Saturday, July 30, 2005

Get it while it's hot

I like biscuits and gravy in the wintertime. Hot black coffee to sluice through the grease in your mouth. Maybe even hook it up with some cheese grits on the side, (y'all know how I like to make 'em with the garlic powder, the louisiana hot sauce and the sharp cheddar). Scrape up the cracklin's off the bottom ofthe pan before you hit it with the milk. Yes Sir, yes M'am, that's what I like before a ride in the wintertime.

Sometimes I'm all about a big pot of black beans sitting on the stove, morning, noon, and night, cruise by and take a swat straight off the the top. Mmmmm, a little onion and a lot of fresh herb. Chase it down with a cold glass of tap water.

Late summer night, back from a ride, big ribeyes on the grill, marinated in fresh garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. If there ain't no rosemary, I don't even want a steak. Roll the corn up in foil with a pat of butter and a sprig of the piney good stuff too. Asparagus dripping and sizzling. A 12 pack of mountain sodas nestled in the fridge, patiently waiting their turns. Legs all tired and good, mind blown clean from the ride. That's the soul food right there.

Somebody throw for bull.

Fall comes in, you get caught that first cold afternoon out, "Damn I'm freezing!" Pull into some country convenience store in the middle of nowhere and fix yourself up a 16 oz styrofoam cup of trucker coffee with a pack of hot cooca mix stirred into it. Might as well get a few tater logs if they got 'em right? Sun is so bright, and the air so cool you could just lay in the grass by the store all afternoon, except you've got to clip in and get home, 20 more miles of highway, powerlines, sidewalks, singletrack, parking lots, and neighborhoods (remember the little black girls who hollered, cheered, and jeered us on the way out? Let's go back that same way. )

Fix a torn sidewall with a dollar bill, tighten up a bottom bracket with a tiretool and a log, whatever comes up along the way, you have an answer. That's the soul food right there.

Coming up the St. Marks trail, catching roadies, hammering away like you're building the railroad. Legs are tired, but so warm and loose you could ride the sun down, and you probably will have to actually.

Bunny hopping over coke cans, broken glass, curbs, imaginary curbs, empty 40's in brown bags, (sounding pretty good right now?)

Threading the perfect merge into traffic, catching the light, carving down the hill into the cemetery, traffic noise falls away in the company of the dead.

Bombing campus from the Wescott fountain down to the Union, never touching the brakes, just surfing. Pulling up somewhere, completely awash in memories of a 1988 Yellow Dakar and a pair of High-Tec's. (Follow for Now is playing at Mama's, I heard the skinheads are gonna try to crash it, let's go over there!)

Been back in town seven years, that's pretty hard to believe. Am I ever going to leave again?

Not if the menu keeps serving up soul food, and everybody knows you have to cook it up yourself if you want it to be good.

-Back on the road tomorrow, I'll catch up with you somehwere.

Maybe a couple of guest hosts this week, we'll see.

Cornbread and collards, Juancho

Friday, July 29, 2005


The Colossal Apostle, Magnus Backstedt, Thanks for the memories, and see you next year!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Be Cool

There is a sandstorm blowing in from Africa, and it is supposed to make things really gross and uncomfortable around here. As opposed to what? The mosquito-laden soup we walk around in all day? The liquid heat of the Publix parking lot? Just when you thought the worst was upon you, up comes a sandstorm from Africa, fabulous.

Fortunately, I will be well on my way north by the time it hits, and hopefully I'll be blowing bubbles in the Oconee river later today, or eating cheese grits, drinking cold iced tea somewhere along the way.

Just because I'm gone don't think you can just do whatever you want around here. I'll be keeping an eye on things, assuming Georgia has the internet.

If anybody really wants to address the teeming hordes, get word to Sasquatch and we can arrange for you to get the keys to the city for a day.

Down here in Dixie we say, "Welp" right before we segue into a departure, I'm not sure what the 'p' is for, but here goes...

...Welp, I'm out of here, time to go watch Lance Armstrong drag everyone around the Champs Elysees for the last time. No speculation about a return to cycling for him, that dude is over it.

Thanks for tuning in, drink plenty of fluids. (insert crass joke here)


Friday, July 22, 2005

Boiling Point

A subtle clarity dappled my mind as I drove home from the Dentist yesterday. I felt, different? Better maybe? It's hard to explain. Aside from the carnage, the novocaine, the brutality of the job, I felt normal. It felt, exactly, like a fever breaking.

And there is your answer.

For the last three weeks I've complained about the heat, which is no worse than any other summer. I've kept the house at an arctic temperature and still kick the covers on the floor every night. I've physically assaulted poor Sasquatch. I've overheated so much on rides that I was on the edge of a panic attack. Grumpy, sleepy, irritable, uncreative, uninspired, accusatory, and short-tempered. I have been the seven dwarves of hell.

I believe I had a fever for the last three weeks. It would certainly explain a lot. No slump. No lack of cosmic motivation. Just ill and unaware.

As soon as my mouth heals I'm going to pour myself a big old mug of turpentine, and fry me up a big mess of barbed wire, smother it in blackstrap molassess and come out there and WHOOP SOME ASS!

From the launchpad-Juancho

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Road Redemption

I'm getting out of here on Sunday. It's back to work for the Fuller brush man. I think this trip could not have come at a better time. Athens, GA is well known as a Southern Mystic Power Center. I think it's high time I make a pilgrimage. S'quatch & Sqwatch are minor royalty in the Athens scene, so I'm counting on a nice letter of introduction to grease the wheels.

I plan on "reconnecting" with my bike. We have both been so busy lately, that we ignore the little things that made us fall for each other in the first place. Oh sure, the paint is a little chipped, and that red-wall Panaracer XC-Pro makes its ass look big, but its still the same sweet hardtail I fell in love with back in 2003. I guess I'm a little worse for wear myself. I lined us up a hot date at a local singletrack, to get the flames of passion rekindled.

Here's the description...

Not much in the way of big hills but highly technical with tons of 3-5 dropoffs, sharp switchbacks, tight trails, tough rock gardens and one very nice 20-25 foot drop-in. I have only ridden the first two sections (about 6 miles) but there is more along the power lines, I am told. Definitely not for beginners although a good place to hone technical skills. One section has 5 3-5 foot dropoffs in a row and is quite an entertaining little series of jump opportunities/break your bike and neck opportunities. Not much room to build up speed and a few rock gardens and vertical uphill spots that only a select few can conquer without dabbing a toe or two. I got a stick in the eye, stabbed in the leg with my own skewer, and nearly lost my lunch. It was awesome.

It will either break us up for good, or make us stronger as a team, don't you think?

I've scheduled a lot of cushion into this trip, so the Dauset Trails south of Atlanta are on the menu, along with some lazy swimmin' in the Oconee. Athens will straight up feed a hungry man too. The GRIT, The Bluebird Cafe, The Five Star, and a variety of "meat and three's" to tour. I'm talking cornmeal battered fried green tomatoes with ranch dressing, kitchen sink style burritos, gumpy vegan gruel platters smothered in Bragg's and Brewer's yeast. I'm an equal opportunity feeder. In my world pork chops and tofu get along great.

Yes, a little foreign dirt in the treads is going to snap me out of this funk.

I'm going looking for a little road magic.

Later muggles,


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Go on, get out of here!

That gregarious, gargantuan, guardian of the forest-Sasquatch- has been steppin' out lately. He turned me on to , the journal of a woman who I can safely say would drop most of us like a wet pickle on her bike. Luckily, she lives all the way up in Minnesota so I can safely say--

"Bring it on! If you ever show your face in Tallahassee, we're racing"

--with little to no risk of suffering the consequences.

As the steward of this little corner of the internet, I don't go visiting too often, content to add another cyberlego to my own wonderland without checking out what the neighbors are up to.

Since the Vicodin has me in a state of suspended animation, (not to be confused with reverse hibernation) why don't y'all stop by and say hello over there and let me get some rest for once.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A hero must lay down his sword

Excerpted from Magnus Backstedt' tour diary.

I'm disappointed.

It's not like I started today thinking about dropping out of the Tour de France. It just turned out that way.
My back started really bothering me after the start. I could never get comfortable on the bike and it was even hard to grip my handlebars there at times. I just couldn't get any power out. I would try and try and try and there was just nothing. I felt like I had about half the power I did yesterday. I tried smaller gears, bigger gears and nothing. It was one of those days when I could neither spin nor turn gears.
The stage itself kicked off with the usual charge from the line and the attacks started right from the gun. There was a bit of a tailwind, too, so that boosted the speed even more. Even going up the climbs, it seemed like a full-on sprint the whole first hour and I was having a mess of trouble trying to stay on.
Unlike the other day, though, I couldn't keep fighting back on. At one point I slipped off the back of the field, moved back to a chase group. Over the next 20km, my back kept getting worse and worse and I kept getting dropped by the grupetto. I would get dropped on the hills and reconnect on the downhills, but each time the gap would get a little bigger....
Suddenly, I found myself riding 70km on my own. That's not fun when your back is killing you and you don't have any power going to your legs. All in all, it was a pretty shitty day.
I'm really, really disappointed, but what can you do?
So, tomorrow I get on a plane and go home to Wales to my family. My wife and I are expecting our second child in September, so it will be good to be home for a bit. I will spend some time at home and try to get my physical problems sorted out before focusing on training for the Olympics.
I'll try to keep in touch over the next couple of weeks and let you know how things are progressing.


It was a tough race for the big guy, it took a lot to take him out.

Spewed 6 times in a stage???

McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) has discovered where his limits are. He was struck by a stomach bug after his third stage win, at Montpellier last Friday, and began the first of three Pyrenean stages on Saturday wondering if he would survive.
"I hardly slept at all. I spent half the night lying in the foetal position. I thought: 'how the hell am I gonna get through this?'," McEwen said.

"But there is always someone who is a bit worse, like Maggie (Magnus Backstedt) who spewed up six times on Saturday and still made the finish."

And then...

Knee injuries afflicted Alejandro Valverde, Tobias Steinhauser, Bernhard Eisel Angelo Furlan, Magnus Backstedt and Juan Manuel Garate.

And then...

(Excerpted from the man himself)

Hitting The Deck Is No Fun!

16th Jul 2005

Today was one of those days that you just put your head down, ride and wait for the finish.It's not that this stage was so hard, it's that I suffered so much yesterday that I am still trying to recover.To start, I came down on the descent of the Col de la Madeleine and then spent the rest of the day hurting. I was on my own, just trying to get back on to the grupetto and I locked up my front wheel in a corner and landed on my back.

And so...

Two riders were unable to appear at the start of Tuesday's stage, as both Magnus Backstedt of Liquigas and Gianluca Bortolami of Lampre decided not to continue their race.

You'll get them next year Magnus! Good race.

Reverse Hibernation

I think I have found the answer to my summer doldrums.

S'quatch, please stop by sometime in October and throw some crackers down this hole. I'm probably going to be hungry when I wake up.

U.S. researchers said they have induced and then reversed hibernation in mice, the first step toward hibernating human patients by slowing their metabolism.
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said they used oxygen deprivation to trigger the hibernations, which lasted six hours. The mice were revived with no ill effects.
During hibernation, cell activity nearly stops, reducing the need for oxygen. If such a suspended state could be induced in human patients, it could help doctors buy enough time to locate transplant organs for the critically ill or transport wounded soldiers to field hospitals.
Inducing such a state might require only an intravenous saline solution mixed with trace amounts of an agent that interferes with the body's ability to use oxygen.
"We think this may be a latent ability that all mammals have -- potentially even humans -- and we're just harnessing it and turning it on and off, inducing a state of hibernation on demand," said Mark Roth, the lead investigator.
Oxygen deprivation also could speed the healing of wounds by stopping cell death and keeping transplantable organs fresh longer.

Maybe I'll get the full organ overhaul while I'm down there.

Pleasant dreams,

Juancho el Oso

Monday, July 18, 2005

Resident: General Delivery

Some armchair blogger accused me of "mailing in" my post last week concerning my abnormal sleeping habits. 'We don't want to read about you waking up in the morning" he told me.
Another trusted loyalist commented I was "all over the place" in that one. He seemed to think it uncomfortably intimate to picture me rolled up 10th Ave ghetto burrito style.

So, gentle readers, I'm going to fax this next one to you, or maybe launch it like the damn space shuttle. I'm going to shoot it straight into the mainline of your underwhelmed psyches. No more pulled punches for the marks at the circus, get out your wallets and prepare to be fleeced.

Thoughts on the Tour.

I have seen a lot of this type of grousing...

"George Hincapie wheel-sucked his way to victory".

Now I'm no rocket scientist, but it looks to me like road racing is similar to playing chess while someone kicks you in the nuts, and old George must have had his cup in. Other than marrying a podium girl from the tour a few of years ago, George hasn't won any individual tour victories.

So for the record, the Big Ring Circus applauds George (Who the fuck is that?) Hincapie.

Now, about my so-called "slump".

Sasquatch delicately mentioned that maybe-- staying up all night, drinking, smoking, and playing darts is not really helping me in my quest for total domination. He's no rocket scientist either, but he's closer than me. What do you think? Is there a possible connection between my VO2 Max (Ability to breathe I think) and smoking tar?

Does riding in the heat, dehydrated like an astronaut's breakfast affect performance?

Is it also possible that riding with an icepick headache in your temple could have some impact on my morale, my motivation, my enjoyment of a ride?

I don't know. That sounds like a lot of Chicken Little-ology to me, but I value your opinion.

And then, so if I change my ways--Let's say I drink supplement shakes, I go to bed at 10:00 P:M, I save drinking for the weekends only, I get plenty of rest (actually I've got that one wired), and I avoid the camaraderie of my non-riding 10th Ave peers, where does that leave me?

If I then succeed, is it a pyrrhic victory? To sacrifice so much to gain, what?

Hmmm, Total Domination does make me salivate with hunger.

I'll leave you to chew on this, I don't remember who said it.

"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't."

Perseverance or obstinacy? Place your bets.

Juancho, unapologetic.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Rough Water

I woke up at 5:15 A:M this morning.

The fan was blasting directly into my ear, just like I like it. I went to bed at 11:00 after a couple of tall vodka tonics. The corner of the pillow was tucked just the way I like it. I was rolled up burrito style in my comforter. The AC was pumping on full sub-arctic mode as usual.

So why? I was dreaming vividly, I know that much. There was water, lots of water. Hmm, don't have to pee necessarily, but I get up and do it anyway. Lie back down and try to reconnect to the dream, but you know that never works. I was awake. Completely and undeniably conscious and rested. It don't make no damn sense. Oh well, we got ourselves a show to put on under the big top so we might as well get to work.

I think I've figured out part of the reason the doldrums have set in for me this summer. It's an achievement to get out and ride at all in these conditions, and that just ain't me. I like to ride with purpose. I like to explore. I like to pioneer. Link up trails, neighborhoods, highways, drainage ditches, swimming pools, and in general make a day of it. This business of riding the same stuff like a hamster on a wheel is getting to me. Of course if I was riding it faster I may not feel that way, but whatever. I'm going to work with this new paradigm. Trying to log a huge ride this time of year can kill you, but that may be better than the current status quo, so I'm up for ideas. Anyone? Hello?

The tour gets rolling in 45 minutes and I think I've earned the right to watch it this morning. For those of you following the race, I encourage you to support Janeck Tombak, of the Cofidis team. It was brought to my attention that the homeboy from Estonia has been struggling at the very bottom of the leaderboard from day one. Yet here he is, still in the race. So if you've ever worked hard to do poorly, throw your hands in the air for Jan Tombak. If you can admire someone who refuses to quit, throw some love to Tombak. He's a more accessible hero than Lance Armstrong, that's for sure.

Oh, and today? I'm pretty sure Magnus is going to kick their ever-lovin' 28 inch waist asses in the flats.

Juancho Magellan Out

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Weathering the Storm-

Where is my black turtleneck? Somebody get me a beret. I feel like a distraught dramatist as I ask the world, "Where is my motivation for this role?"

I am full on hating summer. I read some posts from April/ May when I was optimistic about riding to some springs, eating watermelon, the invigorating, cleansing sweat of a good summer ride. Right.

Taco and Sasquatch rode up in a diluvial euphoria, soaked to the bone on their ride to the park. I cracked the window of my truck a millimeter and scowled out at them. "You can't be serious."

"Come on dude, it feels great!" "Riding in the rain is fun!" I thought about cranking the engine and driving off, but there I was- Mr. "Never says no". Mr. Hardcore who goes on every ride, with everybody, all the time, no matter what." Oh, I dug my own hole for this one, and now it was filling with water.

Out we go, slopping our way out to the lakes, lightening crashing all around us. I barely took notice of it for my misery. Once I'm grumpy, damn it, I STAY grumpy.
We crossed a number of streams, where I slowed down to be sure my bottom bracket had enough time to fill with water. Once we pulled up at the lake, Sasquatch, well- he pulled a Sasquatch and waded into the water, after enlisting our support to watch the perimeter for gators, which I for one, did not bother to do. After fully submerging, helmet, clothes and all, we began to call him "E coli man" and "Ebola virus". I know. We're awful. The man is truly relaxed and letting loose, embracing the sloppy, wet day and all he gets is hate for his efforts.

Speaking of hate, I am really not into this summer at all right now.

Feel free to remind me of this when I'm bitching about the cold in January.

el Juancho

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sasquatch sighted!

june 19, 05 Posted by Picasa

There he is folks, the gentle man-beast foraging for nuts and berries to feed his offspring. Some intrepid shutterbug dared to get close enough to acquire this irrefutable evidence that Sasquatch (Sasquatimus 29emus/ bigbendia) still thrives, and apparently wears tie dye.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Disco boys Posted by Picasa

OK, now that the hilarity and drama of yesterday's ride is behind us, how about that race today?
Like golf, a stage of the Tour can be, well ,boring in the early part of the race, but the finale is worth the investment. A lot of hard, hard men cracked today and it wasn't pretty.

That Rasmussen fella, he sure is skinny. He's the waterbug prototype. They should make him carry a watermelon or something to even things out for everyone else. Sure he didn't win the stage today, but he has been hammering the mountains day in and day out, unlike what's his face who won the stage today. Hell, Rasmussen didn't even look like he was paying attention on the way up, just cruising along, thinking about lunch, or that last episode of 6 Feet Under.

Is it all over? Did LA shoot his wad today? Stay tuned to find out.

Juancheloton out.

Pain Mismanagement

pain Posted by Picasa

We were talking about "skins" which is the Palmetto, FL slang for slapping, thumping, or popping your bros for a variety of real and perceived transgressions. Slimy, bonked, and already in a general realm of pain and suffering, I stood inert as S'quatch demonstrated a few of the "oldies but goodies" from his high school days. A bunch of grown men revisiting their violent high school practices might have signaled a red flag, but I was too worn out to care. Besides, this is Sasquatch, bosom buddy, who carries ill will towards no one. I'm still not sure what the intended "skin" was he was demonstrating, but it did not go as planned. Somehow he hooked a finger beneath my jaw bone and snapped my teeth like Flea plucking the bass.

Last week, while out of town, I cracked a tooth on a stone in some black beans (Do you really risne and sort them every time?) It has caused me some pain, but in general I'm fine, just waiting for this week's dentist appointment to assess the situation.

Of course, S'quatch did not know this.

My teeth clapped together like a rat trap, and a choir of demons immediately launched into an aria of pain. My vision closed to a dark circle, surrounded by a blinding white light. At the end of the tunnel, oddly reminiscent of a gun barrel, stood S'quatch with his back to me, unawares.

My reptilian brain, base and conniving, rifled through the options. I could tackle him. I would catch him off guard, wrest him to the ground, pin his shoulders beneath my knees and then.. then.. well I thought of some options. We don't call him Sasquatch for nothing. The man is large. He would easily tower over Magnus Backstedt, and you know, Magnus is BIG. Trying to save me, and itself, my frontal lobe injected an image of S'quatch at the gym, pounding the punching dummy with thunderous right hooks that start somewhere across the international date line. OK, there's that, but PAIN will not be denied. Take him! Now, while his back is turned! Get him!

A voice came from my mouth, "I'm having an irrational response to pain, stay away from me." Surprised and confused, he immediately moved towards me in a sympathetic gesture.

Now! screamed pain, Tackle him NOW!

Puzzled, and probably a little dismayed at the filth coming from my mouth in his direction, he turned away.

Crush him! Revenge! Revenge! Revenge!

My arm came up. I tried to will it down, but the water bottle was in flight. No big deal, it wasn't a brick or anything, but it was an escalation in a now absurd scenario. The rest of the gang was caught so flat-footed they were still trying to understand what, if anything, S'quatch had done.

The bottle caught him low around the kidney, and I thought, "Ah shit, now you've done it." The angry italicized voice subsided. I began to consider "Flight" over "Fight" for the first time.

Like Bruce Banner apologizing for turning into the Hulk, while he is in transformation, I stuttered out, "I'm s-s-s-orry, you !#$&! I'll be fine in a second you ***!!#$, hurt tooth-much pain--%$%&*(%@!

So, if you learn nothing else here at the Big Ring Circus, learn this-

Rinse and sort the black beans every single time.

Check back after lunch, the Tour is on right now...

Thanks for stopping by. I'm watching the Tour at Paco's. There could be significant developments today so I want to wait to post my entry. I will however get the worst over with.

Everyone whipped my ass at Munson yesterday. Ev-er-y-one. Props to Taco for his 38.15, that's huge. Apologies to S'quatch, I shouldn't have thrown my water bottle at you.

The irrepressible Juancho will lick his wounds and come back stronger. I guess I didn't eat enough. I suppose it could have been the hurricane Dennis bloody marython, nah, couldn't be that!

Humble Juancho out for now...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Green Visions

It may be a bit of a struggle for me to make the necessary connections between what I feel like writing this morning and the irreverent, bicycle-dominated diatribe we have come to know, if not love, here at the BRC. I want to write about what happened in a tiny country in Eastern Europe 10 years ago, and how it changed everything for some of my closest friends. That doesn't have much to do with mountain-biking, but I think I see the angles...

It was 1996, one year after the massacre of 7,000 Muslim men and boys in the town of Srebenica, far away in Bosnia. Meanwhile, I was pedaling around Tallahassee on my 1988 Jamis Dakar, yellow with black spots. I guess they were intended to be leopard spots, but in my mind they were "bumblebee spots" even though everyone knows bees don't have spots. I was back in town, along with the guys you see in this picture, in order to stop the killing in Bosnia. I know, go ahead and laugh, but it's true. You see, these guys were in Bosnia at the time of the Srebenica massacres. They were humanitarian aid workers, and they were running desperately short on "aid" to say the least. We figured all we had to do was explain the situation to the good people of Tallahassee, and they would rally behind us to save the bosnians. Uh-huh, right.

Soaked with sweat, carrying 500 moist flyers, a variety of photographs depicting the maimed, the abandoned, and the insane victims of war, I made my rounds. I solicited raffle prizes, free catering, printing services, whatever. The basic spiel was, "Me and my friends are raising money to help victims of war in Bosnia, if you don't give me something for free RIGHT NOW I am going to make you look at these sweaty pictures of horrific, despicable things. People gave. Our former employer at the restaurant, FGF, all of the shops at lake Ella, the Tallahassee Rock Gym, they were used to our crusades, they dutifully ponied up the goods. I am still grateful to the folks who encouraged us, because there were a lot more who discouraged us (Assholes!)
They didn't want to help muslims. They thought we would keep the money. They didn't think we had the connections to accomplish anything. I was on a bicycle. I was 25. I didn't have a job. I had no business cards.

It was the smallest drop in the bucket, but it felt really important at the time.

Now the long-haired one is engaged to the alluring young woman in the photo, a bosnian-muslim herself. All of his effort to assist the Bosnian people has evolved into a mission to enjoy Bosnia, and protect its natural resources. His organization, Green Visions guides outdoor adventure trips, conducts environmental surveys, and publishes many articles about the natural beauty, history, and potential of the country. The other guy lives in Rome, Italy (not Georgia) and works for the United Nations. In 1997, after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, I finally made it to Bosnia myself. Mountains, jade-green rivers, a land for 4-wheel drive and goats. I met a lot of interesting people, and every one of them was worth the sweat, the frustration, the power getting cut off, the humiliation of begging and being told "NO".

We may not have done much, but we did something.

I'm going to remember that the next time I see some sweaty young dude on a bike trying to do something good for someone else, even if I think he can't pull it off.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Boyz in the Hood

You might think this post is going to be some clever play off of the movie, Boyz in the Hood, but it ain't. I watched the movie last night and I just woke up with "Ooh Child" by the 5 Stairsteps ringing in my head. What a song that is. If that sound doesn't break you down to nothing on the first note then you are a truly cold-hearted disser of old people, a taunter of children, a worthless misanthrope.

As far as I know, none of the actors got an Oscar or were nominated. The entire cast deserved to get one. Here is one thing upon which I stand firmly. Laurence Fishburne, in his tired old Laurence Fishburne way, never did it better than this movie. Furious Stiles, his best role ever. In fact every other role up to and including "Morpheous" is just his schtick on trying to "get a young brother to understand the deeper complexities of what it is to be a man".

What am I doing here today, you wonder? Why is he not writing about his stupid bike? His stupid friends? Their stupid blogger "code" names? Well, I'll tell you.

Hurricane Season.

Hurricane season is back to terrorize others, but to bore Tallahassee to death yet again. Taco gets the "big stick award" for actually calling at 7:45 A:M to try talking me into going out in the slop and the mess. Its not that I wussed out or anything, its about-you know- keeping my drivetrain clean and grit-free.

Today is more of a maintenance and strategy day. After a heavy psi adjustment I will settle in to watch the Tour de France, where another set of BOYZ will roll through an entirely different HOOD, and Lance gets to tell them, "Hey baby, don't hate the player, hate the game."

Peace! Juancho

Friday, July 08, 2005


mags Posted by Picasa

I just read that Mr. Backstedt, the Colossal Apostle, took second in today's stage (7). Robbie McEwen won, but whatever, he weighs 145 lbs. Magnus almost ran his ass down carrying the equivalent of a sack of mulch over his shoulder, and Magnus can kick McEwen's ass in the mountains. As far as I'm concerned, today was Big Mag's day.


training is hard sometimes. Posted by Picasa

I pulled this image off the website

This organization describes themselves as a "post apocalyptic mutant bicycle jaunting club" and I think they are swell! Out in Portland, Oregon, where it rains all the time and most everyone is too cool for school, you have to make your own fun. C.H.U.N.K. 666 has certainly accomplished that. Are they clowns? Are they criminals? Shiftless drunks? Yes, most definitely all of the above. Although quite different from the inspiring story of Major Taylor (see post below) I find these idiots to be inspiring as well. I also realize that I am an old fogey who is no longer in the know, but I catch on eventually. Local "bicycle collective" KRANK IT UP is tapped into the same shred of the zeitgeist as CHUNK 666. Revolutionary, socially conscious, substance sampling, frankenbike-builders, they are saving the soul of cycling for me.

We ran into a couple of local "freeriders" who were "hucking" out by the Cadillac trail. The annoying quotes are intended to prompt you to google the unfamiliar should you wish. They were nice guys, on huge bikes, getting big air. They were totally stoked to jump for us, like a couple of eager 12 year-olds jumping off the garage roof with a bedspread cape.

I encouraged them to incorporate tight, stinky, lycra into their image. (Some people have to be told what is cool, jeesh!) They were practicing for a trip up to Sugar Mt., North Carolina, where they apparently intend to kill themselves. Too bad, they were real nice kids.

I think I will drop by Krank it Up and offer my planning services for a "Chunkathlon" and if you don't know what that is, you can google that too.

Juancho, word to your mother.

Great American Exports...

The major Posted by Picasa

This is an excerpt of the full article written by Brian O' Connor.

“I shall never forget the thunderous applause that greeted me as I rode my victorious lap of honor around the track with a huge bouquet of roses.”
—Marshall “Major” Taylor

The din of 12,000 spectators enveloped Marshall “Major” Taylor and his three rivals as they banked the final turn of the 1-mile world championship at Montreal’s Queens Park velodrome in 1899. Two opponents, brothers Tom and Nat Butler of Boston, had the tactical advantage on the pitched oval, partnering to jam Taylor. But on this August afternoon, the 20-year-old African American was unstoppable.

Unleashing the furious finishing sprint that made him the most feared, most respected and most popular bicycle racer of his era, Taylor flew past the Butlers and France’s Courbe d’Outrelon to win by a tire-width. In victory, Taylor added a new title to his glittering résumé: world champion.
The FastestToday, as Lance Armstrong eyes an unprecedented seventh Tour de France victory, one of the United States’ first sports superstars, a cyclist no less, has been consigned to obscurity. The irony might be amusing if it weren’t profoundly heartbreaking.

Taylor’s landmark 1-mile world championship in 1899 came precisely 100 years before Armstrong’s first miraculous Tour victory. It came a decade before a contemporary, Jack Johnson, became the first black American to win boxing’s heavyweight title. It came 37 years before Jesse Owens debunked the notion of Aryan supremacy at the Olympic Games in Berlin. It came 46 years before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier. Taylor was only the second North American of color (after Canadian bantamweight boxer George Dixon) to win a world championship.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It's Too Damn Hot!

heat table Posted by Picasa

Chew on this helpful information while I await literary inspiration. It was so hot out there yesterday it was like riding on the surface of the sun. Taco was laying it down on his new Santa Cruz. He caught a pedal and went whipping head over heels like a rag doll on the Fern Trail. All things considered, it was a good ride, just a little too "moist".

Heat-related Injuries and Illness

The two heat-related injuries that are of major concern are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion itself is rarely life-threatening, although if it goes unattended, it can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and a rapid pulse. If an athlete experiences these symptoms, he or she should cease activity and lie down in the shade or some other cool (not cold) area. They should also sip water until the symptoms pass. The athlete should not be allowed to resume exercise after suffering heat exhaustion. If the symptoms of heat exhaustion are not heeded, heat stroke can follow. The symptoms of heat stroke are disorientation and eventual unconsciousness, and a very high body temperature (above 104°F [40°C]). First-aid for heat stroke is to cool the athlete's body as quickly as possible. This may mean immersing the athlete in cold water or rubbing them with alcohol. Because heat stroke is life-threatening, the athlete needs medical attention, even if they begin to recover.

How can heat exhaustion and heat stroke be prevented? The most important preventive measure is to make sure that athletes drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after practice and training sessions. Other important measures include wearing proper clothing and modifying practice and training sessions as needed for the weather conditions. Also of importance is allowing athletes to acclimatize to the heat, a process that takes between one and two weeks. During the process of heat acclimatization the body's heat removal systems become more efficient. Therefore, when athletes first begin training in hot weather, both exercise intensity and duration should be reduced.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Quiet. Too Quiet...

Even the mockingbirds are whispering out there.

Nothing but the jingle of my spurs, the strike of a match.

Something is about to go down in this one horse town.

I got my guns tied down. I'll be ready.


the boys Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A pounding of flesh

flesh. Posted by Picasa

When Dave Zabriskie washed out in the final section of the course today a shiver ran through my body as his dragged across the asphalt.

I don't know what I was thinking last night.

The tour is definitely the greatest sports drama in the world. The sight of the yellow jersey-- torn, dirty, bloodied-- and the anguished face of Dave Z as he pedaled alone towards the finish line made me cringe. It made me cringe, but it also caused a welling of respect, pride, and awe for it's bearer. If you have to relinquish it, be sure you have bled to keep it first.

Way back in the annals of this site I discussed the notion that beyond training, gear, physiology, and nasty habits there is still a place where conviction and desire are the determining factors. I think I saw the application of that belief today, and although it didn't pan out, there will be no second guesses about the guts of Dave Zabriskie. He left them all over the road today.

Liquigas, the team of MAIN MAN MAGNUS BACKSTEDT, finished respectably. He finished 7th overall yesterday, and led his team across the line during the Team Time Trial today, so you know he's representin' for Clydesdales everywhere. Yeah Magnus, crush them with your hammer-like fists!

Lance is in yellow. What do you think? Is it all over but the shouting now? Where are the hungry? Is Dave Z the only Dave Z in the race?

On other fronts. Back to work for Juancho, on the bike that is. The Dragon is worn out and in need of some TLC if I am to maintain my full court press this summer. Time to go to the candy store and pick up some goodies.

My apologies to the non-riding community who visit the BRC. Sometimes real life and riding coincide to inspire me and something surprising emerges here. Lately, its just hot as hell and all about the struggle to keep going, with whatever.

Sasquatch returns tomorrow night, and as we know, I may be the brains of this 2 bit sham of a website, but he is often the soul. He so willingly climbs into the dunk tank, he makes it look easy for me around here.


Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July from all of us in Tallahassee, FL!

love me bitches Posted by Picasa

Better late than never. What a day. Thinking about trailer parks, high school reunions, and fireworks, and if that ain't all-American you can, ah, you can do whatever you want. I'm not into telling people what to do so much.

Tour news?

3 guys explode in futile effort to make something different happen. A bunch of meatheads sprint for the line after chilling all day in the pack. Same guy wins doing same thing he did yesterday. The COLOSSAL APOSTLE is once again mentioned seconds before the finish. What's up with that?

I don't know, it had it's moments, but the Tour de France is no ride at Munson.

Juancho down and out for the night.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Big Mags

Main man, Magnus Backstedt, piled the peloton on his shoulders today and chased down the breakaway group which included the indefatigable Thomas Voeckler, hero of France. Last year, the plucky, babyfaced frenchman won the hearts and minds of viewers around the world when he fought like hell to hold the yellow jersey for 10 days. I hope I always remember his face as he struggled to beat the clock and hold the jersey for just one more day. I believe he could have keeled over dead after he saw that he had made it with just seconds to spare. He was racing to survive the stage, not win it. I won't lie, I was screaming myself hoarse, alone in my brother's apartment, tears streaming down my face. I'm sure it's cool to win and be the champ and all that, but to see a man fight for pride, and pride alone, clarifies for me what this struggle with the mortal coil is all about. Goddamn, there is just nothing else like the Tour, for real.

So you may have seen it differently, but Big Maggie lurked at the front of the pack quite a bit today and even got a mention from Phil Ligget as the pack moved into position for the sprint finish. I think he is setting Lance and the gang up for a big haymaker tomorrow.

Still on the road, crusing FL in Barbie's little red dream truck, collecting validations for my sweet, sweet life back in the 'hood. It might not be much to look at, but I don't want you people looking at me all the time anyway. Damn, give a brother a little room to breathe now and then.

S'quatch is home Wednesday.

Congratulations to Taco, who got a new ride-- Santa Cruz Super Light FS.

I drank 10 pints of Guiness at my sister's 20th high school reunion last night. So there!

Have fun tomorrow. Look for a special Independence Day posting.

Free Juancho!