily attention to color loss and overall apparent robustitude. This is the 4th time this season I have set out to take time and really look, and it is not panning out. I am made aware of just how important timing is. 2 days past prime and they can be spindly saucers of gelatin in the wetter areas. Last year was my personal opening season on mushrooms, and a bonanza. This year I tell myself it's early days yet. I sure have the itch.

I hunted up a couple cans of Coors and a nip of corn liquor which is hid up there behind that one magnificent oak. I been taking a break from boozing, and that's been nice but it's also nice to sit in the woods and drink a beer and a shot while staring at nothing. I thought about different bike builds and their requisite parts and logs and mushrooms and finding more trails accesses and camping trips. Doom sure is showing. I try and stay upbeat about my local (after all, it's that or be sour cuz you are where you are), but he makes it hard to feel anything other than small potatoes...

Ride your bike(s) if you can, cuz the woerld is ending soon?

Merry Chtulhumas. Holiday songs and ancient terrors.

some are born to sweet delight

These last few storms really kicked out all the stops. There are logs down across multiple trails that call out for clearing. And, just between you and me- the boletes are popping! It's a lot of distractions when you are riding a bike on trails around here right now.

05 December 2012

this is me being patient

People come in to the bike shop and they ask questions. I encourage this practice. We've all been to the shop that's too nice to talk to and, frankly, it sucks. Lots of PRO egos running around in amateur bodies. I try to be welcoming without seeming (or being) insincere. It really gets under my skin when people ask me questions and then interrupt before I can get through my answer. It's not that they see the end of the sentence coming, either- it's that they don't give a shit what I'm saying. Which is fine, but then why ask the question at all in that case?

This happened several times today, multiply and with different customers.

Also, if you are a team rider sponsored by a shop, you should come in respectfully and politely. !!You are NOT a retail customer!! You should be aware of this, and behave accordingly. Any interactions with you will be immediately dropped if a paying customer comes in. Your needs are secondary at best. You do not merit special attention, much less special treatment and I don't care even a little bit that you were "riding with Levi" the other day. Taking a bike off the sales floor for a 45minute "demo" is well past unacceptable, it is flabbergastingly beyond the pale.

Your part in the arrangement is representing the shop as a positive ambassador, hopefully contributing to the shop culture and ideally bringing more business. Your part is not to suck the staff's time and labor along with grubbing for every deal you can get while throwing around a PRO vibe that makes you look like a cunt and the shop like it supports cunts.

Furthermo- oh. Yes, please continue with what you were saying.

04 December 2012

can you face these haunting tales of fear and ignorance?

 'member how the Happy Trails got that brief and glorious reprieve? Well, it was brief anyhow.  Watkins Gate Rd and Parker Flats Cut-off have been opened up. The scrub is removed. The larger oaks remain but have been heavily pruned. Now there are Weston trucks and munitions removal treads hauling whatever sort of ground piercing radar they use. There seems to be a continuing daytime presence. No riding for you. No riding for me.

Rainy season has begun. The wetlands are filling up. It is time to think about skipping the level (and now water bearing) trails at the bases of ridges in favor of the more contouring side-hill singletracks. Although, 82 is a rutted mess and it has plenty of standing water. 49 and 50 are as good as they ever get.

You remember how it is when you come railing around one of those sandy corners and your rear wheel just slots into place on the perfect line...

P.S. I cleaned up your empties and I found your Park multi-tool at the shrine, when I stocked the was-missing-now-present spoke wrench. Now, if you crash while drunkenly hustling along and someone runs into your brass fenders you can true your wheel with impunity.

03 December 2012

hey mister,

 Get ready for some low quality cell phone pictures (which could be the alternate title of this weblog):

I gotta go, but my friend can stick around.

02 December 2012

retains 100%of it's strength

My shoulder still holds up to repeated high-speed crashing into wet manzanita in the middle of the night. I checked.