Next Full Moon

July 12TH weed, whites and wine Moon

20 July 2014

winds have changed

When picking a line through the debris and/or technical bits it is best to focus on the points along that line. You will only be present at each individual spot temporarily, so if the flow takes you into some troubly looking areas it is not the big deal. Hit the high points and the momentum will keep you movin' right on thru.

I have been wallowing in the low spots of late, and it is less. Tired of- especially my sandy local trails (gah! hottt and sandy) and my local streets and my this and my that. But you can't let other people get your kicks for you.

So, that one secret project that I kept thinking about has kept me out late and sleeping in the woods, and it is ON. I got most of the hoops jumped thru, and there is a plan in place, and there are most of the necessaries in place. Momentum is high and iron is hot.

In the middle of that extended and amazing sunset, I stopped at the taqueria and the gal behind the counter recognizes me and tells me to be careful out there in the dark. She thinks there are things of which to be scared.

I just assure her that I will. I don't try to explain.

17 July 2014

buzz words

You know the deal. This is a safe place. We here are all genuine bicycle enthusiasts. Real stand up characters.

That's a reason I am obligated to tell you of my most recent happy circumstance: the "finalization" of the 27.5" conversion of the Stumpjhumper (the J is silent). As you know, the WTB Speedmaster cantis were doing a job. It was not a good job though, as the brakes were mounted so far out the arms that leverage was for shit. There was an intention to stop, but it was vague and distracted. So I ordered the 110mm armed Clark's from my local shop on account of that length arm will clear the taller tyre. Success! Cheap Success!

So, if you were wondering about the potentiality of trying out this new craze on the cheap, it is possible. Remember: it (whatever "it" is) isn't the perfect wheel size that you gotta have, it's the wheel size that matches your body and riding style that you gotta have, so


 don't believe the hype. Aside: did I ever tell you about the time I went to hear Farrakhan speak? Chuck D steered us wrong on that one. I heard the man, and I understand.

I am equal parts sad to not be using such OG cantilevers nor sweet slingshot stem canti stop as it is intended, and happy to have some brakes that work. It was a small disappointment to find that the slots were so short on such long arms (I became confused as to the point of the length) but some judicious application of the file and all...mmmm...slotted into place. Hehe. Lever swap and done. So correct. Look for much more hoopty townie rallying in the future.

But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?

A mystery package of substantive proportions.

I want y'all to tell me the name of my DJ.

16 July 2014

worth more than your opinion

Lots of cowboy carryings on around here. The big red S has their "dealer event" going on locally. That means they* spend an assload of $ on flying shoppe owners/manager typpes out here to test ride all the 2015 stuff, and impress upon them the importance and relevance and etc. of the new new. Until the newer new supersedes it, which is usually right about the time these retailers take delivery of the old new. Cycles of life and all, but it is some force feeding type of situations. You know what I'm saying?

I have not been asked to participate. You are free to draw your own conclusions, but I will state for the record that I, for one, have NOT spray painted "what happened to Contador's bike?" along the parade routes. I just can't be chuffed.

In other words, I taught a wheel building clinic this evening. What that means in practical terms is that I just repeated all the things Get A Job Bob taught me waaaaay back when. He had the good technique fo sho. This was deeply satisfying. A young lad, new to the game, eager to learn some old school arcana...I mean, in this time of machine-built robot wheel "systems" most folks don't even know that hand built is an option. I alternated between sips of Coors, heckling, and getting nostalgic with an emphasis on small adjustments over and over and over with stressing the wheel in between. Your momma's got brass nipples.

*WHO spends an assload of $ on flying their dealers wherever? You do. It's right there in the retail price, built in.  I just can't swallow the bitterness of considering this in-house promotional hoopla. Hype-la? Whatever, at minimum it's preaching to the cheerleaders just before you ram it right up their poop chutes. I'm sure Ned Overend wants to have me thrown out like that one time.

09 July 2014

jockin the bitches...slapping them hoes

So we have TVs in the bike shop, which make a lot of convenient sense if we are showing Le Tour live (or I guess any bike related content- for a while we had Quicksilver on repeat, which I enjoyed). It makes little to no sense if we are showing other stuff, and to me is distracting/irritating. I'm crusty and out of date I guess. Social media demands human sacrifices. I have my small rebellions in turning the TVs to the Home Shopping Network, or any of the Spanish telenovas (bewbs, hehe).

And as we have these TVs, and it is Tour Time: today's stage. It was a good one! I very much appreciated the addition of the cobbles, and the rain, too. Same old bitching from those inclined to bitch about PRO racing being too hard. I say, conditions are never "too tough". Conditions were perfect! Why...they should have moats filled with alligators as "road furniture". Tejay Van Garderen is as soft as David Millar. "You guys got your drama..." I wonder what he thinks is the point? Souped up dummys riding their balls out asses off is the point- it's "racing", and PROs be ge__in paid to do it. So shut up and dance, monkey.

Yes. I realize.

05 July 2014

visit the Genuine

Or, you know, you could just move on in. It is Tour day France time on planet Earth, and that means the "fans" come out of the woodwork, from under their rocks, and in from the cold. Standing in the bike shop becomes even more the front row seat in the circus of weird obsessions.

I used to really get invested in the Tour, but now I don't even know who's riding. Radio controlled cyborg racing is not interesting to me. Regardless, for the next several weeks it will be a hot topic. People who don't ride will come in and yak it up about their favorite show, and want to get into detailed conversations regarding the merits of ever more complicated shiny bits that they want to consume...but not ride on.

I will sell anybody any number of whatever they want, it's their free choice. I will not, however, pretend to be enthused about...the collectibles. For example, a wood laminate road bike using electronic components that have to be connected to the internet for adjustment (NOT KIDDING). For the sake of what? bragging rights? Who's got the stupidest expensive bauble? I understand there is no inherent Right or Wrong in these toys with which we play. They are just stuff. Some of these toys are tools better suited to make Happiness than others, but I suppose even in that there are differences in kind. Do you enjoy tinkering with stuff that is so finicky/battery dependent/fragile, or do you want to be outside pedalling? You can be sure of which I'd rather do.

There are a lot of folks who just want to have a "nice" bike, as opposed go on a nice ride. People who poopoo the idea of climbing up that one hill because it would be the long commute (when it might add 20 minutes max, if you were sloooooow, but would add 20 times the fun if you were to consider it against the fucking bike path strewn with dogs on leashes, children on leashes, and aerobic joggers on headphones, etc). People who want to debate the merits of tire X vs tyre Y, when they aren't going to ride either of them, just put them on the bike on their wall. People who want yet another bike they won't ride. Collectors, having things. Yuck and gross.

The Tour brings all of these enthusiastic clowns into the tent.

Le sigh. Cycling is not a show on TV (or some hack website) and it is not something you have, it is something you do. Get out and do it. If you must be a collector, collect as many kick ass moments as you can. Collect skids, collect perfectly weighted turns, collect suffering.

29 June 2014

ever since

Hi, buckaroos! It's Summertime for real, and that means thinking about new bicycles, new headset sizes, and cannibals. I just finished Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman. (Spoiler: those savages ate that guy.) I figure the Rockefellers ain't reading this, so it won't add to their grief: I admit to taking a strange (savage?) satisfaction in the idea of the Mighty being brought so very low. I guess that says more about me than anything else but, to paraphrase Blowfly, I got to be true.

turn this shit up...

Don't misunderstand. I wouldn't wish that fate on anyone, and I am not interested in fucking Charles Manson in the ass, it's just...I feel a lot of folks are kidding themselves about the Nature of things. There's no joke in that story. It's well told and worth the read.

If I am going to ruin what shreds of credibility I have with this post, I may as well include the more relevant clip...

If you don't love Blowfly, we got nothing in common.


So, my clean cut son has a new-to-him bicycle. Remember JJ Shinburger's old Bridgestone camping bike? The one that J__ used on the Death Valley Ramble? It lives anew, as DR from PRs new skate commute vehicle:

Fairdale Bikes makes the Skate Rack (you can get one at your local bike shop). This set up gives the 14 year old DR the FREEDOM to get to the skate spot whenever he wants (and relieves us parents of the onus).

 As soon as it was all dialed, I made him ride over the hill to the Monterey skatepark. He knows the way.

Well, if I didn't make him, he would never self-motivate. It would always be too far or too hard or too something which keeps him from starting. I asked him afterwards how it was, and he said "not that bad." So now he knows he can do it. I'm a make him too tough to eat.

24 June 2014

now more than ever

Street bikes. Interactions with sour men in (jacked up trucks...of course) traffic can't sour me, though I will say I am not the one to consider myself a "example" of how-to cycling behavior vis a vis following the rules of the road. For one thing, too frequently bikes don't trigger lights, and for another I'm looking out for my echo, my shadow, and me. I certainly don't look for trouble where there is none.

As I am mostly commuting these days, or my rides are mixed terrain jaunts tacked on to one or both ends of said commute, I ride a lot in whatever pants I'm wearing. Wool underwear makes it all possible. But today was a pure pleasure cruise and so it was stretchy tight pants from the skin out. I forgot how easy it is to move in lycra. It's pretty easy!

...looks like Western screech owl (Megascops kennicottii) to me. A tussle in the woods? Yes, I take trails on my street bike if they look fun. It is exciting to remember you are on 32mm slicks in the midst of a course change.

Every ounce counts when you are street biking. I'm enough of a weight weenie that I take off my shoes. It is nice.

Bikes are fun. Street bikes are super zippy. It is fun to climb on them, and to go down the hills very fast.  Also, when I am finished riding the street bike, I don't feel nearly as beat up.