Friday, December 30, 2005

Yesterday revisited

I got two emails that I will share with you here, but first I must say I went to the doctor, test results show that my testosterone and cortisal levels are back to healthy. The doctor thinks I had classic overtraining based on the symptoms that I showed, now I am getting VO2 test and a handfull of other tests to see what my body lost in the down time, then a gradual incline in training load to see if I can get back on track. Looks to be next year by the time I will be back up to speed, I am planning on taking it really slow and to not overdue it because I have been told it would be very easy to be right back where I was if I am not careful. So I am now thinking of what race to make my goal for later in the year, with the goal being to finish it and be able to recover in a respectable amount of time. To prove to my body and mind that I have returned from the ashes and risen again. So it looks to be postive, and I am excited about riding again, and not feeling dogged all the time, mainly I am looking forward to feeling energized again. The more I share my story with others the healthier and that I am not alone. I shared my situation with one of the owners at my job and he related a story of his brother in law who had the same thing, no one could diagnose it with him either and he from what steve said struggled because he knew something was wrong with him but every doctor he went to would say he was fine. So thanks for reading it is helping. I hope that makes sense. Now to the two emails I got here is the first one:

People don't do well at thinking ahead, generally, but they tend to respond pretty smartly to environmental stimuli that force changes in behavior. When such a stimulus occurs, then you see a change in behavior. Even the most dismally brutal police states have had trouble forcing people to permanently change their ways. It's been called "spontaneous organization" but you can think about it as a massive response to market forces. When oil gets too expensive, starts cutting into how people enjoy their top priorities, whatever that may be, they'll change. I have little confidence that they'll alter their behavior sooner. More's the pity, because that means the change will likely come in a radical form, and that's a bummer, because life without fast motorcycles and monster trucks just may not be worth living... And yes, I bike commute, I wish more people did, but it's a reaction to a stimulus in *my* life, my pants were screaming at me every time I had to fasten the top button; and now I wish more people commuted on bikes because it's a healthier choice, I find I'm always in a good mood when I ride, and the ride itself is a fun way to steal a couple hours each day to get out on my fixie - and I'm sure many people would find the same sublime pleasure. Al Maviva
I agree, when it hit peoples pocket books they will make changes, my question is have we already done too much damage? and yes a couple hours out on the bike makes it all seem so distant, I love to ride around on my fixie and pedal away all the anger, frustration, it is my meditation. That is why being sick has been so hard, my coping mechanizm was taken away. Racing is the gravy, I couldnt even ride that was the real hard part, and when I did it just made me tired, however lately it has been fun again. I am excited. Here is the next one:

Go for a ride... I agree that people in our culture need to change there priotries...
But ranting and raving doesn't change people....
To steal from a nike ad, Just do it!
Anyhow Gandi said, Be the change you want to see.
My plans for the new year...Keep making whiskey, Keep riding my bicycle, get into the woods more, make more freinds.
Just my .02 from a fixie riding, meat and twinkie eating, go with the flow Coloradoian

Sure would love to try some of that whiskey. I agree. I rant to rant, hopefully it wakes some people up, no harm no foul. That Gandi quote is my favorite and one that I have been using throughout the year. thanks

so there you have it keep them coming, i am interested in what people are thinking. thanks, keep pedaling

Thursday, December 29, 2005

what are yur plans for the new year....

Is it the same old, or are we all going to work towards a better future, a sustainable future? I have been thinking, analyzing and inspecting my decisions and considering how I can best use my talents to help our society as a whole. To help us get over our additions and insecurtities so that we can truely survive as a soceity. Respectful and aware of our footprint, and our legacy. I dont mean to sound apocolyptic or crazy as I sometimes feel I may come across, I just truely believe through what I have read and the documentaries that I have watched recently that we are running real close to peak oil and that we as a society are waking up to the idea, but we think something else will come along to take the place of oil. That this industrial revolution that took place will continue forever, we will progress forward always consuming, endlessly. Well that is not the case, and things could drastically change, we need to be less dependent on oil, and petroleum products, we must train ourselves to think differently. The fact that this is the case or at least I see it as a real possibility, scares the shit out of me. My fear is what has been motivating me as of late, I would like to land softly or as least not nosedive in to this thing if we are going to crash I would like the landing to be as smooth as possible, and I think that if we all start doing our part now, we can make this landing easier to take and not so catosrophic. Mind you I have to stay vigilant, and it is not easy,there are complete days devoted to arguing back and forth with myself. Is it really worth it? Yes, and maybe NO. If we just crash and burn and the entire planet chokes or burns itself to death, then no, our efforts will have been fruitless, that is the synic the non believer in me. My Darth Vader side. We must not go to the dark side and think that what we do doesnt matter because we are all doomed anyway so fuck it, lets party like no tommarrow, trash the earth and when the end comes celebrate. But I would like to believe that we as humans have control and underneath it all we are lost right now with all the distractions of keeping up with the jones, with all the time it takes to just get around, we are only growing so we should figure out some way to be at peace with it all. Again I believe that we as a society, we as a country, a nation, and as individuals have control over and make decisions to get to where we are, our sucess or failure is up to us at the end of the day. Sure it is easier to blame that big world, or someone else. We as a nation and a people have lost the idea of personal responsiblity, it is always someone elses fault. Is it McDonalds fault we are fat and getting fatter as a nation? Is it Starbucks fault if we burn our lips with hot coffee? Is it the alcohol companies fault that a person is an alcoholic? Is it the bartenders fault that you drank too much and decided to drive? Where does this end? What happened to I decided to drink therefore it is my fault. What happened to taking responsiblity for your actions? I in no way mean to imply that all of us think this way, we as a nation tend to be less and less responsiblity for our actions. There is light, there are people working to get us less dependent on the middle east, they are taking responsiblity for our nation, for us a people, refusing to stand by and let us go down the toilet with out a fight. I know enough is enough and you are watching me struggle with all these issues and I in no way want to be seen as holyier than thou, I will be the first to admit I am just begining my journey towards change, I struggle with all these issues daily, I am looking to spark others in to helping me, joining me. I am looking for inspiration and partners on the journey, to keep me progressing, to ask me questions,to give me inspiration and a friendly nudge. So I again would like to challange us all to try things differenlty for the new year. Let me know what you are thinking. I am compiling my list of resolutions, send me yours and I will post them. thanks. keep those pedals spining.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

the way of the Mountain Turtle

Just in time for the holidays, because one can only spend so much time with family before they need an escape, heres to thinking of warmer days. I cant wait to read this, and look at the pics. Wanted to get this up and out to the world as soon as I saw that it was avalible. Be sure to check it out.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kent earlier this year and am proud to call him my friend. He is an amazing individual, pedaling to his own drum. He is a constant source of inspiration and a great role model. He is a peaceful warrior, modeling behavior for one and all. Gush, Gush. The other day while riding with Kent he told me of his plan to put the story of his Great Divide adventure/vision quest on the web for one and all to read, no book, no price on trees heads, no royalty checks. You get the point. He is a firm believer in what goes around comes around, so you can give what you would like to read his story. I have been waiting to read this since the article in Dirt Rag, so with out further adu here is the link to his journey.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

holidays taking over.....

Not really here. I have been working a lot, not at my usual waiting tables, there is that too, but right now I have been working for Danielle's family, they are building a house in Capital Hill here in Seattle and we are helping to do some of the work. Lately it has been a lot of ditch digging, for the water line, some miscommunication on what needs to happen so the ditch had to be dug again. I have been riding over in the rain to do this so you can imagine the mess. Today i was supposed to go and help trail build but I woke up totally exhausted so I went back to bed instead of pushing the limits, I also have to work this evening waiting tables so I didnt want to as I said above push it and be a muddled mess tommarrow. There is a learning curve.

In other news I have been reading the book "Divorce Your Car" i urge each and every one of you to read it. It is too full of information for me to try to get it all right here, but the single most destructive act we as humans do is to drive. It and all that is associated with it, just think of all the infastructure around thats soul purpose is to serve the car, gas stations, roads, asphalt, tire stores, oil change places, parking lots etc. Please read this book, I have been on a road towards less car dependence and this surely is helping me to have real solid reasons, as if I didnt already. Tires alone are so toxic, and when they accidentaly set fire they burn forever, they dont biodigrade. We wash our hands of them once we are done and think it is now someone elses problem, well they do take up space maybe not ours but somewhere they are taking up space. Well that is enough, in the new year make a pledge to do things differently, that is if you care and I think we all care we just dont take the time to think out side the box, well lets do a little thinking and a little action in the new year, make 2006 about making a personal change in the way you approach things, take more time and try to do it differently. I am not saying go on a crusade, unless that is what you wish to do, but make small personal changes can if we all do them make big environmental differences.

In other news, thanks to the Senate for not drilling in Alaskan wilderness, even though it was tacked on to a bill to send aid to the troops and huricane victims, that was a slimy move by the senator from Alaska. They are working on passing those aid bills without the drilling bill though. Finally we stand up. Patriot Act expires, let it. Does more damage than good. unless spy, spy,spy is ok with you.

Lastly this guy has taken some amazing pictures of mass consumption. He is a local Seattle artist, i have not met him, but I admire his work.

Friday, December 16, 2005

hammer or model approach

The other day I had the pleasure of seeing my friend Kent, we met at his new job. He is now working for both the Bike Allience and Sammamish bikes, but come January he will be full time at the Bike Allience. I am very happy for him. This post has a lot to do with our conversation on our ride from Downtown Seattle towards his home in Issaquah, hope I spelled that right. While at the bike station I picked up a book, Divorce your Car, in fact I was there in part to supply him with my copy of Let my people go Surfing. I digress. Kent and his wife have been carfree, and when I say that I mean no car, not a car they dont use, I mean no car, nada zip. He rides, or they take the bus. NO car. The man has a lot of commitment. We talked about the benefits, I have been sans car, I am waiting for the title right now so that i can sell it. We have decided that we dont need two cars and will slim down to just a car for the time being. I would love to go car free, but as with everything it is a process, sometimes it is good to go cold turkey others takes time to brake habits of over 30 years. My girlfriend think of it as a nice idea right now, she is not willing to commit cold turkey. Can you blame her?
Getting to the point, I have as of late been raging, with my two fingers in the air, ranting raving about our society and the need for us to change our habits, about consumerism, about anything and everything that I want to express my opinion about. It is my point of view that the vast majority of people need to be woken up. I have not always been known for taking the easy road, I at times need to be hit over the head with the perverbial sledgehammer, I have never and will never claim to be with out my flaws. The flaws are what make me me, or at least that is what I telling myself. Thinking this about others helps me, it makes them easier to take, it helps me see their point of view. As of late my approach could be seen as the hammer as of late, I am pounding you readers and the world out there over the head, hoping that a crack my open and then something may sneek in to the consiousness.
Kent approach could be seen as a model approach, quietly doing his thing, providing a model for those that care to take note. Not yelling, not even making a verbal wave, just patiently modeling for all of us. Not much seems to bother Kent, he just moves through the world, thinking good things about most of our society, because lets face it most of us are good natured we just get crazy behind the wheel, lose focus for a second, daydream, we are not inherntly evil or out to cause harm and unrest. Chaos is part of our world, but most of us want peace and justice and to live out or lives in the good company of those around us. He thinks good things and gives people the benefit of making mistakes. Basically in my view he sees us all here just trying to get through the day, and in generally good.
I think that both approaches work, and I agree with him, and I think that he agrees with me, I think of it as a two pronged approach, those of us raging provide the cracks in the wall he provides the insiration and model. In this way we are two warriors out for the common good and the same goal. Ride on, pedal on and work for the same goal. thanks.

here is something funny..

that is if you arent a George Bush supporter, and even if you are if you can laugh at yourself this may work. Check out this then search out the jibjab link, third from bottom left if all stays the same, then go to to see the full lenght feature. It appears they are working on their server. I am in the middle of dealing with the banks and the mortages companies over some gross miscommunications. They are trying to drain a man. oh well, part of the game I guess.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

notes on trying to live and examined life

I just got done with Let my People go Surfing, from patagonias founder, he talks a lot about living and examined life, and I have been for quite some time now been trying, weather or not I knew it to live and examined life. I wasnt intent to just get by, to just go through the motions, but the more I look in to all aspects of my existence the more I come to terms with the fact that it is a process and not an easy one, because some times the answers that you get are not the ones you want to hear. As you start to look in to each purchase or each use of the car or each flight home to see family, you must weigh the pros and cons and it becomes glaringly obvious that at times the only answer is to do the one with the least impact, that leaves the smallest footprint. I currently live in Seattle, but a lot of the organic produce that the stores have comes from California, or Mexico, so while the produce is organic there was still a pollution and damage caused by getting it here, in the form of fuel consumption. So you look at getting things closer to home, but there are no farms in the city limits, maybe a Pea patch or two, but no real means of sustaining us all, that and the climate itself is not condusive to it. So what does one do? Organic Cotton still has an impact on the environment, but incrementally it is on the right path towards the way we should be thinking and what procducts, if we must consume products, we should be consuming. The other day I talked about packaging and such, how can we as consumers demand or push for less packaging, because lets face it part of the price is inclusive of packageing, so in a way we could all be saving if things were packaged differently. Glass reusable containers are always better than single serving use items. For the new year I am going to try to shrink the size of my footprint by and this is a crude list and subject to change depending on how things go. I plan to have this list finalized by New years, I hope.
1. carry a coffe cup, mug for beverages, or consume out of reusable, washable drinking vessels. I hope to get a metal mug,one with the least amount of PVC contained within it. we all know the dangers of PVC, think cancer. think bad for you. I do remember a time when if you brought your own mug the coffee was much cheaper, well these times need to return. Lets face it the way to motivate people to do things is to make it finacially viable, then later on they realize how they are actually doing something that has an environmentll impact. Why is it that we as human beings love the outdoors but we rarely motivate ourselves solely on the fact that a act will be good for the environment? just a thouhgt.
2. Going along with number 1 carry silverware incase I encouter a plastic only food decision.
3. Buy local whenever I can. I plan to get growlers of beer from the locally brewerys as opposed to from the store. The farmers market is a great idea, for a meal once a week.
4. Think before I buy. Buy organic clothing, but only when I need. Really limit purchases to needing an item, not just wanting it. Think about where it comes from. Buy recycled products or products made from recycled material.
5. Volunteer on trail building initiatives at least once a month.
6. Ride my bike for as many and to as many functions/activities as my body allows me to.
7. Get healthy. one way or anther, get back to normal, I am not a fan of the word normal because what is normal really, we are all fighting our own battles, but a normal level of life, where I once was.
8. Recover, finacially, mentally and physically.
9. Keep better records, be more organized. Limit clutter. This is going to be hard for me, I have stacks and plies of things all around my computer, with notes scibbled in corners of ripped papers all over the place. I need to get organized, it is however the motivation to do so, the initial clean that is daunting, then the daily mantience,once used to is easier.
10. To cook a new recipe and to have a day/night where I cook for a number of days. A new recipe a week.
11. Learn more about proper nutrition. Eat a raw foods meal once a week.
12. tying in with number 6. Sell my car. Sell my girlfriends car and by a desiel car/truck and convert it so it runs on vegatable oil, part of the time. Use biodesiel when not using vegatable oil.
13. Focus on the positive. In myself, others and the world.
14. Be less judgemental. I have been a crappy fucker as of late. Real fun to be around you can imagine.
15. Believe in myself again. This has been a long year, one where I lost the faith in myself, my self worth and happiness has been tied to exersise and a passion in one way or another since I found skateboarding as a 12 year old. It has always been my outlet, my coping mechnism, with that gone as of late my self worth has suffered. This is no good. No matter what we are all doing our best.
16. To do my best at what I choose to do. Doesnt mean I will be the best but with each experience to stive for a personal best. I call this my commitment to learning. To be in the moment.

This is what I have been coming up with and this is the first time that I have commited these to paper, so to speak so I will be revamping and revisiting them and getting them more polished. MY new montra has been: I will rise again. tattoo to follow. be strong, and keep pedaling.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Tis the season to buy,buy,buy. We all know nothing says I love you more than a gift. The holidays are supposed to be a time of good cheer, to celebrate life and family, to bring people together, it seems more and more it is a time that we feel the pressure to spend money to show how much we care for someone else. I had the pleasure of joining in the spending spree the other day. My girlfriend and I were on the way to do some work at her parents house, but we had to stop and get some sweet nothings for members of her family as the christmas package was going out the next day. So at 10:30 on a Saturday not less in mid December we headed to downtown Seattle to look around. Having had very little sleep I was in a subdued mood to begin with, but all the sitting in traffic, looping of the parking lots, raised my blood pressure in a hurry. All those people with their shopping bags in one hand and their 4 dollar grande mocha from Starbucks in the holiday cup no less, running frantically from store to store to soak up the sales. There we were staring at items that were made in god knows what kind of conditions, in a far away land, in I am sure an environmentally damaging way, and I had to fight the impulse to buy things, for no other reason than they were in front of me and as a human being I have been conditioned from day one to consume. Nothing says I love you like consumption of goods. Nothing makes you feel better about yourself than purchasing something new, for a minuete. I read a frigtening statisitic the other day, and I will share it with you, ready...Ninety percent of the goods that we purchase end up in the landfill within 60 to 90 days. Think about it. I'll write it again so that you dont have to reread it..... Ninety percent of the goods that we purchase end up in the landfill within 60 to 90 days. WTF. That will certainly make me think twice about my next purchase, or for that matter what I send to someone. My family has always filled out christmas and birthday lists and sounded off about what we want, we only did this to ensure that we got the gift that we wanted, but it looks to me that our selfishness if you choose to call it that, had an added benefit, we actually used what it is we were given. I can tell you this...what I buy doesnt end up in the landfill, want to know why, I really have a hard time throwing things out, my girlfriend will without my knowledge throw things away, or give them away. On the flip side think of all the packaging of goods that gets thrown out, the bags, the coffee cups we get with the lids, the reciepts, the list goes on and on. Think of all that gets thrown out in everyday life just due to the way things are packaged. When I stepped back and really look at all the thing that there is no other way to do it I am amazed, even places like Whole Foods and Wild Oats, and organic food comes in plastic wrap and packaging that not all of it can be recycled or reused. Things will not change until we as consumers and citizens demand that they change or work for them to change.

I promise I will get to the title, it just may take me a while. Here I go. I am again on my soapbox, I find myself more and more enraged with the way our society is headed right now, with all the injustices. It seems to me that we have become conplacent, we have lost our will to fight as a whole. We want everything at a low price, who cares about quality anymore, or the impact, the true impact of production, delivery and disposal. I just had the pleasure of watching Wal Mart the hight cost of low price. Blown away. It truely is scary, and I can tell you this I wont shop there ever agian. I now know too much to shop there with a clear consious. Everyone should see this movie. Lots of useful information is contained within it. We just care about the price point. Then we, as a society wonder why, things break. If we took in to consideration the true impact of what we produced and consumed things would be more expensive we think, what if it was just done that way, i.e. organic foods, organic cotton, sustainable paper, sustainable clothing, better public transportation, light rail, solar panels, obviosly I am getting a little abstact here, and I may be preaching to the choir of readers of this site, but we can all do something in a more sustainable way. Shit even the most sustainable stuff right now needs to be done with less impact, there just arent some process that have been figured out yet. We as a society are no longer seen as citizens we are seen as consumers because that is what we do. We have been so prosperous in the last 20 years that we think it will just keep going like it is, infinatly. Well that is just not the case and we are at a critical space in our development as a society, we comfort ourselves by saying that we will be able to sustain our continued growth, so why bother, well we are at a very critical time and I predict that life as we know it will drastically change to the negative if we keep consuming at the rate we do. We need to change from a cradle to grave society to a cradle to cradle society, a society that plans for reuse, not just recycling or worse sending it to the landfill. Patagonia is a company that is stiving to do this and Youn Chouinard's book Let my People go Surfing, is a great read and inspirational to boot. I suggest you read it. While you are at the book store might I suggest you pick up a copy of Gary Ericksons book, Raising the Bar.

So with the new year around the corner I challange each and every one of you to analyze how you life your life and do one thing regularly that you dont do now in the new year that is more sustainable than the way you do it now. Compost, recycle rainwater, flush the toilet less, ride your bike to work more, walk to places that you can, eat organic, volunteer to save the enviroment, buy clothing that is made in a sustainable manner, dont buy things you dont need. Change the view of us being consumers instead of citizens, buy locally, buy fresh, think about your habits, and make a small change, if we all start to do this slowly but surely the process and the movement will pick up pace and before we al know it we will be a society that only has sustainable products. Imagine that. One small step at a time. Personal responsibility, take it on. So sound off now or in the new year with what it is you plan to do differently. Peace, may the force be with you.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Big Fix...

For those of you out there that dont know about this charity ride yet, called the Big Fix, it is a one of a kind event with saving lives in mind. MoJo as he is known to his friends has a daughter Dakota who was diagnosed with a rare illness, there is more information on the link above, and it makes more sense to me that rather than paraphrase it you should get all the info right from the horses mouth. I will be a big supporter of this event, and if I can get my health, physically as well as mentally in order I may just join them for a bit. I dont think that anything of this nature, riding fixed and singlespeed bikes across the country has ever been done, what an amazing ride it will be, bonding to the core, I would think. Then again all of the fixed/singlespeed riders I have met along the way, especially the fixed gear riders, there is an immediate bond with very little conversation needed, although of course that comes easy as well. Mr. MoJo and I dont know each other, we have never met and only emailed each other a few times, but I feel a connection. Is it the fixed gear underground? Not to sound sentimental and all but we are a small grop of indviduals attempting to show that it can be done differently, brakes? maybe? maybe not? road or off road? Mojo is not the only person that I see this happening with there is Kent Peterson, the Gonterian, the Vulture. Wade where are you? There are suprises coming your way. I am sure there are others, so sorry if you were not named. The biking world is small the fixed gear world is intimate, bonded, afraid to coast. haha. So lets all get behind this support it and see that it raises money to save lives and promote research. No matter what getting across the country on a fixies is an accomplishment, but the riders will have a higher purpose to motivate them through all the lows, as the highs are easy to get through. best wishes

In other news I helped with trail building in a first of it kind the local mountain bike advocacy group the bbtc is in charge of the design and building process. An in city mountain bike park being built on DOT land under the freeway here in Seattle, called the . Ground was broke a month ago, and it is scheduled to be done in a little over a year. There are two trail building sessions a week. So I brought my camera and of course it died before I could take pictures and the weather was horrid so I didnt bother to go get batteries or I would have pictures, next week I will get pictures. Back to the project. It is two acres that is going to be packed with twisty single track, a area for huckers to huck , maybe some dirt jumps, and novice areas as well . Attmpting to make it user friendly and an in city spot that can fulfill a lot of peoples needs. I think that it is going to be quite spectacular. Yesterday we were moving heavy rocks to build retaining walls for the some of the switchbacks. The plans are up on the bbtc's website so play around and check it out. The weather yesterday made for mud, mud and more mud, lots of slipin and slidin, and did I say it snowed, again I would have pictures but I need batteries. am I lazy? So I plan to work every thursday that I can and possibly other days when my schedule allows. as always keep the rubberside down.