Next Full Moon

Thursday, March 5th Full do-the-Worm Moon

21 February 2015

empty as a pocket

As if everbody would know what I was talking about. Mostly, February (as opposed to Spring) Break. Kids get a week off of school. Gotta do something.


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My posse's getting big...



The boys and I drove over to the put-in and loaded ourselves (meaning me) up with camping gear for 5. Don't worry, though. This time we went ultra-light. We left out the folding camp chairs, the 2 burner propane stove, the cast iron dutch oven, etc. We are so soft nowadays that we just hauled out sandwiches for the 1st night's dinner and enough fixings for a couple breakfasts (DON'T forget the coffee!) and lunches. The ladies were to meet us the next day- bringing burritos for the 2nd night's dinner, and themselves.





and my posse's getting bigger.





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My posse's always ready, cuz my posse has velocity.




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We set up camp and gathered firewood before settling in.

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Break.

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It is still February...

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The new (6man!) tent is roomy. And weighty...


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Everybody helps. Breakfast dishes...


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...and grab assing.


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Kid bikes. NO racks?!? That's how soft.

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We messed around camp, throwing rocks, jumping in the (refreshing!) river. We were visiting Spring, but barely- it's plenty chilly. The lupines are just sending up their flower buds. A couple weeks and blooming things will be in full swing.  As we got antsy and pulled out bikes, who should arrive but the ladies?

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So the lot of us cruised over to check out the old adobe/Girl Scout Camp and the waterfall. Nobody wanted to ride but me, and I think I know why.

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Waterfall. I've not seen it running so big before. The water was waaaaay too cold to get hecka excited about it, to be honest. Although that did not stop the Newt King from his appointed role:

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Back to camp...

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I brought those eno party lights again, and we had ourselves a dance party. It's nice the kids will still get up off the wall with us...



Break.


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In the morning, the ladies stayed for coffee but then left us mens to our own devices agains.

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We cruised over to that 1st swimming hole and checked it out. It is a steep trail (steep enough to have ropes fixed along one section) and the beach is underwater right now. We checked the beach across the river, and found it covered in refuse. I don't understand how folks go to such effort to get to a secluded and unspoiled spot and then proceed to literally trash it. I envision young assholes who talk a good outdoorsy game and then don't meet each others' eyes as they slink off, leaving their garbage behind...I would enjoy teaching them some manners.

So, we cleaned it up and hauled it out. I forgot to mention the garbage left behind at the campsite nearest the waterfall. Which we also cleaned up and hauled out. Motherfuckers.



We got back to camp, made lunch, I cracked my last beer (saved in the creek per the Newt King's advice), and we packed up our own camp.

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As if everbody here would know exactly what I was talking about.

15 February 2015

an old school man-of-the-world

Close your eyes and dream you up a camp-out.



See the lights of town dwindling and get all tingly...





What with the daughter all grownish and driving, it's pretty easy to arrange a pick up these days. That'll extend your range. I'm not above receiving a helping handout. So, it was ride out the valley and turn right. All by meself, and just after dark I slithered through the gates, paid no fees, and rolled on through that dark, around the corner to dirt, and on up the hill. Climbing and breathing for a little more than an hour gets you to the camp spot. It's just a little up the hill from the spring, flat and clear.



You'd think I'd have some skills at this by now, but nope. It's always something*. Setting up in the dark, sure- 1/2 in the bag (flask of Michter's rye, though that is subject to change)- you might make some rookie moves with your tarpage. You might. So, sure, the rain (40%) came up and sat. What with the coastal range holding it up from progressing inland, it sat for several hours. I dozed fitfully as a result. All night with an ear to the storm, ready for quick action should it be required. Sunrise brought a settling in the weather, and I slept in because I could. Camping by your lonesome is nice that way. Nobody's business but your own.




So that there is the set-up sans tarp. You can see how the bike is the center support. The front wheel is propped up with rocks and the guy-line (absent in the photo) to further support the tarp. It is a real clever system, as it requires no poles or trees and keeps the bike out of the weather too! There is plenty of room under there. Another person, were there one in this rider-forsaken locale who enjoys this type of hott action, could easily fit. Even 2 more people. The Crazy Creek tarp is a real fine piece of kit, and your local bike shop can get you one.




The next day saw me sweating my way along, down, through, across and up to finish with a ripping down...to the sunset over the Pacific.








 Hasn't gotten old yet.



When I reached the bottom, I set up my waiting room on the shoulder. My daughter wasn't due for a couple hours, so I reckoned I'd catch up on sleep. The party lights (eno, and your local bike shop can get them...) are to keep people from driving over me.

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This is one way to do it.




*Hey R__k, I learned the taut line! Now it's all gonna be cake.


30 January 2015

tell-tale evidence of criminal activity

Get on your bicycle, whatever type it is, and pedal it away from your home. Ride it along (some streets most likely) to get where you need to be at. No cars need be involved.




To me, I will take the dirtiest way every time when I have the time. It's just much easier on your constitution.


Ride choice goes in cycles, as things will. It is easy to ride the same old route. That's where I been lately. Even if I decide ahead of time to do Y, by the time I realize I'm committed, I've let my unconscious make my turns for me and I am riding X again. It's not a complaint- that route is so ingrained because it's a good one.

On the other hand, Variety is spicy and I like that.

20 January 2015

to the bitter end

Riding of one type and another. I hadn't been on my street bike for months? yes, it's true. I forgot to mention here (on account of I mentioned it at my other unpaid innernet bicycle stuff writing gig) the full moon ride down to Esalen. It was aboard the street bike, and it was almost all for which you could you ask- my shitty phone camera couldn't capture the incredible imagery of the shadow arches cast by Bixby Bridge, etc. and also sadly, C____ opted out of Old Coast as 23s were deemed unappealing on dirt. Me? I'm running some 37mm Panaracer Paselas (with the gumwall, naturally) on account of that tyre is unaccountably kick-ass on a variety of surfaces.

So you ride one bike for a period, forsaking all others, and you forget the wonderful differences that are to be savored. Ride another bike and it all comes rushing back. And then you want to fiddle with saddle height, and ruminate over stem length ad nauseum.  Thus, the resumption of street biking. Why, just the other day I rode some road and some dirt to get to roads leading to sand. _other_ucking HERO SAND. Fort Ord is set up so nice right now! Tacky, with just enough moisture content to cradle the tyre in the could-be-crumbly off camber berm. I especially love that.



You know, but on the way there are little pockets of RADness everywhere. I try and hit them all. So much niceness, all this sneaky cut-thru and the trail behind the houses and the back ways and.

seems like nothing

That there is a little corner of Heaven, custom made just for you. It used to be a corner of suck, but I stopped my raging torrent of personal record setting and fixed the trail. It keeps the nice nice.

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This section remains, but it now remains a work-in-progress. We are chipping away at it, under cover of darkness.

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And, but, so riding. Eventually,after much huffing and and rallying, I warshed up at Lookout Ridge. Sorry about your hematoma. It's a nice spot for a beer from the stash under the oaks and a view.


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From there, it's the rippingest quickness. 2 wheel drift into the tacky (!) berms and push that edge, homie. Push it real good. Down, and down, and down to the swoopy ups. Across, upy downy, through to the New Stairs.



It should come as no surprise that I consider the spot to be MINE. (I made it, after all.)  But, as was recently pointed out to me by my Nighttime Ride Adviser, you put something out in the public domain...and it becomes everybody's. It's a bitter pill.

Because then there is shit like this here:




Let that soak in for a moment. It is the note from the last time the spot was trashed. It lay upon several unopened canned beers, an empty/capped jar (for snacks, to keep the wood rats out), and a couple crushed empties, all tucked in the bole of the tree and covered by a 9"x9" piece of wood. Some member of the public has found "my" spot and this note, and has added to it a demand for weed.

Speechless at the presumption. Please discuss.



02 January 2015

yowl

Yo owls?

You prolly already knew Sunday is the full Wolf Moon and all. But what you didn't already know is that a bunch of yahoos are riding out under it, back and forth on streets from Carmel across the Monterey Peninsula* and trails adjacent to same. So now you know that, too.


Now is your local chance to stop blowing it.


You heard?  Good Luck and pack something warm in which to stand around the cold woods whilst dranking, etc.




Yes, this one again. It's the motherfawking WOLF moon...


*looking to roll forth from the graveyard no later than 7pm.

01 January 2015

yo



Anybody out there thinking about the Arizona Single Speed "championships"? Saturday February 7th is race day.

(hyperlink: SINGLE SPEED ARIZONA)

Yes, I don't live there. But word on the street is that the course is going to be real good...and what else are you gonna do in February that involves bicycles? I realize this is not the Full Snow Moon (that'd be the 3rd, which is the Tuesday before) and that is a black mark, granted.

I am thinking about riding my SS  thru Big Sur to SLO and taking the train over to Tucson. That way, I can (not drive) have a nice time the whole time. Maybe get some hott full moon type action whilst riding down the coast...take the train on Wednesday, arrive Thursday, and "win the race" on Saturday. In it to win it. Looks like around $200 round-trip...

I talked to So and So about going, and he was unenthused. I understand. Seems like the SSWC has become...well, less a gathering of people who enjoy single speeds and partying and more a gathering of people who enjoy gatherings of people who enjoy single speeds and partying. You know? But, while I can see that side of it, I can also see the side of it whereby new trails are ridden and new people are well met...fuck a bunch of costumery.

Anyhow, I'm thinking about it. Who's in?

31 December 2014

jam it in!



But if it don't fit, don't force it just relax and let it go.




You know how we do. Some a y'all do it too.

We had to get in one last bicycle campout while 2014 is still going on. There was the trying to fit this on that, and the lubing all a the chains, and the pumping up all a the tyres, and the finding and then the packing of all the warm clothes (and some yelling about choosing for conditions, not for trends), and the piling and the winnowing and the loading and the time got away from us. It being Winter (OK, winter) the days are short.

So there was the jamming the rigs into the race van for the assist. L dropped me and the boys off at the top of the hill. It saved us an hour's worth of effort and strife. We coasted down on backstreets and bikepaths until we hit the automall.

Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

It is one of the Great Ironies that the quietest/safest bicycle route thru Cside(!)  is the service road thru the auto dealerships. Truth.


We were pared all the way down (for winter conditions)...

Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

Why's the set-up like it is? Cuz it is. Sleeping gear for 4. The backpack on the front is loaded with clothes. It was fine, but we swapped that jacket for the other one and then it bulged down and rubbed on the front tyre. Solution: a stick, found roadside and braced under it.



Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

Racing the sun. Serious competitors know when the serious climbs begin, and that is the time to adjust layers while you can...if you got a sucker along who'll haul all a yer stuff for you? All the better.




You know it was dark by the time we reached the spot. As if it could be otherwise. Ha!




My sweetie had stuff to do and was to meet us at camp, but things will turn out differently than planned. OK, plan B. Then Plan C, where X marks the meet-up. I ended up riding out to escort her thru the dark woods on account of she is skeered. The boys are used to this sort of thing (not skeered), and remained hidden in the dappled woods like little curled up fawns awaiting the return of their stagnant parents? (Too much? It's reaching, I know) But what a nice cold night to be riding lightlessly along a trail! January 4th is the Full Wolf Moon, and it is wax on.

Traffic was insane, so further delay. I waited in the shadows for a quiet while. When L arrived, I pulled her bike out of the vehicle as she packed the take-out burritos. You can decide for yourself whether we are soft or we are smart. Dogs were barking. That means it is really time to leave. We got gone. Slipped out from under the streetlights and into the woods.


Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

Gross and awesome? Eh, it keeps out the riff-raff.




Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

Burritos and board-games in the woods...


We set up the new/never-been-opened (4person!) tent in the dark, like you are supposed to do. It wasn't bad. The Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL4 seems pretty nice. My crew prefers a tent- I do not. It's fine, preferable even, when there are bugs. Otherwise, I like being outside, and even inclement weather (Condors can testify! Driving hail? Etc.) is handled with a well-rigged tarp. Then you have some sight lines and some flow. My favorite is the stars for a roof. Every time I woke up, it felt like a room, not a campspot, even with the good moon and Oak shadows. Call me particular.


Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

Pure observation. No complaints can be made. Everbody was snugged up and warm on an adventure, even if only a wee little one.


Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

L got up early, having to be to work, so she and I rode out to her truck while the boys slumbered on.

Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

It was a cold camp (low of 31* and the sand was crunchy) in every sense of that phrase, and we packed up to get as quick as we could. I was not stoked when an early morning pair of cyclists rode by, since it's technically a stealth spot. But I had my hood up, so I was as incognito as a creepy guy crouching nearly trailside breaking down a camp can be.

Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

My team-mates helped half-heartedly, and then grab-assed whole-heardtedly.

Wha? Campout! Camp it now.

We rode out to meet N, who was picking us up in the race van. This nicely rounded our little fun with some soft car rides, sure, but check this out: whatever works. She drove us over to Red's Donuts (since 1954!) and when we got home we all enjoyed our "normal" breakfast waaaaaaaaaay more than if we'd a just walked out in our PJs rubbing our eyes. That's the real niceness of a small adventure- you are that aware of how Good you got it.

So long 2014. You were a good year.


Wha? Campout! Camp it now.