Thursday, May 31, 2007

the wait is over...

here is what happens when you mix booze, fire and desire to entertain....

Barr how do you like me now......

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

skids for beer.....

After a long day of riding a man needs a cold one. Thanks to Carey for the beer hold, notice the dog she is fending off, and Myles for the camera work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bend and all it glory

We took off on Friday to head down to Bend, OR, and the annual Memorial Day weekend of fun. I was really look forward to getting away and being in the high desert again for a bit. We loaded up the car in the morning and waited for our traveling partners to arrive. We remarked how odd it felt to be packed a ready and not scrambling around making sure not to forget but always forgetting at least three key components to the trip. We had it all, I wondered to myself if this could be a sign of age, or if I was just getting lucky. First stop was Walking Man brewery in Stevenson, a nice little spot by the Columbia River. Talking with Jacob was fun, and the beer was world class as always.

Walking man

Then it was on to Bend. To make a long story short we had a lot of fun. There will be more on all the goings on later I will tempt you with this: What happens when you mix whiskey, beer, fire and bikes? scorchers to be exact.

Fire along the road?

That is just a teaser, this story is far from over.

Carey and Myles
Our travel partners, and partners in crime for that matter Carey and Myles. This is at the Diner in Randle, WA after a long day of driving and a bunch more to go.

Wade and I finally got to ride together.
More Vulture

That was on Sunday, i got a great ride in, we both rode the scorchers and had a blast, it was great to see Wade for a few hours and to ride some of his local trails that are way off the radar.

Saturday we rode in a huge group and had a great time bonding. I didn't take any pics but soon I hope to get some from Carey who did. Carey and Myles who are both new to mountain biking charged all weekend and rode like seasoned veterns. It was great to have them along. Carey works for Raleigh Bikes you can here more stories from her and others here and here.

I could go on and on, I am known for that, but I am stopping here, there is just too much to say, I saw old friends, created new friends and did some memorable things. Ever do something and wonder what your motivation for doing so was, and the cameras where there. I think it brought the whole camp together and made for a memorable moment in time, one that won't leave the memory bank soon. You will see what I am talking about real soon, I promise. Fire, booze and bikes. Bend, it will happen every year. as always keep pedaling.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The final countdown

After 9 days in a row of work i am down to the final day. I hear "it's the final countdown" dah dah dah, dat dah, dahda datdat da, that great song from Europe playing in my head. Tomorrow we head to Bend, its the anual Memorial Day weekend trip. Did it last year had a great time, looking forward to some high desert trails, visit with the man himself( the Vulture) that is, and hopefully get to ride with him.

In other news: Although I failed to enter the Creampuff on time, I was short on cash and wondering where my fitness would be. I got confirmation yesterday that I am in. I greet this news with one part happiness and two parts oh shit. I remember just what it was all about now. Really I am happy as hell, I love that trail, and there is no feeling that compares to being done with a endurance race. I feel so satisfied, complete, like there is no better place I would want to be, like it all makes sense, my place in the world that is. Enough, enough, I have this tendency to over type, speak what have you.

I will be seeing this again, here I am descending the Jedi Trail just before Aid Two. It's three laps again, I will see old and new friends. I sent my friend Mr. Kevin Noble a email saying that I had gotten in. His first email said "nice" his second said" what I meant to say was fuck I have to race you again." Kevin who has been kicking my ass up in Bellingham have no fear my man, it will be a solid day of fun, no matter what. I just hope I can find my fitness by then. I am really looking forward to it again, after two years of absence.

And waiting at Aid 2 that year my wonderful dogs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

so i've added some flair....

yes it clashes, and it is just a start, but then again it's brighter than it was.

Flair, not just the bare minimum either. Enough said, I always got a kick out of that scene.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

aunties got back...

There she is in all her glory

I just poached this off the BaconStrip blog's comment section. Looks like they had a great time eating pancakes atop Peavine Mountain, wish I could have been there boys. But heres a little ditty that Wolfy composed I think...

I like pan CAKES andIcannotLie…
Al you otherbrothers can’y DE-Nie…
When Mrs. B walks up with her itty bitty waist
and her maply but in your face
You get SPRUNG
Wanna pull up tough
Cuz you notice that cake was stuffed (with baocn and Butter)
Deep in the bottle she’s wearing
I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get with ya
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But that butter you got
Make Me so hungry
Ooh, rump of smooth skin
You say you wanna get in my belly
Well use me use me cuz you aint that aunt Jamima…

Thank you bacon strip for all the great snapshots of life in the land of eternal sun, hoping to get down there sometime soon. over and out. as always keep pedaling.

Monday, May 21, 2007

this whole blogin thing....

So I read other people's blogs, I could probably put link after link in this space that I am filling with my run on sentence filled rantings. I feel that my blog is all over the map filled with the days or as it has been lately the weeks or the moment I decided to blog thoughts. I feel that they lack a certain cohesion, the only common denominator being me. Photos, which lets face it make a difference in this sound bit society, are lacking. My thoughts, as much as I would like to put thoughts to words, just don't seem to sound the same when I write them as when I think them. When I think them they sound, well for lack of a better word, better, not so scattered, more cohesive and well thought out, not so matter of fact and boring. When I tell stories in person I get to see reactions, it has depth, I feel that when I write it sounds so we did this and then we did that. It lacks all those writer moments and insights that really make up the story, that add depth. I guess what I am trying to say is I think that I have more to say than I do, or I have more to say and I wish I knew just how to stay on task long enough to come full circle. There I go making no sense. I guess this is why I am attracted to things in the physical realm over those in the mental, while do physical things you either do or don't, you either are or aren't. It is base, simple and straight forward, there is no where to hide. The more you do it, the better you get. As of late by chance I have come across a handful of people that I am glad to have run in to and I hope I can put in to words just what it has meant to me. I get all touchy feely sometimes, it's a side effect of my childhood, but that's a whole other story.
So by chance within the last two months I have literally run in to people, and it has made all the difference. The kind of run ins that make you immediately think about what a small world it is, cause lets face it sometimes in this journey we call life we fell so small and insignificant. The first character in this story is my friend Craig, who I met in passing a few cyclocross races. One day I wonder what he was up to, I knew he raced mountain bikes and I need a partner in crime someone to go ride with during the week, turns out he has Thursdays off. Not a day after thinking what he was up to I run in to him while on my way to work, now he is on the job, he's a messenger, and we chat for a second, exchange numbers and we are riding that weekend. We schedule a ride for that weekend. Well here is what I am talking about earlier kicks in, I feel that my words have become no more than words on a screen and boring at that. I feel that what I am saying could be said with more flair, that is if I knew how to write. So I will cut to the chase. We arrive at the parking lot in Bellingham to ride and who shows up Kevin Noble, meet him at the puff a few years back. We exchange numbers and ride a bunch of times in the following weeks. Now the story really turns to those the world getting small or right place right time kind of things. Last Tuesday Danielle and I go to Tiger Mountain, its a gorgeous day, and I randomly have the night off because of scheduling difficulties at work, had that not been the case I probably would not have been out there at all. I exit a trial head and hear "Is that a Vulture?'' I stop and say "why yes it is." I am now standing talking with Carey and Myles, who I don't know, but they know Kevin. We talk, it feels all old friend like, not just met like, we end up drinking beers and it feels real from the get go. Kind of like we have know each other all along. I am struck with the feeling that I am where I am supposed to be, it is reaffirming, because I want to live where I can ride from my door to the trials, it is a bit far from my current house. There I go switching subjects and getting off topic, I am no writer, sorry dad, sorry mom, they are both English majors, and teachers at one point in time. this is said with a bit of sarcasm, how proud they must be ha ha. Its a joke both of them tell me they are proud of me, although my dark side wonders,oohh another dark comment. So there you have it I started out with the topic of blogging and rambled on. Cohesion is my challenge in the upcoming year. that and those photos i keep talking about. So here it is, my commitment to taking more pics, and to really keeping a written history of my life, cause lets face it on this blog it is his story..... ha ha, It is really hard to put inflection on to a blog, does my humor or lack there of come across, how bout my depth of feeling or my insecurities, we all got em. right? I' ll leave with that, more to come more often, i hope. as always keep pedaling.....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

the birthday ride.....yer sufferfest

So the plan was set. Celebrate my birthday with a kick ass ride, one that leaves you wondering what the fuck did I sign on for. It started with 3 trusty soles. Kevin, Scott and myself. We wanted to be riding by 9 or so, well we got riding by 10 or so, the best laid plans.... The plan was to ride every trail, or to at least touch every major trail on Galbraith, which I found out is actually Lookout Mountain. Yeah look out here comes the pain. Now the numbers are Kevin and Nat numbers, every ride seems to be between 41 and 43 miles lately. This one consisted of lots and lots of singletrack, twisty rooty, short grunt kind of singletrack.... back to the story, we started at Kevin's house and leasurly spun the interurban trail to Whatcom Falls park and were quickly on the trails. Up the ridge trail, down Bob's trial, up the pipeline, a series of steep pitches that most use as a bail out going the other way. I forget some of the next trails, Rock and Roll, up something down 911 where I crashed really hard of a log, good scrapes on the ankle and shin, and we kept rolling on, and on, getting near to the towers a couple of times, but always veering away to hit some other far reaching area. Kevin had a great loop planned, and thank god that the ladies in our lives put a time limit on us, because I was hurting this day. The trails were in perfect condition, but my legs were wonder what I was asking of them. But the ride must go on, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger...well many of you readers may know that I need to be careful with that statement as I was and still worry about what I was able to do to my body and mind a few years back. That always is in the back of my head and I rest more than I used to, but I may need to slow it down a bit so that I have legs for some of the upcoming races. That said the rides must go on. Somewhere in the middle Scott need to take his medicine, and we met up with Dale another on of their co workers at Kona. Dale was fresh and we hit Kung fu something or other, then Cheech and Chongs wild ride to not Shawn's to not not Shawn's to the bottom, then it was up the three pigs and then it was up to the top of the Woopsy Woodle, now I was getting low on fuel and my stomach which had been bothering me all day really took a turn for the worse, well I pushed through, what else is there to do. Then it was up to the towers down Evolution to the Scorpion and then some other trial I forget the name of, Galbraith is such a lace, maze of interconnected trails that I have a hard time knowing where or what I am riding, i am getting better and I have left whole sections of this ride out cause I have no idea what I was riding. I know we finished on SST, which left me and my back wondering why I was riding with now suspension, my hands where wondering the same. While Kevin and Dale were raving about how fun it was I was standing in pain wondering about suspension. I may go back to it for the summer, oh gasp..... well here are some pictures in no particular order thanks to Kevin, who remembered to take a camera and some pics to boot.....
These are in no particular order.... Here somewhere towards the end of the Woopsy
Somewhere nice, and totally different from most of Galbraith
Scott a bit blurry at the bottom of Bob's

Kevin, our master of direction, taking a breather, and forming a plan
What a view, Scott, me, Robin and Dale...
Me on the corner towards the bottom of Bob's, I know most of the pics are of me, but then again it was my birthday, thirty fuckin three.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

cars a necessary evil.....

Before I get to the birthday ride post, I know you are all dying to know just how it went, i am sorry but you will have to wait another day. I know my posts have been sporadic, but when the weather is nice here in the Pacific Northwest one must take full advantage of it and get out and away from the computer and the house. It was a long long wet, winter,did I mention snow.....back to the post at hand.

Disclaimer, this is just my thoughts, so don't rip my head off if you see it differently, I will try to explain.

I know loyal readers will be wondering about the title. I commute by bike and have written about all the evils of cars, those things still exist. There is also a very good side to cars, not there exhaust or how much they clog up the road, but for most of us mountain bikers they are a necessary evil. I mean without them getting to the trial head would be a lot more of a chore. Now if you live someplace where the trials are really close, you should ride. I used to live for many, many years in places where this was possible and I took full advantage of it. But what about those times I wanted to explore the South side of the lake, without a car it would have taken a much larger time investment to do so. Not impossible I in no way am saying that it would not be doable, but time is money, and time in the saddle tends to tire us out, so to ride 40 miles before even hitting the trial is not very cost effective in the time on dirt equation. I will explain it more in detail, we mountain bikers usually like the joy and exhilaration found in singletrack, you know that foot wide path to enlightenment that we seek each and ever time we head out. Now lets face it the same old is that the same old, variety is the spice of life. That is where the car comes in we have to drive to find the variety in life that also leads to the dirt path to enlightenment, got it. I have now completely confused myself and rambled on about cars, on a bike blog, oh my I advocated cars, yes for the pursuit of the dirt path to enlightenment. They are good when used for the right purpose. They are not meant for in city travel, again they are only useful in the pursuit of the dirt path...... you get the point. Life would be different and I think that cities should have more paths, and bike only trials in parks, so that we don't always have to get in a car to search out our bliss. The colonnade park here in Seattle is a start, but what about real in city singletrack, that goes from park to park and around, sure we would have to ride pavement here and there but think about using the green spaces we have in a different manner, what would a little bike only singletrack do, but make more people able to find a passion that keeps them fit and is exhilarating. I have ideas, What about Discovery park, to Golden Gardens to Carkeek, and beyond. Think about it, it's not out of the question. So this post has spilled over its time limit and gone off subject, just a seed, I am just planting a seed.
My world would be vastly different with out a car, not that it would be bad, but we need to think of ways to move people differently so that cars are not the easiest, simple answer to getting around, only time will tell. I would like to think that we could include all walks of life, even us cycling bottom dwellers that we are seen as. I really think that bikes can change the world, that is if we let them and expose more and more people to them as an answer. Sorry I got all preachy there. enough is enough with the rambling, I hope it was clear enough to plant a seed. as always keep pedaling.... I know I promised pictures, but those will be here tomorrow, you'll just have to wait....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Galbraith Art


Notice the Kona theme???? These pics were taken up on Galbraith a mountain just out of Bellingham, WA. There are many, many trails and now 5 pieces of art. I have seen them all. this is just two of them, the french fries and the ???blades of grass, you be the judge. Have fun guessing which is which. After all I am captain obvious some times. Kevin sent these to me and I liked them and wanted to put them on my blog, so here they are for your viewing pleasure. If there is one thing, and one thing only that this blog needs more of, in this digital age, it is picture. After all a picture is worth a thousand words, I want to take more pictures I just never seem to remember the camera or if I do I get so caught up in the riding that I don't want to take the time to stop and pull the camera out. I need to get a smaller camera, that is weather proof and attach it to my hydration pack so that I can shoot on the go, from the shoulder or cuff so to speak. Well I think that you get the picture, ha ha get it. I know I should quit while I'm ahead or at least before I make to much more of an ass of myself, which by the way I am good at if you hadn't already noticed. enough already.
This weekend it looks like I will be staying close to home as there is danielle's family to be around, I will sneak away at some point, but birthdays need to be celebrated and young ones to be run ragged so adults can get some piece and quiet, thats where I come in, with my eternal energy, which I must tell you is running low today, rest is in order. What perfect timing I will hang out with family and fall asleep, ha, I will run around with a 5 year old and hope to keep up. So there you have it, not big ride this weekend, next weekend I hope to do a big birthday ride followed by some bbqing and beer drinking fun. I hope that kevin stays in town so we can attempt to ride all the trails on Galbraith, see the above picture in a day. Won't that be a 33rd birthday to remember. Thirty fucking three, I almost don't know what to think of it, that used to be so old, oh my god. My good friend Keith who planned a birthday party that included beaches and surfing is also celebrating his birthday in the upcoming week, young pup is only turning 30. ah to think of thirty brings back horrors. Anyways he put my name on the invite like I was gonna be at the beach to ring in my 33rd, keith I love you, but I gotta ride, I not really the beach going kind of guy. The mountains are calling my name. Hoist one in my name will ya.
I have rambled on much longer than I should have and probably offended someone, not my intentions. Best wishes to all and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Noble Sufferfest

Kevin Noble that is. Kevin lives in Bellingham and works for Kona, he has lived there for many years now and knows all of the trials in the area. Ever time we ride he puts together different trails and loops to keep it all fresh. The trend has been to get longer and tougher each week that we ride. While this Saturday's ride wasn't longer in mileage it was harder. It had rained all week and the ground was saturated, the kind that makes you feel like you have a bigger gear on your bike than you do. It also didn't help that my bottom bracket was totally toasted and knocking from side to side. I am not the best mechanic, and usually a single speed will just go and go, but then it needs some TLC, well thats where I am right now. My bike needs a little overhaul, the winter has taken its toll, and I need to invest in a few upgrades.
We started with a couple hours on Galbraith, think twisting, turning trails, power climbs and puddles were the norm. Then it was on the road for a bit, then the biggest climb of the day, on that has been dubbed "Sick Joke" nothing to laugh about. Its mellow in the beginning and then rears its ugly head with a quick rock strewn right handed turn in to a 15 + degree pitch that goes on and on. I wanted to get off, but would not allow myself, even though my arms felt like they were going to fail, funny they felt similar last week, but not quite as bad. Then we hit the Hemlock trial, more mud, and made our way around towards Lost Lake, more mud, pitches that were usually climbable were not and we pushed our bikes through the mud. We joked about the desert guys having it easy. Mileage in the northwest is deciveing, keep that in mind. We made our way back to the Ridge trial and then the interurban trail and on towards the home front. This sufferfest lasted 6 hrs but we were left feeling shattered. We chalked it up to the mud and the two pedal strokes forward, one back feel of the whole day. That night we ate pizza and drank some beer. The next day was a quick 2 and a half hours on Galbraith again and then I was homeward bound. Thank god the suffering is over for the moment. Now its time for a little recovery, I hope.
Hopefully we will celebrate my birthday by riding all the trails of Galbraith on the 12th of may. I look forward to it. thanks again kevin for the beating.