Tuesday, December 19, 2006

off road fixing...

Is what I am looking forward to. I have ridden some cross races on the fixed but have yet to get a full on xc ride in on the fix. I have been riding it around town a bunch and hitting the trails, but they are more walking paths and such than real single track. I have however been trying to hone my skills on the bike while here in town so that I can be kind of ready when the time comes to actually put tire to dirt. I have set obstacles outside the house and hop up and down curbs, drop off things of varying heights whenever possible, this is all I can do when trapped in the city for most of the time. That and the weather here has been so miserable, rain, rain, wind wind. I wonder how many trees are down out on the trials right now, inside the city it is a disaster. So below is an image of the little obstacle that I have out front. It is 8 inches high and 12 inches wide. I can now bunny hop it on the fixie, soon I will be making it a bit higher to further improve my skills. By bunny hop I mean clear it, no tire touching the obstacle.

On the fit front I have been trying to find the right position and I am getting close. I have tried many different stems, stack heights, and am getting close to feeling great on the road, now I have to ride off road to see how the muscles hold up on the rough stuff. My friend keith thinks that I am going to crash and burn and can not wait to see it. to him I say this, when I beat you down with out coasting, I will laugh sooooo hard. I am not sure that this is possible, but I will give it the old college try. so on one of the first bunny hop attempts I had the pleasure of crashing , I landed a little over the front end and proceeded to land face down on the pavement, I only burised my hand a bit, but I tore my favorite bar tape, concrete is a little less forgiving in the give department than dirt. I have gotten the sticker on downtube. I think it looks good. The bar tape ripped, thats ok I messed up wrapping it the first time so I will wrap with new tape soon.

I am really liking the fixed gear riding right now, cant wait to get out on some longer dirt rides in the near future. enjoy the holiday's. i must say the wade at vulture made a bike like now other, it is soooo fun to ride and beautiful to look at. thanks so much wade. cheers. as always keep pedaling.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

holi daze

tis the season, I have been super busy with work and parties, shopping not me, we have decided to go on a diet this holiday season and are abstaining from buying in to the whole buying gifts and giving big presents thing. dont you think it is not necessary and a corporate marketing sceme to get your money. Lets face it the season is not about the gifts it is about spending time and honoring those you love. I would rather save my money and spend it when my loved ones are around. enough about that. I got more eggnog to attend to. to everyone that reads this thank you. I will leave you with this, taking the my other skateboard is a fixed gear thing to a new level is this guy, mind you he must have been a street skater or more likely a Rodney Mullen fan. watch closely as it is impressive. It is obvious to me that he had a lot of time, or he just has really good balance.

Dustin over at Cadence had a link to utube and the above video, I must give credit where credit is due.

I have been riding the Vulture fixie a lot and trying to improve my skills, I can now bunny hop 6 inch obstacles and had the pleasure yesterday of dropping off a foot and a half ledge. I hope to bunny hop some stairs this evening.

A group is meeting up this evening to discuss an endurance race here in Washington, boy do we need on, the trails here are awesome, more on that later. back to the egg nog. over and out and as always keep pedaling. nat

Thursday, November 23, 2006

thanks to all

Today is more about thanking those in your life past and present than it is about 12 oz curls and the food coma. So to all those friends and family past, present and to yet be determined I say thanks. To the onespeed family thanks, we are al brothers and sisters to the core. Cyclist lets be a family road, mountain, gears or not we are the chosen few who have seen the answer, bikes really are the answer to most of the worlds problems, ok I am over generalizing it a bit, but seriously they are the answer. Mom, rock on, fight the good fight, this is a heart felt thank you for being in my life here and now. Dad, thanks for putting up with my outburst and becoming a better father and friend because of it. There are too many people to bore you with thanking everyone. Kent Peterson and Dave Nice thanks for the inspiration, we will all have to get together for a ride sometime. Keith L, Pete and Smiley, seattle just wouldn't be the same without you, thanks for the chance encounter on your pub ride to celebrate Pete's thirty first. You have made a difference in my world. Keith Wegner if you are reading this thank you for getting back in touch with me, if you read this will you drop me an email with your contact info again, my computer died and with my connection to you. Same goes for my great friend Sara Lorden hope I spelled it right, if you read this the same goes for you. A big thank you to the internet, which has helped me to connect with my community at large. Thanks to the trails for all the joy they bring me. Ok Ill stop now, as I am getting a little choked up over this all. Seriously thake the itme to thank those close to you today, in this crazy world we all to often forget to take the time to apprecitate those around us and those things that we are greatful for. so here is to us, them and you. as always keep pedaling. over and out

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

did I die?

Some of you may be asking just that question. It seems that every time I get in to the rythum of posting more often than not life takes the chance to throw a curve ball at me to take me out of that oh so familiar pattern. It started over a week ago, I thought I'd have the weekend to recoup not race, my body was in need of a change of pace. One can race and ride only so much in the cold rain before it becomes a little tough on the body and mind. I already have problems at the change in the seasons, it always seems to take me a bit to get used to it being so dark all the time. I am in hibernation mode, curled up on the couch watching movies, a little bad tv, I dont let myself indulge in the evils of tv too much as it is no good for the mind, body or spirt, or reading books. I just finish GarbageLand, the tale of one woman from NYC following all her and her families waste to it finaly resting place. What an eye opener. It made me mad, sad and glad all at the same time, I dont mean to get on my soap box, but it may seem like that, we as a race and society really need to start taking all things, natural resources, waste and what we are doing to this here place we claim to love so that it will continue to be around. At the end of the day we all need to think about our consumption habits and scale them back. I know that doesnt sound glamerous, and a bit bland, but at the end of the day it is the answer to a lot of our problems, that and not to drive so damn much which is the real killer of the planet. So cyclist ride your bikes more for those short trips around the city, or country. It does make a difference and the more of us that ride the more power we cyclist have, and that is the real answer. Alright Ill stop for now.
back to the title, I didn't die, but I sure as hell did feel like I was going to. I slept and went to work and that was about it, my body ached and my lungs shot goo for days, I could barely breath, which made the daily trip to and from work fun, there I was coughing and huffing and puffing my 5 or 6 miles to and from work in the rain. I am sure that did great things for the cold. Enough of my bitching. I have to get going, but wanted to keep those of you who care informed. Sorry that this blog has become less about cycling lately and more ego centric, but it will get back to the cycling, of which I am doing a bit of, mostly commuting for the moment. as always keep pedaling and enjoying it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Class, nothing but class

AS the saying goes Holloween is a time for woman to dress sluty and for men to dress as woman and no one thinks anything is out of the ordinary. Wonder what people would think if I wore a dress every thursday, they would probably just get used to it, or I could just keep saying "its not holloween, opps, I thought is was!!!!" So above are some of the photos that my girlfriend snapped of me in my evening wear. The "rocker" in the picture is my co worker Jesse, he can really pull off the 80s rocker thing, dont ya think. There is a shot somewhere of us in a more revealing embrace, but that is not going to show up here, yet. You'll have to wait for that one. The only thing missing from the outfit is a cigarette holder. Class, nothing but class here all the time, every day. Not much else to report at this time, just wanted to show off my best evening gown, it sparkles. I also had the good fortune to wear stockings and let me tell you, I dont envy you woman, those things just wouldn't stay in place. as alway keep pealing.
my friends down in Reno have a new blog, lots of fun stuff. Check it out at www.thebaconstrip.blogspot.com. Mark, shawn, wolfy, etc. its great.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"the immortal class"

Here is a paragraph taken from Travis Culley's book The Immortal Class which I read a few years ago and this morning decided to revisit. I remember liking it the first time around, I don't think I was blogging at the time, and I am not a messenger myself, but the way he mixes words to create great imagery speaks to me. I will get to the paragraph here, it speaks to me because it puts to words better than I can at this time my feelings about the bike, about what the bike represents in our society here and now. A little background, he is speaking about drivers, and the rest of the masses and how the bike is scene and then he gets to this paragraph. So without further ado:

"What these people don't know is that the bicycle is more than a sport and more than a job. The bicycle is a revolution, an assault on civilian territory, intent upon taking, from the ground up, responsibility for the shape of our cities. It is a mutiny, challenging the ever-one-way street. The bicycle is a philosophy, a way of life, and I an using it like a hammerto change the world and to redeem our war-torn cities."

Is that not great. Thank you travis for putting it so well. Like I said I am not a messenger, but I don't own a car at this point in time, so my bike is my transport, and I get to experience some of what it must be like in the urban jungle of Seattle. Seattle is touted as a green city as bike friendly, and it is alright, but it lacks vision and a plan to make it better, to get some flow in it, right now it is a bit disjointed. Thanks to people like Kent Peterson and others at the bike alliance, the Cascade Bike Club things are getting done, but we Americans are so tied to the belief that we need a car, we are entitled to have bigger, more. A car is a symbol of your status, it really says who you are. Right. If you are riding a bike it is either cause you are poor, or you lost your license, not because you are choosing to, it must be for something out of your control. That I think is the common belief among most people, no in ten years when gas is really, really expensive, bikes will be the answer. They already are the answer in my opinion we are a fat, lazy society bent on doing things faster and faster. What would/could change all that..........You guessed it the bike. The bike a simple invention. Most trips are a couple miles, bike. Want to lose weight, bike. Want to feel intimately connected to your environment and meet some people, bike. It is that simple, think of all the extra space we would have if more of us biked. Want to save money, ride a bike. So lets change the world one revolution at a time. Bike.

As always keep pedaling. Nat

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

appologies and a race report

My appologies for the rant, I have been in a funk of sorts and went off, wrong time, wrong place. After all this is my spot to rant, but the rant the other day about hippies and such was way off. Everyone needs to have the space to be themselves and I let it all, the world has a way of getting to me sometimes, go. Enough said. Please accept my apology on the matter.

On to the race report:
I awoke to rain at 4 am, pouring rain was still pitter pattering when I actually got out of bed at 8:30. I mentally prepared for another sufferfest. All week my legs had been acting a bit funny, the change of the season always has a way of getting to me. I was a bit worried about the race, I wanted to do well, and wondered where I was at mentally and physically. We started our drive out to Snohomish, and arrived at the school where the race was, by now the skys had cleared, the sun was out but the rain had given the earth a good soaking. I got dressed, registered and the such, and then went out to pre ride the course. My heart sank. It was not a course I particulary liked, a true cross course according to some, no place to rest, lots of running, lots of peanut buttery mud and lots of side hill riding, that and two sets of barriers and a few short run ups. I am not a runner and the back side had a long mud run. Two laps trying to figure out how to make this work, and get the lines down. Then the start. I was on the inside which i thought would be good, but I got boxed in, stuck I gave it my all trying to get towards the front, I got there and was hoping to stay when we ran in to the 35 + masters class, no good lines, and lots of wheel touching. Taking the high line into one of the corners I go down, my rythum is off. In to the barriers and the run up, this running with my bike thing is not my strong point, did I mention that. I stay close to the front for the first lap and a half or two, then begin to fade. OH shit I am thinking, my legs just dont have the power I would like. I have no desire to chase, so I settle in and take a beating. I do my best and dont quit, even though at times I wanted to, only because I was sucking it up. I am hard on myself, I did alright considering I was feeling bad, and stayed in it, just not as aggressivly or on the attack like i like to be. I ended up ninth, I was hoping for 3rd or 4th, but then again goals are just that, and we dont always hit the mark. like rihgt now I am trying to upload photos and it just isnt happening, so alas, i will try to add to it later.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hats...I like hats

Like the title says, I like hats. Cycling and hats go together like peas and carrots, like stink and shit, or is it flies and shit, well however or whatever analogy you choose, I am in luck. So to the right we have one of the two shaun deller hats that I own. This one is pinstriped wool with a camo brim. camo bet you never would have guessed that.

here we have the newest addition to the hat stable. Dustin over at cadence puts out some fine clothing. I especially like the new fall line. This hat rocks, I have been wanting one for a bit, and this one finally fit right and spoke to me, in only the way a piece of clothing can.

Two posts in two days, can I go for three. Today i am thinking about going to see this. I have heard really good things about it. Since I was in to the hardcore punk scene as much as a kid in Vermont can be. Anyways tomorrow should be a goodtime. There is a great messenger scavenger hut tonight, I don't think I will go, danielle's sister is in town with her kids and I need to put in some face time so to speak. But I may sneak away. That and I am thinking about racing two races tomorrow so I would like to be a bit rested for that. Then again I can rest when I am dead, oh wait I almost took myself out a few short years ago with that same motto, maybe I should be wise and listen to reason, and my body. Now I am rambling I will sign off and hopefully have a race report up tomorrow or Monday. As always keep pedaling.

Friday, October 27, 2006

hippies.....some of my thoughts

here's the picture I tried and tried to upload to go along with the last cross race report. Can you see the pain from the balls to top tube incident. Cross sure does put the hurt on ya. I had to chase making me feel like my insides were going to burst. I need a good analogy here but an at a loss for the right one. Better late than never. It was a wet one. This weekend looks to be shaping up to be dry, but colder. I keep learning how to dress for these things. I got the new bar tape on the beast. I do have a camo obsession so as I am sure you have guessed by now, it is camo. It needs to get dirty, which shouldn't be a problem, so that it mellows out a bit. What a way to break in a new jersey, rain, mud, and sweat.

The Vulture has been hard at work, he got a 40 hr a week j-o-b working for someone else, I imagine it cuts in to his framebuilding time, but I am sure it helps with the bills.

So I will continue to run the 38x17 gearing for the upcoming race, I have been thinking about changing tires, but then again I just want to go race and have some fun. I am going to get my girlfriend to take some more photos for this race. Keith has dubbed us team None, as we are not affiliated with a sponsor or at least they forgot to write down team wake or vulture for me, but we are team none, we joked about getting jerseys made with things like 'your logo here" "coming from nowhere" etc. I think you all get it. I am trying to figure out next year, but taking it with little pressure in mind. Right now I would like to finish in the standings in the cross series, but I would really like a top 3. I haven't decided if I am going to double up on Sunday or not, racing the ss and then the b's race. Only time will tell.

Enough of the boring stuff, does anyone really care about what gear I am running or the dullness of planning my upcoming season, this blog needs more pictures, more, it just needs more. So I
will recount this little tale for you, if it can in fact be called that, well I'll just get on with explaining the picture to the right here. I must first start by saying that I am in fact a hippie, I hope you are smiling right now, because I will get to it. Not the annoying kind of hippie found twirling in the corner whenever the dead is playing, or following phish around the country claiming to have no money while driving a 2006 xterra. I am for sure not the fucking long haired hippie, fuck long hair. That's why this spoke to me, these are my weapons against all things long hair. I know its a personal choice, I allow for that, but cut your fuckin hair. Alright for those of you that are totally upset and taking this all to seriously its a joke man. dude, bro, bra, just take it with a grain of salt, we are all here to make it through the day in our own way. That is the kind of hippie I am. But I am a dark, sarcastic person. I have recounted that my mom once had this to say on the matter, and I can only imagine as she looked at her 12 year old pride and joy as he made some black humor remark about the way we humans are, "Nat you are far too sarcastic for a 12 year old" I wonder if she remembers saying it, because it is an indelible mark on my soul. I have this dry, sarcastic humor, some people, those that don't get it are really missing out. I will also be the first to make fun of myself when I make mistakes, or act like a hippie, or prance around in ladies clothing, opps did I let that slip. Well I have told you all too much. So all you hippies out there relax I am not arming myself with clippers, sissors or a brush, but for gods sake just cut it before I do have to arm myself. I would like to see us all just get along, and I don't think that is too hippie. I associate the word hippie with those who aren't realistic about their lives, but then again maybe I am just jealous of the fact that they are always so damn happy. I guess if anyone consumed that much illegal substance they too could not see the light of day, that might make it all go away, but then again I am obsessed with reality. If you are still reading this I commend you, if not, or if you got pissed off and skipped to the bottom you missed the explanation. So no one get offended and lets just all get along. As always keep pedaling.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

so I went to see my grandparents...

On thursday of last week caught a ride in the big steel bird in the sky to Washington DC, on my way to see my grandparents in Harrisonburg VA. They are getting older and time is of the essence so that I could enjoy their company while they are still quite aware and active. I meet my parents in the airport, we managed by some luck to fly in to Dulles airport on flights from Seattle and Burlington, VT and land within minuetes of each other. We would have been out of there real quick except for United leaving my their luggage on the ground in Burlington. Imagine that just out there waiting to fly. anyways it would take them almost the entire time to get their luggage, I think they recieved it saturday afternoon sometime. So rent the car jump through some more hoops. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of flying in or out of Dulles it is a rat hole, twisted maze, and completely spread out, you have to take these huge people movers that look like artic vehicles to move from gate to gate and baggage claim etc. In other words it takes longer than the long time it always takes at a well designed airport, that may be an oxymoron, well designed airport that is.

So we drive through rushour traffic finally arriving at my grandparents house sometime after nine pm. chat a bit and then go to sleep. I had called ahead to see if I could rent a bike and thomas at SBC was able to help. It turns out that I used his personal bike, as everyone kept saying "Is that thomas bike," or "that is thomas' bike" and I would give my standard " thats what everyone keeps telling me". It turns out that on friday they had a informal race that cost a six pack to enter, so I thought why not, and took thomas up on the offer. The hills back there are quite steep, I did however get to ride a 29er so things were somewhat the same. However it was the first time in quite awhile that I have ridden gears or a regular handlebar. It turned out and I hate to say it that the gears came in handy, after of course getting used to shifting again. No worries I dont have a real desire to have geared mountain bike in the stable again, yet. So shifting aside on friday I meet at the Food Lion chated and then followed everyone out to the site of the ride. Heartland or something like that. Climb, climb climb. Gather back together. Sign up for the downhill and go, in 30 second intervals. I havent worn glasses while riding in awhile and didnt have any along, so my eyes teared up, the leaves covered the rocks and conspired to make me go slower, that and the fact that I was not used to my steed. So I flated rode it out changed it, then my pump broke and deflated the tire again so I waited for assistance. I was in one of the steeper sections of trail and no one really wanted to help a brother out, we were racing after all. That said a little guy named Jack stopped and gave me his pump. thanks man. I finished up, I think DEad fuckin last, and rode to the car to go home. Everyone else camped out.

Saturday was a perfect day and since the grandparents were going to nap and dad was going to his 45 high school reunion, and there was a big ride scheduled I went ahead and drove back out to ride again. stopping at one of the local stores where everyone else was dressed in camo i felt a bit out of place, luckily there was no deliverance remake or reinactment. The ride on Saturday was epic, perfect weather, good people and a climb that Sue Haywood said " is where evil lives" quite possible one of the more difficult climbs I have ridden, granny gear grinder so to speak followed by a desent down little bald that was equally steep and rocky in the other direction. I had an amazing time, rushed back to the car and went back to hanging with the grandparents. A little longer than the 3 hours later that I thought. ONe would think that by now i would have it figured out, when i am told 3 hours double it and then that is more realistic. The leaves where in there prime and it was good to be back on the East coast for a visit.
Sunday it was back to Dulles for another airport experience. I barley made my flight, in fact I wouldnt have had i not cut the lines that wrapped around the building, I have never seen such a cluster fuck in my life. So I made it back went to see Citizen Cope as soon as I landed, and then back to the weekly grind come monday morning.

All in all I was happy to meet some great people and to have the experience of riding gears agian, it was a little refreshing, as the two ride I did would have been over the top pain prison rides had I been on a rigid single speed, then again I probably would have had as much fun or more had I been on the single. EVery once in awhile it is good to change it up, keeps things fresh. call me soft if you must, but have no fear, I love one gear.

So now it is back to racing a little cross and commuting in the rain. thanks for reading and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

i got muddy.......

I have great photo, but I cant get it to post, so when I can you will see it.

On sunday I had the pleasure of racing my bike in the pouring rain. I am unsure if it was a pleasure of just a chance to get muddy while riding around in a field with lots and lots of bumps.

So on saturday night I worked the cask festival, cask beer for those of you who don't know is beer done in the old world style, is poured directly from the vessel at room/cellar temp, its only carbonation is provided by a small second fermentation. It damn good, usaually dry hopped or wet hopped, it is special. With 40 breweries bringing their beer to be showcased, well lets just say I had a bit to drink that evening. So on sunday I awoke with a bit of a hangover, being a little slower than my already slow pace in the morning.

So I got up sunday and it was raining..... A little more history about saturday, I have been having this nagging chainring bolt loosening problem going on that I decided to deal with, so it was off to the bike shop to get some chainring bolts. Here is where I figured out the nature of the problem, I had double chainring bolts with spacers on the back, so I got single chainring bolts, I would think my friend the mechanic who built the bike would have not done this but oh well. While at the shop discussing this I inquired about larger chainrings, and to my surprise they had just what I wanted a 38 tooth chainring in the appropriate spacing. Bam. So I came home greased the bolts and went about changing the chainring. With the larger gearing and skinner tires, I had just got some of wtbs cross tires I was ready to charge it on Sunday.

So I got up sunday and it was raining, and not just showeres it was full on raining. Argh!!! I thought this is either going to be a blast or just plain suck and be miserable. After some of Danielles famous pancakes we were off, a little later than I had wanted to be, but I figured it was not too far away. Well we cut it close, pulling in to the parking lot 25 mins before the race, so I had to run around find where registation was, run back get dress, drop the kids off at the portojohn and head to the start line. I was amped and it was raining. Call ups etc, then we are off, it was a dead flat field with a bunch of bumps and ruts, having not ridden the course I had no idea what lay ahead. It was a grinder. But before I could start to do battle I dropped a chain in the first 150 ft of the race. shit, there goes the next class, great. put it back on and limp my way around till it falls off agian, this time I had it figured out. 1/2 a lap in I get to the pits, grab a 6 mm key and fix the problem. Now I layed chase. grind, grind, slip slide, but keep on fighting. I am half a lap down of the winner by the end of it, but considering the time lost with the chain dropping and the balls on the stem thing that I forgot to mention above, i was happy. I got 6th place.

This weekend there is a race, but I will be with family in Harrisonburg, VA. I am there for 2 days, so i dont think that I am going to pay to bring the bike, but I just might, I may just use the time to enjoy my grandparents and rest. So my quest for the point series now means that I must race flawlessly for the remaining races and not miss one more. I am unsure if I really care, but I am focused again and having fun.

I talked with my friend Bart, he made a suggestion about the upcoming season,we will see what happens, but it would be fun. Bart keep air in them tires next time.

Cross is like one big family, it is very refreshing to be racing agian and in such a fun laid back atmosphere.

thanks for reading and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

congrats to dicky.....

He did it, he is the "World Champ". What a year he has had, lots and lots of racing. Does he ever get tired? Get all the details here.

Chris Eatough got beat. It would have been nice to see him win again, but who likes cheering for the 6 time champ, its kind of like cheering for the Yankees, oh yeah they got beat too. I must say the winner Craig??? from Australia, he works full time too. Way to go underdog. I always like cheering for the underated, working man. Should make the Solo 24 movie and interesting one to watch.

Jeff Kerkove posted about Moab vs Worlds, which is more prestegious? I think everyone here knows how I feel about Adrenalin. I do like the addition of the 24 hr ss class, but for the most, races are about the caliber and quality of competion. Sounds like nationals was the race this year. The fact that Adrenalin's worlds is more about marketing, than about a real world championship sanctioned event. It sure would be nice if the Granny Gear folks and the Adrenalin folks could come up with one series, or at least one championship that alternates between promoters. I dont know I have a cant we all get along complex. We as a society need to put our egos down and do what grows the sport. Yeah to dicky for not even waiting around to stand on the podium. We all know. Enough of me rambling about my opinion, I like Granny Gear more than adrenlain, that is all I have to say. They are more human, in fact I got sick a while ago, as I am sure most readers are aware, and still have a paid race slot with granny when I decide it is time to use. Laird was very accomadating and understanding. thank you laird.

I am listening to this series of podcasts right now. yeah cowpunk. thanks for the the link mark.

I raced cross again this weekend. It was pretty formulaic, however there were three of us on fixed gears. I ended up fighting the good fight and was the fastest man on a fixed gear and able to dice it up for a bit longer witht the leaders before getting dropped. Drank some good beer and rode home from the race, i am starting to feel more focus and desire, but afraid to speak of it for falling back in to the sickness again. So I am keeping it low key and just riding when i feel like it. Like everyday, I ride to work or like saturday go exploring for a bit. I have been riding mostly fixed with the occasional coast here and there. So I have to work on Saturday at the Cask festival here in Seattle, racing on sunday, i think i will race the ss race at 11:30 and then the b race at 1:30 just to see how I am feeling fitness wise. Craig, who just crushes, does it and I was inspired to try it out. Wish me luck. again congrats to dicky for rocking out. as always keep pedaling, the revloution happens one pedal stroke at a time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Big Time Porter takes gold at GABF

I should have posted this awhile ago, but alas I have waited again. Last weekend was the GABF in Denver, I am sure Dave was overwhelmed with people and is glad that the 40,000 beer drinkers, geeks and friends have all gone home until next year. Our brewer, Bill, I wish I had a picture, anyways he has been raving about the porter for the last year, and finally all that paid off, he was able to pull of a gold in a catagory, that has a lot of entrants. No small feat. Congrats to Bill. I work monday day 11-6 and Tues-Friday night, starting at 6. I'll buy a pintof porter for the first 3 people to come in and mention this post. The secret word is "dark Goddess" , oh yeah the porter won under the suedo name of Goddess, not the Coal Creek, which it really is, Bill just wanted to change the name, and I am told there is a story to it all, but I am not at liberty to divulge it here. nuff said. Oh when you come by make sure to tell us just how good that porter is. so I wanted to upload a picture of the lable to give bill his props, but it did not happen, something wont let the picture load, so you will have to do with out.

So me, Bill assistant got a job working as the head brewer at the Rouge Issaquah brewhouse, so he is down an assistant, that said he needed a little help with the brew yesterday, so I offered up my services, and got to slep around in the brewery yesterday for a couple of hours. I had a great time, weighing out hops, lifting grain buckets, and generally just helping out. I think bills wife was happy as he was able to get home on time so that she could enjoy her time out on the town.

Not much else to report, no big rides on the monster cross yet, just a bunch of communting and short trips in town. I think I am racing this weekend but that may change, I may go visit my brother in Vancouver, but then again who knows, I am trying to go with the flow and enjoy the day to day.

Dustin over at Cadence is putting on his first Fast Friday tonight, wish I could go, I will just have to hear the stories, but then again I am used to that being a bartender and having to work on a lot of nights when there is cool things goin down.

Found this on MTBR today, this is the wave of the future, environmentally friendly business, wind power, 100%, they are buying credits to offset, but its a start. way to go Performance.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Monster Cross pics/race report

So here they finally are, pictures of the bike I have talked about for months, and made you wait for months to see. I had hoped to have the build pics too, but they werer lost when the hard drive went . This is one amazing ride. I went with the utilitarian green, thought it was fitting for the bike. My other Vulture has an amazingly wild skull theme to it so I thought that this one should be more toned down, letting the amazing craftsmanship speak for itself, that and the fact that it is a dedicated fixed gear bike, no posts or disc mounts in site on this one. This is a really bad picture of the head badge, its made of brass, and is a one of a kind.

Above here is the heart of the monster cross, look at that guy. I let Wade create what he wanted me to ride, I gave him the freedom to create, and this is what he put out, I know he rides off road fixed most of the time, follows suit that this is the kind of bike he would build. It fits 45c tires, not 29er tires, has a disc only front wheel. I am so stoked on this bike. That leads me in to my next topic, I had wanted to get out and ride the bike before I raced a cross race on it. So I rode it to and from work a bit, with no bar tape, I wanted to get this, but its all backrodered, so I eventually just put the black bar tape on it last night while preping the bike for todays race. I played with stem heights, and fit, but not much was need, being that it is an off road bike with drop bars, i had to raise it it up a bit. Lets just say today when I woke up to race after hanging out at StarCrossed last night, and thinking " oh shit what have I decided to atempt." Speaking of Star Crossed, my friend Craig, who ride for Counterbalance killed it in the B's race, winning it by a ways on a singlespeed bike. Congrats Craig. Craig is a super nice guy and is smiling while suffering, what a way to be. So back on topic, I woke up this morning thinking " oh shit", having not ridden the bike at speed or on singletrack I thought what most people think about riding fixed off road, wtf. So my directionaly challanged friend, keith showed up at 9am and we were off, after a little spilled coffee, and some chainring maintence by keith. We found our way to south seatac, got registered and warmed up by chasing craig around some of the trails. Then the course, it was more mountian bike ish by cross standards I was told. This being my first cross race I had nothing to compare it to. We line up, fimilar faces, bart from BC was there, craig, casey, who I had just met, and a handful of others. We were off, I thought the start would be a little more crazy, but we started behind the 45 b masters. We were soon in traffic, off our bikes and running sections that didn't need to be run. More sand, singletrack, run ups. All in all I had a great time. no crashes, carried good speed through the sand, running sucks, but all in all i had a great time. I got to be "the crazy guy on a fixed gear" I am sure they would have thought I was even crazier had they known if it was my first off road fixed gear ever. I ended up finishing 4th in the singlespeed class, i was happy with my finish. That said I think I will race again, wonder what the mud will be like. Wade thank you so much my brother, I can't wait to ride bikes with you. To my friends in the wake that I meet last night paul, kyle and adam, heres to next weekend at St Eds. Props to adam for rockin the fixie at Star Crossed last night. Brandon, of trackdaddy fame was there, we finally met and had the change to kick tire, brandon, nice to met you finally.

Monday, September 25, 2006

hard dirves go pop....

It seems to be a theme that I have with this blog. I have plans to post, to add photos, to have great things to say way more often than I get to. This time I have real reasons. Hard dirves go boom. I am using someone elses computer to get this up and running. So other than hard drives blowing up causing me to lose all kinds of info and music. I am more worried about the music than anything else at this point. So the monster cross is built and has been ridden around a bit. Lets just say that it is an awsome looking bike, handles great, a little toe overlap, all in all an amazing ride. that is the short story. more later. I have opened my big mouth and said that i will race cross on the thing. what could be better than trying one thing that you have never done, ride off road fixed, than to combine it with yet another thing that you have never done, race cross. I am thinking my shins might get a work out, ie eggbeaters to the shin. Run ups and dismounts, that and the one thing that has sufferd the most in this illness is my desire to ride at full out put. Any ways I am looking forward and this weekend and my first cross race. I have some big old mutanoraptors on it, thinking I need to get some real corss tires on it for this weekend. again pictures will be here soon. so all this talk about cross, sounds like I know what i am talking about, but I really am just looking forward to having fun.

In other news I got some good riding in this weekend with my good friend Mark Mcdaniels. He and his wife amanda are two of my favorite people. Without them our, danielles and my, trip to Reno and Lake tahoe would not have been so easy and flawless. While I live there Mark and I didnt get to ride that much, we had a great ride on Thursday. Friday and Saturday where wedding related. Congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Crawford. You guys rock. Best wishes. It was good to see old friends. We had a blast.

I love the above shirt. The premire of Mashsf is this weekend is at the Bicycle Film Festival in San Fran. Wish I was going. Check out Swobo's website for all the organic goods.

Twin Six has the new goods out. I really like the socks.

I am looking to be able to draw on the wonderful diatibe that I have while riding, where the words flow, where it all flows, where I can actually write and focus, which I can not do right now so I am signing off. More real soon, hopefully more semantic than right now. thanks and as always keep pedaing.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

lifes ebb and flow

So the monster crosser is just about complete. I am dying to ride her, to take her on her madian voyage. to taste the dirt. I am a bit nervous, but I imagine it will be a great ride no matter what, I will start with an easy ride and then increase the level of difficulty. I will have pics up as soon as I can. I have an old stem on her right now, I imagine I will get some kind of riser stem thingy. I have been reading Matt Chesters setup instructions on 63xc dot com. All I can say is finally. I will need to get some cross tires on her and get my cross on. fixed on a cross, what better way to learn, never raced cross or ridden off road cross, should be and interesting experience. Can you say steep learning curve. Lets just hope its not toooooooooooooo painful.

This weekend my friend Sloane came up to his old homeland from Bend, and we got some riding in. We had planned to do the Noble Knob ride, but the day had other plans. I am sure everyone has had one of those days that starts out with grand plans and then a tool to put a Lefty wheel is forgoten and you are forced to retrace your steps and then some, on the path again, but a little behind schedule. Food is forgotten in the car and again you are turning around and retracing your steps, and finally a sidewall to a tire is totally gashed open, think at least and vertical inch in the sidewall of Sloanes tire. So we rode a short 15 miles instead of a huge climb and a bunch of descending, we rode some rooty rolling terrain. Sometimes we must just go with the ebb and flow of the world. Niether of us were upset and we just enjoyed each others company. It is always good to get out of the city.

My plan for next year is to pick 3 to 5 big races to do and do them, and have a good time and see what happens, no pressure and no expectations. Easier said than done. I always put a lot of pressure on myself to push the pace. Lets just hope my mind and body can agree on the goal and stay together. I ride almost every day, between 10 and 50 miles, usually closer to 20 or 30 miles, mostly commuter miles, stop and go, traffic riddled miles. Fixed half the time, freewheeling the others. Hopefully life will be a little more simple next year, I will have to simplifiy and stay focused, but I will have a year in seattle under my belt and with that comes more knowledge on what to expect. Hope everyone is enjoying the change of the season, and pedaling as always. More videos to come. I dont have much else to report. Finally have a day to just put it all in perspective. Life rolls on with the ebb and flow of it all.

This is my new favorite shirt. Organic cotton feels so good next to the skin. I really like what swobo is all about. Nothing like some blatant proganda, that is what all there emails say. Pass it on. Organic cotton is worth the extra coin, also you know that what is touching your skin is good for the planet. I have not met these guys and gals yet, but i hope to in the future, just so I can tell them how much I like what they are doing. Keep on rockin'

Sunday, September 03, 2006

hot and smokey............

I am tired, lots of working and commuting and friends having other things to do than ride dirt and I have not ridden dirt all week. what a shame. I feel lame. Living in seattle lends itself well to riding road and commuting and not needing a car in city, but makes you get in the death bucket to get out to the trials, then all the meditation and relaxation that I get while riding is gone by the time I get home. I am more a mountain biker than a road rider, although you would never know it by how many miles I have been riding in traffic as of late. There are tons of forest fires raging in the area and the air is full of shit right now. All work and no play makes nat a dull boy. I am realing, there is a lot I like about seattle, and there is some stuff that really bothers me, deeply. Life after all is one big comprimise or so it seems that as of late. With my health, my mood, my job etc. enough whining on my part. the monster crosser is almost ready to shred. I wait with much nervous enthusiasm for the first dirt ride upon her. There is a cross race tommarrow, I however have to work agian. It just keeps getting in the way. We hire and they leave too soon, it is a vicious circle that is out of my control.

Speaking of fixed gear riding, which I have been doing some more of again, I have completed some backwards circles, and I can turn around, trackstands have been mastered, now I am trying to get one footed track stands down. I use mastered loosely, I am pretty good at them though. True master takes years. Skids, but not like these kids. Wheelies are just plain crazy. Check out Jovantee turner is this vid. he used to a pro skater. I am searching for some ss video as well. I hope this works.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

well it sure has been crazy....

I have been busy. started a new job just a part time one waiting tables again. Man I really like it much better behind the bar, then out on the battle lines.

The monster crosser is coming together, finally. She should be ride worthy next week I am hoping. I will have pics sooner than later, like the one of my new tattoo, i know I promised these awhile ago, but better late than never. that sure has been the motto of my year. better late than never. It seems that i will never race again, life just seems to take over sometimes and take a direction of its own. Not to say that I have not been on the bike, just not that far from home. I think that i will be doing some cross racing, ala fixed, once that thing is up and running and I have some miles under my belt. fixed off road, I am excited. If not a bit intimidated. My friend Matt came to town we got a ride in at tiger mountain, good times. I still need to get out to Kachess ridge, maybe sunday. anyone out there in.

My upcoming weekends are loaded full of things. My brother comes out and i get to take him to Vancouver, maybe I will get a ride in. The weekend after that it is off to tahoe for a wedding. I plan on getting one good ride in at least while I am back there.

congrats are in order for my friend Gregg, he ripped it up at this years E100. congrats stubbie coming in in 11 hrs and 50 some odd mins.

Rich Dillen, my hero, has legs and the mental capacity to suffer and suffer and not back down. Trans Rockies, e100 and now the Shenendoah 100. Rich you are an inspiration to us all. Keep it up.

Lately I have just been getting my commute miles in about 20 to 30 a day, 30 being at the high end of what i have been doing lately. soon i will be adding longer rides in on the weekends I hope, i want to be fit again. Next year is looking like I will focus on 3 to 5 races and that is it, maybe a few shorter distance ones, but mostly the longer ones, especially once the season gets going, I would like to do a couple of rides with the Randoneers, but we shall see what next year has in store for me.

Enough rambling, it is time to get going, pics of the monster crosser coming soon. later and as always keep pedaling

ON second thought last night was a meeting put on with the city about the planned bike improvement, they are actively tring to get more people to ride bikes for not just commuting but for trips to the store and such,errands ya know. So they held a meeting to get imput from cyclists about what they wanted to see. Turns out Seattle is quite the bike city, although we still have a long way to go but in perspective we are doing quite will. I will have a link up for those here in seattle to go and fill out a survey if they so desire. I urge you to do it. Bikes start a revolution one pedal stroke at a time. do it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

this weekends blowup...

So I thought that getting another job would help us out, well it has only made things more stressful, in the sense that adding more hours to the work week always seems to do that. That and it is just a huge ball of wax, and at another brewery so I feel that I am spliting loyaties. I am thinking that I may just have to stay at the Big time, I have a special place in my heart for it and it is so familiar. The thought of working tons again doesn't really excit me..................................

I was just interupted by a phone call from the navigation blunder that is Keith, he's down the coast surfing and flying kites. Hope he got the pink one. Got some good advice that came via his grandfather "the best way to spend money is not to make it" time is valuable, and there is more than just making money for the sake of being involved for the idea. Not to say the current job is without its issues, but the are known and familiar. So I think I have the answer to my quire.

So this weekend, the plan was set to complete the triple crown, did it happen, no is the answer. Many issues conspired to make it and ugly affair. I just had no power in my legs, I thought that would go away. I started my navigating towards Crystal Mountain and the Cyrstal mountain loop. Horses have done a good job of completely messing up the trails. That and the 60 days of sun with no more than 3/100 of a inch of rain. To say the least the trail condtions were dry, and loamy. So we had the dust and I have never walked my bike so much in one ride, steep, dusty, loose trails will do that to you. Did I mention how hot it was, so I fell apart is basically what happened, later in to the ride of course. The view from the top of Crystal of mount Rainier was like no other, the descent was awsome, long, not so technical, but tight single track. I finish the first loop and feel a bit better, the sun was getting to me but I thought now I know what is ahead it will get better. See Danielle and get out on the next loop up Corral Pass Road, feeling alright, then I am forced to walk and the heat is draining me. More pedaling more walking. "do you want a ride" NO. Wow I must really look bad, I certainly feel bad. Ahhhh the top of the climb, lets keep pushing I need to be done. My vision is now doing funky things. Clif shots are doing nothing, solid food wont go down. Good times. Then the cramps kick in, my calf, my hamstring, my quad, oh whats that my groin and my forearm. Now the descent down ranger, fun, but my arms hurt so much that I am having trouble holding the handlebar. more good times. Finally I am done with the descent, did I just write that, i did. Cruse back to the car and crash out, I am cooked. I have felt bad before but never so soon in to a ride. total stats were 37 miles with 7900 feet of climbing. I felt bad. I made some mistakes, but I overestimated my fitness and my recover from whatever got me last year, I need to take it slower. EVery new experience is a chance to learn right. There you have it, my crazy life. thanks for reading and keep pedaling.

Friday, August 18, 2006

and sometimes....

I post twice in one day. This is a short one thou. Check this out fixed impressions, and after listen to this. My friend the Gonterian, who when I get back to VT I plan on hooking up with and riding is doing some cool stuff. I have never met the man himself in person, we have a mutual friend the Vulture, I look forward to meeting him, when we are geographically in the same spot at one time. No pics of the tattoo yet, cant find the cord to connect the camera to the computer. This is what happens when you have one camera that two people share. Soon I promise. After watching the Gonterian video i really need to get my monster cross bike up and running. Should have gone with the gut feeling I had about the person getting me the parts. Well I am thru waiting and planning on getting the final parts as soon as possible. I really want to ride that thing off road, sooner than later. So check the video out, I think it rocked. I am already for more. keep pedaling.

Check out some more fixie footage, this is of the street variety, go to cadence clothing and check the video section out. I like it. Black and white. I cant wait to see Mashsf.

And coming in a bit a movie about 24 hr racing done by the Off Road to Athens guys and Gripped films. I get the link here in a bit.

why is it so hard to post regularly

It's funny, I never seem to post as much as I would like. It seems to be a blogger symptom. Life happens and regular posting is a thing of the past. There always seems to be so much going on. So many variables and situations. To make an analogy, its like juggling, when you only have a couple balls in the air not so hard, but when you have a couple balls, some chainsaws, and a knife or two up in the air it gets a little tougher. Then there are those tasks that take time and energy and at the end of it all the only thing you have to show is a better outlook on life, that is if you are lucky. It seems to me that we all live in our own interpertations of the world and we take them out on each other. It really is and individual experience of the world in which we live. Trying not to take it all personally is really a challange at times. So there you have it, hope it make sense. Now to what has been going on.

Last saturday was the Vibrator out on Vashon Island. I had no idea what to expect or what it was going to be. Originally it was supposed to be the 3 of us. Me, Pete and Keith. You all remember Keith, the directional challanged one, well last weekend he was gimpy. His ankle which he messed up while walking in a parking lot, sober as the day he was born, still is bothering him. Now that a story worth telling to those around you. Reminds me of a friend who had to tell us all he broke a rib while in the shower, he slipped, that was the long and the short of that one. So it was Pete and I, we rushed to make the ferry, and litterally made it by being the last ones on, we bought our tickets at 12:50 for the 12:50 ferry, good on us. Got to Vashon hung out with the group, started the informal time trial, but missed a turn so we just cranked it out and went to the campground. The Vibrator is an off road time trial of sorts, informal in nature. I was supposed to be back to go to a pot luck, had the race gone off on schedule it would have been no problem, but it started a little late. Pete and I pre rode the course, which was rolling and super fun. We each had a few PBR's before the race, and then were off in 2 min intervals, then one min and finally 30 second intervals. I rode well, on the Vulture, she had wings that day. I think I had the fastest time, and Pete had an excellent ride, finishing on a flat. we left before the results were finalized. Made the ferry, got home and then went to eat by myself. sure was glad I rushed home.

Wednesday, Brady was in town for the Tattoo convention, so I got some new ink. Hope to have a pic up soon.

This weekend I am going to hopefully go out and do a big ride off 410. Hopefully the Cascade Triple Crown. If it all works I will have a gps unit and google earth of it up next week. thats me. September is filling up with too many events. A friends Wedding, my brother is coming out and I am taking him to school in Vancouver, Danielle's sister is going to school in Vancouver as well so I think that we are taking her up to school too. So there you have it. Life happening. Keep pedaling.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

One of the best weekends ever

That's right, you read it hear first......
I work nights, so when an event like the Dead Baby Downhill comes around I take the night off to enjoy the festivities. I had heard about this race before even moving here. The Downhill race itself is very short, I however chose to participate in the alleycat portion skipping the downhill for a longer event. I will tell you up front this is an event not to be missed, it was other worldly, dare I venture to say futuristic, it had a very Mad Max feeling. I think you get the picture. I forgot my camera, but I have pictures taken with a friends camera, at the moment I am having trouble locating them. I have located them, they appear to be in a zip file and I am having trouble uploading them, so you may have to wait for photographic evidence until later, but I will attempt to tell the story of the entire evening now.......
It all started with a few phone calls, and then it was off to meet my directionally challenged friend Keith at the Big Time Brewery, my place of employment, for a beer. I did mention that he is directionally challenged thus we figured it would be safe if we met at an easy to find location. Let me tell you Keith has no problem finding a bar, and after all it is the exact place that we met each other, so it was only fitting. But I digress. Beer almost gone, growler filled for the next stop, hanging out with Dustin at Cadence Clothing, and my boss steps in and I am forced to talk shop for the next 20 mins. That over we are off, first stop a bank downtown, the bank that I belong to is good however they aren't the largest bank, and have a limited number of locations. Dodging traffic with Keith in tow, we make it to the bank. Mission accomplished. I was impressed I took some awful lines through traffic and Keith, again being directional challenged was forced to follow, he didn't feel like getting lost in his own backyard. I am having a little too much fun with this right now, Keith thanks ahead of time for being a good sport about it. I hope that you are laughing as you read this.
Back to the day. Cadence for a beer with Dustin, by the way he is producing some great threads, order them up. Off we go to an address on a paper, somewhere is south Seattle. Stop for a bite to eat, not the best idea, the vietnmese food would be a hindrance later on. Note to self, spicy food on top of beer before a race is not the best combo for success. We find the Club house, do some investigating, pay our 20 dollars for water bottle, which doubled as the only way to get beer later, food tokens and shirt. What a bargain. Find the manifest, plot out course, I am getting better at navigation, but still don't know the city all that well. Wait a bit, then the 7 pm sharp start is more like 7:15, I was impressed. We are off. Next alleycat I am running on a geared bike, I think, fixie and I am off the back a bit. We race towards town, and our first stop. Planned Parenthood to get a condom. It is near danielles parents house so I know kinda where it is. I am in good position. I leave, make a navigational error, but get back on course towards the back of the pack. Get to the next stop, drop some beer money in the hat. I know where the next stop is, get there in good time. I am off, thinking do I stay in the alleys or get back on a more traveled path. I opt for the more traveled path, wrong answer, run through a couple lights and here a siren, look over my shoulder, thinking do I make an escape, no I just stay put. He write me a ticket for running a stop light, 81 dollars. It could have been worse, that was for one, not three. Well I figure my race is over, but I will continue on to the last checkpoint, which is hard to find, then another navigational error and I am on track. 5 mile time trial to the party. I make it,not dfl, but down the ranks. So much of these races are navigation, that and not getting pulled over. Good times. So now we are at the party. Pbr flowing. There are some bike powered rides, swings, slot machines, a sationary bike with a leather strap on the wheel that was rather painful. Few drinks, live music, clowns, funny bikes, etc. What a scene. So I tried to ride a swivel bike, started to get it just as I do, slam I am on the ground being tackled by a clown, go times. Tall bike jousting the rumor circulates that it is happening in the alley. We get out there, and the foot down game is about to start, I think this could be fun, until I get in to the ring and everyone else is on a kids bike, I am a target, I go down, I picked up a nice raspberry on my left elbow, think cheese grater. It is healing, but slowly. It is getting late, I joke about riding home with my eyes closed as thing happen in threes and I got a ticket, got tackled by a clown and ripped my elbow open. Keith hurt his ankle, before being drunk, so I limped him home, and that was that. One for the record books.
Saturday was pretty uneventful, hung out with Danielles family.
Sunday, Keith and I had planned to ride, but he had to bail understandably, Pete our other friend, who has a new girlfriend, hadn't returned my phone calls so I thought it was going to be uneventful as well. Well before I got up Pete had called a couple times and wanted to ride. I wanted to ride Noble Knob a trail that I had heard great things about, the drive was an hour and 45 mins, we decided we wanted to do it. It is absolutely amazing and I will leave it at that. Lots of climbing and amazing views. I don't want to say much more because it was that special, I want it for me.

The trip to Tahoe is shaping up to be a great one. This weekend I think I am going out to the Vibrator on an local island. Life is good. Last week was big miles, this week a little relax is in order. Slow and steady is the way back to health. Thanks for reading and as always keep pedaling

Friday, August 04, 2006

Dead Baby Downhill

Today is the day. The Dead Babies are a local bike club and they put on a totally illegal rece today and an after party that I am told is not to miss, lots of beer, tall bike jousting, and an all girl bicycle cheer group from Portland called the Sprockettes. ala the Rockettes. I have heard that there will be bicycle powered amusment rides, this should be one hell of a night. I took the night off just for the occasion, after all we only do live once and this is going to be a blast, who needs work anyways, I always say that it sure is over rated this work stuff that we have to do as part of life. So my day is going to be interesting. Keith and I are riding over, he is unsure if he will race, what could be better than a downhill race through the streets with lots and lots of other people on a fixie. Insane, I think not. Sure I am rambling right now, but what else is one to do when they have all the words so eloquently situated,but when they are put to paper they dont sound like they did in my head, what is that all about. After all I am a genius in my own mind, just ask me. I hope you are laughing now, cause I am. But I digress....
So this movie looks interesting. I meet some of the Black Label guys in Reno a few years back, they really know how to put on a party. Make sure to check out the trailer. It is worth watching. With all these films about the underground coming out Klunkerz, mashsf , there are more, but they are escaping my overcrowded mind right now. I feel the need to make one about singlespeeding, I would love to make a film about the lives and the backgournd on singlespeeds, history, the worlds, endurance racing. It would be fun. Now I have no background in film, nor do I have funds right now, but I just might get a wild hair, and try to start compiling footage next year. I sure an rambling right now. Throw your ideas out.
Nick Martins site has a interview with Chris E of National and World Solo fame.
I am going for a good mountain bike ride this weekend, again in the 410 area, I would love to put a race on in this area and am exploring all the possible options, slowly, but I am getting to know the area off 410 quite well these days.
That is all for now, time to drink some more coffee, and then run errands so that I can be free this evening of all worldly attachments, living in the moment. I again had this urge today to race again, long, punishing to feel that satisfaction of finishing, to get back in the saddle. I learn so much about myself while suffering, that I crave it like a drug, it has a very calming effect, I miss it. Another idea, shirts with a picute of a bike that says my drug. Probably already exists somewhere, but I could make my own, that is when I learn to silkscreen. I am learning to sew soon, taking a class. as alway keep pedaling.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am feeling the itch

I am feeling the itch, however slight it may be, to race again. Not to be the fastest guy out there, because I can tell you in a long endurance race I would suffer. wow, thats a news flash, I mean everone suffers, but I would be in the pain prison at a lower level than I was used to. I think. That is why I am getting the urge to race a 24 hr race solo or a 100 miler this year perhaps. I just got back from Northern Idaho, where I had the pleasure of riding some sweet singletrack. Each day I rode about 15 to 20 miles of dirt in about an 1 1/2 with 2500 vertical gain. I had the pleasure of riding with Matt C. Who I knew from racing. He used to live in Auburn, but now lives in Idaho. It was great to ride trails with him. The first day his hub exploded on him, forcing him to walk it back to the car. We heard this creaking noise and simaltaneouly both said "that doesn't sound good" and then he went ass over tea kettle. He completely destroyed the bearing in his American Classic hub. We were about 2 miles in to the ride, so I continued up while he went back to the cars. Matt is an amazing rider. Wish we lived a little closer so that we could feed off each others energy and push each other to ride harder. The next day we met up agian to do another ride that was pretty brutal for how short it was. a 7 mile 2500 ft climb, 3 1/2 on singletrack which was the bulk of the climb, then a fast descent for 2/3 of the way down followed by a insanly technical high consecence section. All the single track I rode in idaho was ribbon thin, never more than eight inches wide. It was amazing. I wished I had more time to do more rides there, but alas I had to go back to work and the real world.
Back to the racing, if not this year definatly next year. I would like to do the Wilderness 101 and the Shennendoah 100. The Creampuff, is at new area this year so that is on the list. I need to get back to park city to do the e100 again, or at least see boris. This year has been very unstructured and focusing on recovery, I am still a little hesitant to push it too soon, as "the illness" is lingering, but seems to be on its way out. My focus will be fun fun fun, I need to get in more dirt riding longer distances to see how the body feels after it, I will also be putting in more road miles, in fact I am going to go and get in about 50 as soon as i am done with this post. Life is about to get hectic for a bit here, work will be taking over, but i have some good brakes coming up in mid september.
Speaking of mid september, I am going to be getting back to tahoe, where the altitude will hurt me and riding with an old friend and racing partner. I just got an email from him, Keith and I havn't talked in awhile, but I was overjoyed that he contacted me out of the blue to see what I was up to. He seems to be doing real well now, he is sking again and has a new found balance and acceptance of it all it seems. I cant wait to see him and chase him around some loops he has up in tahoe.
I pick the wrong person to get parts from for the offroad fixie, he is taking his sweet time, I am trying to be patient, but it is not so easy, hopefully two weeks, I knwo I keep saying that, but this is the way it sometimes happen when you dont plan ahead well. that and the fact that I am paying two mortages is sucking my dry and making it hard to find the money. So there you have it. Sunday I think I am going to explore in the 410 area again, and see how many miles I can put in. as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

so i about too..

go on a rant, cycling related but not really. Those of us that ride for pleasure should also ride for utilitarian reasons as well. I have been wanting to see Al Gore's movie and titled An Inconvient Truth for awhile now. Sunday I had the pleasure of doing so. I consider myself quite aware of global warming and its issues, and I learned and was inspired by this movie. Inspired to get involved in any way that I can. Global warming is a touchy subject, there are those who say "it doesn't matter, it is all twisting of fact, we are not doing damage" and there are those that say " it is too late to do anything, so why bother." I think that we are at a very critical time, that things are going to change, we are quite possibly change the way we live. America has a great opportunity to stand up and make an example out of itself, if the government wont do it then the people will have to do what the government is unwilling to do. I could go on and on. Do yourselves a favor, see the movie, especially those of you out there that think we as americans can continue to live as we do for the remainder of time. Please do yourselves and your fellow americans a favor, go and see this film. Check out this site as well.
Swobo is going to be making bikes.
Cadence clothing is in the process of getting jeans made. Dustin is also putting out some great one of a kind clothing. I had the pleasure of hanging out with him on friday for a few hours, watching him do tricks on his fixie, like one foot over the bar skids, reverse circles, well you get the picture.
I have been tossing around my own t shirt ideas and some other stuff, i have been getting parts ready for the monster cross bike. Brandon , www.trackdaddy.blogspot.com , wants to put on and endurance race here in washington, I would love to see this happen and have offered my assistance,etc.
we should all give thanks for having cycling in our lives, it is a great honor to be in your ranks. Cycling has brought me friends, like skateboarding did years ago, before skateboarding got so big that we as skaters didn't instanly bond. I get that bond now from cycling. I think that we as cyclist should feel connected just because we ride. I sometimes feel that we dont feel this bond, as I get snuffed by riders, but I consider them the unlucky ones and choose to focus on people like Dustin and Micheal and Justin and all the others I have met that are instantly brothers. This is my message to you. be a brother or sister to all those on bikes, bikes are part of the next revloution. as always keep pedaling.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

my first race in awhile

my first race in a while was yesterday, at the greenwater gamble. It was the 7th race in the Indie series, a washington race series that starts in February and finished yesterday. Greenwater is a small town up near Crystal mountain along Hwy 410 it is home to some of the greatest trails in the area. The Sun Top trial, Ranger creek, noble knob, the crystal mountain loop. This used some lesser known trials, as well as part of the sun top loop where used in the race course. It was a great race course, lots of roots, lots of twisting and turning, some hike a bikes you get the picture. Originally we were supposed to complete a start loop and 3 large loops, they changed it to one start loop and 2 large loops for the single speeders. We caved in very easy to the change. I had not exerted myself at race pace in a long while, so the shorter distance was welcomed. There were 5 of us in the singlespeed class. It was hot, and muggy. We started a 2pm. and were off down a flat gravel road for a bit. spun out. single track brought relief, that and passing. I had planned not to gas it, but that went out the window as soon as we started and I was in full race mode. I almosted paid for this, but began to settle in towards the middle of the second and last lap. I almost went for the third lap, just because but decided that I must build slowly back to race fitness, and I knew that I could do it, but it is better to ease back in to it all. I was happy to finish in 1 hour and 36 mins and in first place. However on the first lap I was chasing another guy who flatted at the top of the climb at the entrance to the single track and that helped me out, because I think he may have been the stronger rider. After the race we enjoyed the river and then head home. It was a sucessful test and gave me a bit of confidnece in my fitness.
Today I am going to see Al Gore's movie An Inconvient Truth, I have been wanting to see this movie for awhile. I am convinced that we need to be aware and respectful of the world in which we inhabit and that changes in lifestyle are coming.
Next weekend I am headed towards Spokane to ride with my friend matt, he has some good loops planned for us. he will kick my ass, and it will be good times.
as always keep pedaling.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

so i dont really have and excuse...

for not posting in a while, other than the fact that I have been lazy in updating my blog. that and I havent been feeling very creative, still trying to get the creative jucies flowing. Pictures would be nice, but I just cant seem to remember to take them. that and I fear falling on my camera. I dont fall, crash all that often, but it would only be appropriate if when I brought a camera a major crash insued. call me paranoid or supersitious or just plain crazy. that was established quite some time ago.

the tour has been and interesting one this year. what happened to floyd yesterday, was nice while it lasted to think that a former american mountain biker would get the yellow, and prove that there are other great american cyclist other than lance armstrong. I admit it has been fun to watch the tour without knowing that lance has a strangle hold on the competition.

I have been riding and plan to race here this weekend, I think, the weather is supposed to be miserable hot and my race starts at 2 pm, great time of day for me, due to the fact that I am not a morning person, but really hot time of day as well. I put in a good effort yesterday on the mountain bike and felt moteratly strong, I am a little sluggish today, but then again I am still waking up. I am pretty excited about racing again, just for the fun of it. I am sure the competative bones in my body will rise to the surface, but I am just going out to have a good time and enjoy the course. I will probably race it rigid, but I may throw the suspension fork on if, well just if I feel the need. that or just back out on racing it rigid. I am tossing around the idea of racing the 24 of moab, but it is still very tenative at the moment.

Dicky won, that is so rad, it would be great if he could post after every stage, rich make your mark brother. I love his blog, it is always a hoot to read.

so that is the update, the monster cross parts are being purchased this week, and it should be rolling real soon. pic as soon as I get it built up. I am stoked. thanks again wade. as always keep pedaling.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

As promised an image of the tattoo that I got to remind myself that being sick was a part of the journey. Motivation "I will rise again" is what it says and I plan to do just that. I will return but even stronger than before. I have been getting more and more miles in, and feeling better. This is positive. The order of the day is to have fun. No fun is no fun. A little redundant if I do say so myself. There is a larger story to the tattoo, my best friend in high school is now a tattoo artist, this is some of his work. He was involved in a major accident 5 or 6 years ago that left him very damaged. He has since recovered, but to help him get through it all he got a sparrow crashing with the phrase " I will fly again" he restructured his life after his incident and became a tattoo artist, a dream of his. I am currently trying to find my way back, and have, while not job wise, but emotionally and spiritually reached a different level of understanding and being in the world because of my illness. I will soon have some more ink to show off as Brady is coming back to town for the Seattle Tattoo Convention in mid august. I am tossing around many ideas, but have not settled on one yet. www.inkademic.com

The parts for the monster cross bike are taking longer to acquire than I would like. It will happen when it happens.

On Saturday I went and rode the Sun Top loop near Crystal Mtn. Super steep climb followed by a ripping descent. I had been having brake problems for awhile, and the day before the ride thought I had it fixed so that I would at least have a back brake for the descent. The problem was it had leak some fluid and air was in the line, probably near the caliper, so you can imagine what happened by just adding some fluid it seemed to hold. I am on old Deore disc brakes that I have used for the last 3 seasons, they have seen better days. I just got some Avid juicy carbon brakes that will be on the Vulture tomorrow. I can not wait to use them. Power awaits me. Isn't it funny how new parts make you ride harder and faster than before, even if it is just a mental thing. I have some rides planned within the next couple of weeks, more on that later. Now just commuting longer distances to work and trying to stay ahead of it all. As always, keep pedaling.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


We should all support Team Dicky, win the RaceFace ultimate challange. Why you ask? Well a little history is in order. Before I got ill, I wanted to do this race and had every intention of doing it. My body, mind and soul were decicated and it took a lot for me to back out. I had to. I just couldn't ride. This was real, I felt like I wanted to die, I couldnt ride 3 miles without getting tired. I kept thinking it would pass. Well it didnt. I am still recovering this year, I am getting stronger and can ride a bunch more, but I am no where near where I was. So with saddness I had to backout. Causing Rich of team dicky to have to find a partner with little time. I wanted to be part of the team, the first singlespeed team to ride and complete the trans rockies. I still am not happy with myself for dissappointing such a strong rider. It just doesnt sit right with me that I had to dissappoint a fellow cyclist. I dont quit, and felt weak in doing so, but I had to, I was a shell of what I needed to be. So rich I support you and am still sorry about letting you down last year. everyone needs to vote for team dicky. rigid singlespeeds in the trans rockies, what could be better. I ripped a local ride yesterday on the rigid singlespeed, sore today, but there is one way to get in shape keep riding rigid. I am rambling, I am still upset for last year, I have come to terms with it, but it just doesnt sit right with me. I would like to get to the trans rockies again. If my recovery goes right I will be strong again. I got this tattoo awhile ago to help me realize that I can do it, I can come back from being fucked up beyond all recognition. well I will post it when I get the camera back from my girlfriend. Again rich I am sorry for last year.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


riding and hiking, and being away from all that connects us to the everyday. Last week I left for the Olympic Pennisula, to get away from it all, feel the sand on my toes and relax, or at the very least not do the same routine for a bit. Mission accomplished. I hung out with my dad, step mother and girlfriend. We did a lot of walking on the beach, there are some really amazing beaches out there. I went swimming on the first day, man was it cold, reminded me of being a child and spending time in the ocean in Maine. We went to the rainforest, we did at least 3 different activities a day. At times a bit draining, but all in all good. Did some riding on the trails out there, but so much of it is wilderness and we all know what that means, no bikes. I am feeling better on the bike, still not putting in the huge miles or hours, but more and more consistnet miles and hours each week. so that is a positive thing. This weekend will be a good test for me as we are planning to go ride the Sun Top trial, lots of climbing and then the next day the Ranger Creek trial, lots of climbing, all from the same camp. good times. about 20-30 miles a day with 4000 feet of climbing each day. this will be a test for me right now. old me would do it all in a day, recovering me will take it a little slower than that. We plan to explore a bit to see aobut connecting the crystal mountain loop in to it. The tripple crown of route 410, here in washington.
well all the fixie riders are out of the GDR, I was really looking forward to seeing them all cross the finish line, but alas, maybe next year some one will do it. Just showing up at the line on a fixed gear is amazing enough. Kent is putting on a ride for Dave Nice to raise money, I am hoping to have the monster cross bike built up and ready to ride that day, it is on the 30th of July, i hope that day is free, or I will have to clear it so that I can participate.

I hope that Rich and his teammate get in to the Trans Rockies. checkout racefaces site.

Get Cranked mag in your town. This is a local mag put out by some cool cats. You should get it in your town, or shop, or damn just get it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

lots on my plate.,....

It may be some kind of blessing in disquise that i have not been able, due mostly to life circimstances at the moment, read that I just moved, changed jobs, and have a house that I am trying to sell, that I have not been able to race this year. I am trying on a new hat, that everything happens for a reason. I got ill for a reason, it is supposed to teach me something, when I learn the lesson I will be able to move on, and maybe just maybe it will make me a stronger, better person, cyclist, human being. So each day I am looking for the silver lining, I hate to be that guy that used to be fast, used to be strong, used to be, I dont want to live in the past. Certainly all those experiences have helped me to grow and change and have been good, and are still part of who I am, but now I am who I am. I get to commute to work on a bike, that rocks. I dont get to mountain bike like I used to, but I am working on getting two or three mountain rides a week in, so far it has been about one. Last weekend the weather broke here, it was beautiful, what did I do, flew to reno on no sleep and cleaned my house up to get it ready to sell. Lots of work, but I did get to see the lake tahoe, some friends and eat the best sushi on the planet at Hiro's sushi in Kings Beach. silver lining. MInd you life is all about perspective and perception. I tend to see myself as less than right now when in some ways I am more than i was before, just in a different arena. I am not the mutant singlespeeder at the races, but I am coming back and I will rise agian, I am making plans, loose one for next year, and some for later this year, lets see what happens. I would like to do one tour, a couple big races, 100 milers, I would really like to get to Boris' 12 hour race. So I am coming back ever so slowly. I feel better on the bike, but I am also a bit more flexible in the training, and listen a bit better to the body for now at least. so there you have it, my brain fart of the day.

In other news I am feeling a bit sad today, Dave Nice aka Cellarrat, is out to the GDR his bike was stolen while he slept along side the road. I can not imagine how that must feel. Dave my heart goes out to you. there are a lot of people on your side and you will be rolling agian. Scott Taylor at a bike shop in Denver has set up a paypal account for those wanting to donate to get dave back and rolling. Lets show him we all care about him. Lets all be family, like we are. Those who ride should show a kinship. I found myself putting limits on it i.e those that have done a 24 hr race or this or that, but those who ride are part of a family. so those wanting to give should paypal money, any amount will help to scott@salvagetti.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

so awhile ago....

So awhile ago I wrote about fixed gear bikes are they the next hot thing. It appears they are, but is that necessarily a good thing. For those of you who dont know I am part of the Twin Six family. I like what these guys are about and what they are doing. I wont even try to pretend that I know the history of how messengers started riding these bikes. as part of a counterculture, those looking for the next thing to market may find it in the messenger culture. The rebels those who decide to live by their own rules.
I like fixies a lot, and after spending time on one it becomes very apparent why they hold such a dear place in the heart of those making a living delivering packages. They are simple, you are connected to the bike with your legs, thus minor adjusments in speed can be made with out using brakes, you are, at risk of making too mcuh out of it, one with the machine. So one of the other members of the twin six family wrote an opinion of the month about just the subject. The popularity of fixed gears and what it is doing to the messenger community in Milwakee.
I remember when skateboarding went big, it changed it, it made it harder to skate the streets because parks were built and why the hell werent we there. Similarly with the newspapers taking an interest fixed gear bikes they are brought in to the consiousness of all able to read the paper. The lawlessness of the machine gets highlighted. The law states that a bike must have breaks, most fixies dont, hence the long arm of the law now has some ammunition, and due to the exposure in the papers, they have the education of what to look for to determine what the bike looks like. So with the popularity comes the backlash. I am not a messenger, but riding fixed here in seattle certainly has its benefits, I dont ride fixed all the time and brakes can be tempermental, and minor adjustments to speed are not as easy to make, is it for everyone, no. Is it just for messengers, no. Just fly under the radar. Here is a link to James Lalonde's article, while your there poke around a bit. Keep it simple.

On a side note, I am selling a 26 inch rear wheel. new never been ridden. It is an white industries eno disc hub laced to a ritchey rim. unsure of spokes or nipples used in the build as it was built by my old team manager. if intertested make an offer,we will go from there. over and out, keep pedaling.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In theory....

I should be able to post more. But life takes over and I even have trouble getting an email off to old friends. Some may say I need to learn to manage my time, but after being sick I have a new found appreciation for doing things in their time. Some things just take longer than you wish they did, but then again perfection is not possible. Or is it? Does it really matter, imperfect may be perfect. Well I wont bore you with that babble of new age nonsense. New age or not things just happen when they happen and that has to be good enough. Dream and figure out the details later. Or maybe the dream is just good enough. There I go getting all new age again. Or is it just matter of fact. Ring a bell Pete. Peter Peter the...... Well those that were there can finish the rest of that sentence, or should I say adult nursery rhyme. I'll give you a hint think one with the natural order of things. Good times. So enough with the inside jokes.
My dad and step mom are in town.

Raam is about over, and the great divide race is about to happen. Good luck to Dave, matt and rudi, representing the fixed side off life. The build is in effect just trying to get all the right parts here. The color is exactly what I asked for. Wade really is the man, I can not wait to get out and hit the trials fixed. I am concerned that I will spend too much intimate trail time, i.e face in the roots, dirt, mud or what have you. And how will my body hold up over the miles, more so how bout the legs.

On the health front I am feeling better, and better, but still not whole. I almost said better, but that wouldn't have made a lot of sense. Here I go again. When ever I say that phrase"here I go again" I cant help but being reminded of Whitesnake, a car and a red head in white wrything around on the hood of a car. Yes I am feeling my age right now a victim of growing up in the 80's. "on my own goin down the only road I've ever known, like a twister I was born to walk alone, I made..... So I am riding more, and more miles, thank god for Whitesnake, not really, it reminds me of being on an endless climb with a wander mind and having that filling it urging me on faster and faster in an attempt to make it hurt so bad I forget about the stupid sound loop that I am playing in my mind. Oh I have spent many hours with Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train in my head, and I cant say I always enjoyed it. I have played whole albums in my head during a race before. Its tolerable in a race, but in real life at work it can push me over the edge. Back to the world

so hopefully the off road fixie, I haven't yet named her, with be internet ready here in about 2 weeks. Sorry for the delay. I know you are all just holding your breath in anticipation. Well don't. I hope everyone finds the humor in that sentence and doesn't label me some kind of ego maniac.

So family is the theme this week, my parents are here, keiths parents are here. I am told father levitt went down on the road and has some battle scars. Heal up, heal up.

I rode trails again rigid and am thinking about staying that way for awhile. cialis really works. haha, rigid is simple, roots hurt and line selection is key. I imagine if I get really accustomed to it going back to a suspension fork will only increase the fun. Its all about skill building. So I have more energy and am dreaming of racing again, but probably not until next year, I don't want to rush anything, and only then for pure shits and giggles.

Looks like Rich of team dicky had a rough weekend, next time my man, next time.
so the weather looks to be getting better and soon I am hoping that life will stop taking over and I will have time to really get out and ride and recover. Patience it never has been my strong point

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What am I supposed to learn....

I am trying to come up with one of those life is.... sayings to sum up in a few words succinctly how life has been feeling lately and am at a loss for the correct words. There is the ever present and over used "life happens" which to me describes just that. This life that we lead comes with inherent resposibilities and they happen, is one definition. Things take longer than we as a collective want them too. Plans change. Schedules change. What is the saying "the best laid plans fail, fall short" something. Life has a way of providing road blocks, or challanges, puzzels if you will to slow us down, and possible teach us lessons. That is if we listen and pay attention. Patience is a Virture. How many more uphemisism can I throw in here. Anyways life tends to throw situations our way to teach us more about our selves and just quite possible more about the collective human condition. We are as much as I hate to admit it only human after all. I would love to be mutant freak, and not bound to the same collective restrictions, but at the end of the day, I am faced with the fact of being a human after all. Sometimes while out riding in traffic I feel above it all and on another plain, but then I get to work and have to deal with boss, and the customers and all of this has a way of bringing me back to earth. There is simple not enough hours in the day to do everything I wish that I could do. So being part of the collective is the answer and understanding personal motivation may help me understand the motivations of others and might just possible make it easier to come to terms with being human. Well now that i have totally made no sense and danced from topci to topic, a glimpse in to how my brain works, I will attempt to describe what is happening.

Communication, now I think I am quite good at it, but as of late that has most definately not been the case. The real question is: Is it what I say or might it be what I expect people have heard. So Sunday we went for an what was supposed to be an epic ride and that is was, but not for the same reasons that i initail thought. I was under the impression that the route had been ridden in its entirety and therefore would not involve exploration. wrong. first 6 miles amazing ups followed by amazing downs, then lots and lots of fireroad, gravel road and pavement with many stops all the time lost. oh yeah then some hike a bike insert 2000 vert in under a mile and a half. riding in 6 inches up mud more being lost. ok you get the point. a 3 to 4 hour expected ride turned in to a 8 hour where are we going fest. But we got back on track adn the final descent was out of this world.
Tuesday: The day I was supposed to get my bike frame back from the painter. Car trip to, lots of traffic. Frame looked awsome paint just what I wanted. had a long conversation when I dropped it off about taping of the head badge, understood, 1 of a kind,etc etc. Well you can imagine where this is going. Head badge got painted. fuck, now they have to re do it. there is an hour and a half wasted in the car, for a conversation I thought was well understood, it was noted every where.
I wont bore you with more, but that is they way it has been going. What am I supposed to learn, not so sure, but under all this I am looking for the silver lining. because there is always a silver lining under all things, or am I just supposed to change my level of expectation, ask more questions and maybe be that guy, the guy that asks to many questions and wants to control the outcome too much. This post was less bikeing related and more just a vent if you made it this far you are a trooper, if not you really missed out. as always keep pedaling and enjoy