Friday, March 31, 2006

A Fool's Errand

Artwork submitted by Jackson, young circus aficionado.

It is springtime Tallahassee weekend which means nothing more than a good reason to wander town and country enjoying the good weather, the blooming flowers, and your friends and neighbors. Tomorrow I plan to attend and participate in "A Fool's Errand" a local bike rally/race of sorts organized by Patrick of the Fixed Gear community. Like John the Baptist I will wander among the unchosen people, fishing for lost souls to bring to fat-tired bliss. Due to the gritty investigative journalism you have come to expect from the BigRingCircus I have obtained crucial information regarding the event. Apparently time bonus points will be available to those choosing to get a tattoo during the race. I think I will get the face of Joe Mezzina tattooed on my ass to honor him now and forever. Of course, being scheduled for April Fool's Day, I have to wonder if the race will take place at all.

If you want to race, be at All Saints Cafe at high noon tomorrow. Race ends at Tom Brown Park about 2:00 P:M in conjunction with some collegiate something or other activity.

On other fronts...

The Circus will be closed for renovations most of next week, unless anyone wants to mind the store while I am in Helen, GA working in the Bavarian village and riding Unicoi State Park and other fine trails.

It is a beautiful morning here in Tallahassee, and I hope it is the same wherever you wakeup.

Check back later, as I have lots of morning left to remember what I intended to cover today.

Nobody's Fool

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ode to Swamp Ape

big foot oh big foot on your skinny wheels
have you turned french?
what the (rhymes with luck)?
what's the deal?
is it something big bad juancho said?
was it from getting 'served' so often?
or from falling on your head?
why oh why
have you left the woods behind?
ooh the "shoosh" of the sand
lo the smell of the pines
the guys who always 'waited miss you so much
and we all swear sasquatch baby
you almost found the touch
on the road - i suppose i should say
as kerouac opined back in the day
he spoke of space - opening and wide
he cried out for freedom
as the pavement slid by
but time has passed, sasquatch - the world's in the bin
clearly, the only space left is -
where the sidewalk ends
so prance on the blacktop till your skin fries off
play in the traffic 'til the smog makes you cough
salivate like a starving dog for the paris-roubaix
glue yourself to OLN and le tour
for july's month of sundays
for we know you'll be back big foot our old friend
because you are one of us - good god - you're like kin
we all know its just a glitch in your spiritual software
a reaction to politics - or to andrew loyd webber's remake of Hair
the lycra don't suit you, the roadie's are all dicks
you're getting sucked in and its making us sick
we won't ask you to come back - cause we still are your friends
but please tell us dear sasquatch

by Scotty B.

edits by Juancho

Juancho-2 Sport Athlete

This is not a photo of me. This is a photo of the founder of the Tallahassee Rock Gym, my former employer. In the sale of the Rock Gym a couple years ago, a rider was attached to the contract granting a small number of Rock Gym Mafia permanent lifetime climbing privileges.

I am one of those mafia.

Mystery, the untameable stallion, also known as the hardman, insists that we must go climbing on our upcoming sojourn to the Blue Ridge mountains. Yesterday, I went to the gym to prepare myself-physically and mentally- for the challenges of rock climbing. I have already begun the physical preparations with the inclusion of pull-ups into my gym routine (Yes I still go to that pestilence-ridden creepfest, Thanks again S'quatchy!). I am currently working on 3 sets of 1 single pull-up. Very humbling, very embarassing, but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my swarthy physique. 3 sets of 1. Picture it.

I approach the counter of the Rock Gym yesterday, and I am greeted by a spritely alterna-cutie named Sarah. The new ownership has already made some strategic improvements.

"Hi, I'm Juancho Valdez. I have a lifetime pass to climb here". I have never used this privilege because that statement sounds so obnoxious, but I am acting under orders so it must be done.

She gives me a scrutinous appraisal and says, "I've always wondered what you looked like, I've seen your card a thousand times".

Well, get a good look baby, get a real good look.

Four painful trips up the wall later and I was cooked. It wasn't so bad though. My fingers tried to remember. The rope felt normal in my hands. I only dazed off a couple of times while I was belaying Mystery and he never knew the difference, so it's cool. I think I will go back. This variation is in keeping with my "Day Like No Other".

I need to be mixing it up out there. This damn blog gets my best material.


Monday, March 27, 2006

A Day Like No Other

You can set your watch by certain events in the neighborhood. Spontaneity is not entirely welcome. Deviation from established norms and patterns causes undue stress on the 10th Ave gang. It is "Wapner 4:30" around here for the most part. If the world ever comes to an end, it better not happen on a Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, and sometimes Saturday, because that is the gaming schedule and it will take more than a bomb, hurricane, earthquake, or a wild pack of zombie dogs to disrupt 10th Ave. Similarly, as sure as the sun rises, I am easily found on my back porch, muttering curses about gaming nights (I don't play). Those of us who ride, actually just me and Bushyhead these days, we eat, ride, drink some beers, and pass out. Not a lot of energy or enthusiasm for the charming variations available in life. A whole Saturday can be planned as follows?

"Everything with hummus."
"Nah, Northside."
"Pork Chops?"
"Sure- Pork Chops".

Not this past weekend however, I really mixed it up out there.

A bonfire party over on MLK Jr. BLVD, where I met a man with many facial tattoos. He is moving to Barcelona to busk with his 13 year-old son like gypsies. I think he plans to be a statue. Not sure about the son's talents.

The following morning it was a vegan benefit for farmworker's rights ( I made an omelet before I went). Youthful vigor and idealism abounded, I had forgotten about idealism and vigor.

After that it was off to the Unitarian church to hear my octogenarian, Jewish neighbor play jazz standards from Fats Waller to Bill Evans. He was slick. Mood Indigo, I Get a Kick Out of You, Ain't Misbehavin. Some Unitarians, who believe in nothing I reckon, could not resist attempting to get me to join them some Sunday in their unfettered lack of belief. I declined.

"I'm with the band man."

When I finally returned to the hood after my adventurous day, the 12 sided dice were clicking, and the porkchops were marinated. Yes, you can set your watch by events around here, and for the most part, I really like it that way.

-I hope it is understood that I rode my bike too- duh.


Friday, March 24, 2006


I'm all tapped out. I left it all on the field. I brought it all.

I'm talking about the blog, not the bike. I've got plenty left for the bike this weekend.

Here are the scraps left in my mind this morning...

Congratulations to AucillaSinks on the 10 year anniversary of the Fern Trail. For those of you from out of town, the Fern trail is the major greenspace conduit that cuts right through town. It was born as a renegade trail and survives due to popular appeal I guess. Maybe someone lobbied someone else or something. Anyway, the dude who cut this and many other trails in town drops by the BRC now and again, and if that doesn't make us cool then I don't know what to tell you.

April 11 the BRC will be one year old, which means I have been more successful at maintaining a website of nonsense than a serious relationship with a woman, so I have that going for me too.
I will be celebrating this event with a tour of Southeastern trails as Mystery the untameable stallion and I travel to Dupont State Park, NC, Tsali, Pisgah, and wherever else we damn well wish. Yes, I will be bringing a light this time, and probably a jacket. All are welcome to rendevous with us.

I enjoyed the poetry slam yesterday, I think it lends the site a touch of class.

Between secret sessions at the gym, hemorrhagic rides with Bushy, and the occasional out of town solo mission- like James Brown says, I feel good!

That dumbass with the radio show blew me off when I didn't find any tracks for the panther. I'll show him some "tracks" if I ever meet him.

Sasquatch is reading some french book about road biking, and he intends to post "good" quotes from time to time. This of course makes my satiric heart leap for joy. It's money in the sarcasm bank, prepaid.

After payday, I'm going to buy a bunch of BRC stickers, then I will travel the world placing them on your cars, bikes, pets, and such. I intend to finance this trip through the sale of you. We'll see how it goes.

Get me off the stage, I'm bombing up here today.

Have a bigringcircus weekend! (Bikes, recipes, and cats remember!)


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

On Razorback, by Luvavet, Reddick, FL

The world slims down
To a tunnel of trees
Punctuated by the crackle of leaves
And I leave the cackle of my life behind.
I tackle the root strewn hill
And ponder lightning fast
What it means to be a quitter.
In a rare approach,
My inner voice urges me on
With a triumphant cheering
And I hit the top

Suddenly lighter and


With my heartbeat
Galloping and chest heaving
Like a racehorse
My proud voice says,
And I laugh
And ride away
Down the backside.

Use it or Lose it


If a beautiful morning like this morning doesn't foster a sense of urgency then I'm afraid there may be no hope for you.

It is chilly, and the air is soft. The red glow at 7:00 A:M is a guarantee of an epic day. I'm serious, this is likely to become one of the two or three prettiest days of the year.

What are you going to do about it? Sure you have to work. So do I, but still, what are you going to do? Are you going to take a moment to step outside, take a deep breath, and mark the arrival of Spring? Are you going to knock off early and go for a ride? Lie in the sun and read a good book? Take all your clothes off and run leaping and whooping through the neighborhood like a wild toddler on the loose?

These days make me crazy. Drunk from the tea olive. Ready to walk off the job. What is the value of one single Spring day? Do you really think you can afford to squander it?

When our days come to an end, what will it be worth to you then?

The window of opportunity is small. Summer is coming. Summer is great, but it isn't Spring. Spring is short because it is precious. We will have torturous summer days and languid summer nights to burn. Summer will last so long you will barely recollect other seasons. Spring begins and ends right now. It's like caviar, they only give you a tiny little bit at a time. Spring is diamonds. Spring is the last sip of water. The last kiss between star-crossed lovers. The last buttermilk biscuit. Summer is a bowl of potato salad.

Days like this are when the jobless hippies can lord it over you. The homeless appear most brilliant of all. Those with nothing they have to do, nowhere they have to be, this is their day.

I know, this is fool talk. There will be another day like this, more convenient, on a weekend. Perhaps after reports are turned in, calls are made, portfolios are managed, and clocks have been punched, there might still be a sliver of afternoon left. You can scrape the plate for the last key lime pie slice of this amazing day.

I wish I was 10 today,


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Road weary

I might as well get a road bike, as much asphalt as I cover.

At least Santos ( is in between home and my destination.

For the Locals: I found someone's pocket knife/ house key combo on the Fern trail, or was it the Albertson's trail? Somewhere over there. If you hear of anybody losing something like that, send them my way.

I may post from the road, but you know how that is...


The BRC- Not what you expectorate!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Soloist

There were plenty of reasons not to go for a ride. I checked into my cabin late in the afternoon, after spending 6 hours in the car. The Birmingham area radio stations were all in a nervous frenzy concerning reports of tornadoes in the area and severe weather expected to increase in intensity as the evening progessed.

I looked to the sky, nothing but blue skies and sunshine. There was a little chill to the air and the occasional errant swirl of wind blew the Oak leaves around at my feet. There wasn't much daylight left. I didn't really know the area. I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

The adolescent classic, A Separate Peace, laid on the table next to the worn porch swing, an invitation if ever there was one to relax, kick my feet up, and enjoy the waning Alabama sunshine.

Even as I convinced myself to not ride, I was putting on my cleats. Pouring my husky frame into the man-o-tard, checking the Mule pack for: tube, patchkit, minimag, extra layer, fuel, cell phone, tools. I felt an uneasy, nervous, energy.

Click, click. Away and up the hill. I would just roll down to the trail head and scout around, not stray too far from the cabin, keep an eye on the weather.

You see, I'm a soloist. No ride politics. No route discussions. No fast. No slow. No help.

It wasn't long before I answered the call of the trail and found myself digging harder for gears I intended to leave alone. The singletrack was winding ever upward. The allure of what might lay around the next corner had me in it's grip. This is often the Siren's Song of the adventurer. The seductive "what if" that leads us to spend nights huddled in the woods awaiting daylight, or the thrill of seeing a wild thing, a trickling brook, an ancient tree.

Grinding up the mountain, now on a doubletrack, heart pounding in my ears, sweat pouring, helmet clipped to my pack, I pedaled to the mantra, just one more bend, just one more bend, until I fell into a climbing trance. Nothing hurt, or everything hurt, leaving no basis for comparison.

A particularly urgent gust spun my helmet around onto my shoulder, like a polite reminder. "A-hem, you might want to consider putting me on and turning around now." Just one more bend, just one more bend. I cross six or seven waterbreaks on the way up, enjoying the cool water running over my feet while the boys in my engine room shoveled coal in the furnace. It would be a wet, chilly ride down.

Keeping an eye on the time, I stopped after an hour of climbing, figuring it would only take 20 minutes to descend the same route. I sat on a stump. I looked around. I talked to my bike. It gave me a sideways glance when I did that. Thunder boomed somewhere beyond the hills.

Time to go.

The downhill was a screamer, with tires off the ground as often as not. The sky grew darker.

I settled in on the porch swing with a glass of wine and watched the storm blow all around me.


A sweet snack

I like the way Jill from Alaska spells it out. Check the link in the post below.

She is obviously a fat tire girl. God bless her.


bikes, recipes, and cats

Up in Alaska: Hey, this is my blog

Up in Alaska: Hey, this is my blog

Monday, March 13, 2006


I will be out of here for a couple days. I'm going to Oak Mountain State Park, where the locals love mountain biking, but apparently haven't figured out that you are supposed to ride the bikes. Maybe I can give them some pointers.

But seriously folks!

If you have a craving for lush hardwood forest, demanding singletrack, and good BBQ then google Oak Mountain State Park and let the envy begin. I can definitely throw that guy's bike farther than he can, so I'm looking to get on the podium so to speak.

New submission from "IfIhadabike" up in NYC- BRC- Now with Humor!

Very funny. Very friggin' funny.

What else? Remember S'quatch? He managed to keep himself clean again all weekend by staying out of the woods. I think he's truly hung up his knobbies for good. We had some good times though didn't we? Hello?

Bushy and I tromped around looking for scat and tracks yesterday, but I'm afraid the trail has gone cold on the big cat. We had some minor excitement when I leapt across the "crik" in a cat-like manner myself and Bushy yells "Stop! Don't Move! A huge snake just flashed up the hill when you landed". "Come back the way you came" he says, which was impossible and looked even snakier. Standing in tall grass wondering which way the snake went actually sounds like an excellent metaphor for my general life outlook and expectations. I picked a direction and high-stepped it out of there. Also an excellent metaphor for something.

I'm still welcoming slogan submissions, so keep them coming. We have some real gems, but I have a hunch you can do better. I'm also think of printing up some less traditional items rather than the standard t-shirt, coffee mug, thing. I'm leaning towards...

a Nascar sponsorship
Cartons of smokes
Ace bandages
inner tubes (great product visibility!)
Your bikes

Just to name a few. That's right, this juice of mine just flows all day.

-Juancho-now with humor!

Friday, March 10, 2006


When Joe asks her what she used to do for a career, all she ever says is she used to love to go hiking and skydiving.

This woman, 75 years old, now uses her sense of adventure to survive living on the streets of Tallahassee. Caught in the dilemma of medication or housing, but never both, she sleeps on the concrete front porch you see pictured above. Bike boxes make for good insulation from the cold chill seeping up through the concrete. Lake Ella is fairly safe, more prone to deviant rendevous in the parking lot than outright violence. Most importantly, she chose Joe. Lots of people choose Joe. For as long as I have known him and his tiny bike shop on the lake, Joe has taken care of the outcasts, the loners, the misfits. Some ride bikes, but not all of them. Some don't seem to notice it is even a bike shop. They come to chat with Joe, just like I do.

This woman is different. She has chosen to live at Joe's. She comes around at closing time, always asks permission to stay. What do you do? Joe said yesterday if he had a bigger place he would bring her home, and I don't doubt it.

I'm so pissed about this I can barely type.

Joe, and Huck, and Scotty B. (Not his real name) have made some upgrades. They moved the bench she used to sleep on, and Joe bought her a foam pool float (one of those real thick, non-inflatable ones). They got her a lamp. I mean, what can you do? She's not mentally ill, although her body is racked with cancer apparently. She's done with chemo. No more of that she says. If it comes back, she won't seek that kind of help. She's got no family left. She's on her own.

Yesterday Joe showed me a note she asked him to write for her stating that she wanted her body to be used for the advancement of medical science if it is at all useful to anyone. Joe dutifully wrote the note, she signed it, inscribed a social security number, and he put it in the drawer. What else can you do?

She's not mentally ill. She keeps herself clean and put together somehow. She can express herself just fine, and she is angry to still be alive. She says she has done everything she wanted to do. She says she's too scared, or not the type, to just eat a bunch of pills and go to sleep forever. She doesn't ask for money, and when Joe offers it she refuses. She definitely doesn't want to go to the homeless shelter.

I am making the social service calls, exploring the options, but who knows what she is willing to do? She has her pride to consider. Chances are that someone will find her dead on Joe's porch before the state comes up with a place for her.

What is my point? I don't know.

That I'm disgusted?
That I want to help her?
That you will NEVER be as proud of your bike shop as I am of mine?


Thursday, March 09, 2006

BRC Slogan Challenge

It's what's for breakfast!
Ok people, I know you all snuck into this show by crawling under the tent so it is time to pay up.
Because I consider my weblog to be among the finest in the mountain bike/over 30/sarcasm/bitter regret/& excuses genre I would like to pursue some branding opportunities. My Momma, now the proud owner of BLDT (Barbie's Little Dream Truck) has already produced "BLDT" stickers. I'm jealous! I want stickers. T-shirts. Mousepads. Coffee Mugs.
I want validation people.
So here is your chance to roast me on a spit. I want your best and your worst. Keep it simple. Keep it cleanish (if it's profane it must be scathingly funny, but I prefer euphemism.)
I'll get the ball rolling myself...
The BigRingCircus- he can spell euphemism!
The BigRingCircus- fastest blog on the trail.
BRC-D&D without the dice.
THE BRC- Performance Enhancing Thugs.
BRC-proof that beer won't make you faster.
BRC-A great way to stay single.
Big Ring Doofus
BRC-North Florida's least interesting secret.
BRC-"Juancho go read 'dat"
Big Ring Circus-dirty words (get it-"dirt"y)
Big Ring Circus-Still Unshaven
S'quatch YOU Reading?
BRC-Bigfoot sightings daily
BRC: Where old Clydesdales go to die.
S'quatch never rides his damn mountain bike or sets foot in the gym he pays for, and worst of all it doesn't even bother him in the least.
Ok the last one is a bit wordy and vindictive, but catchy don't you think?
Now let's see what you've got.
CEO of Hammer Inc.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

HUCKleberry Slim Goes to Town

Wow. After the show I saw last night I can only say WOW!

A small crew of us took a ride to campus last night, rolling out of 10th Ave around 9:30. "Shins", chief mechanic down at Joe's ( had a craving for some urban assault.

Bushy, Hambone, and I started riding the FSU campus at night, for fun, back in the early '90's so we figured we could show him a thing or two. Shhhhhhhiiiiiiiiittttt. I don't think so.

A brief primer: to "huck" is the new lexicon for "jump" or "launch" yourself and your bike into the air, or off of something. Just to make sure we are all on the same page.

The route went something like this...

10th to Milton

Through the graveyard (very dark) Juancho shows off his skills by locking the brakes a split second before hitting a tree.

Up MLK Jr. to the Gazebo on Park.

This is where things got serious. 30 feet of air, out of the gazebo onto the steps below (between the iron handrails mind you). Variations followed. Over the clipped hedge pungy sticks, etc.

Well OK then. Welcome to the X-games. Onward to campus. Hit this, jump that. Jump this, hit that. Swoosh, zoom, boing! Everyone is having a good time.

Top of the hill, Landis Green. Huck Slim is checking out a double flight of stairs, 20 or 30 feet long. A cleaning woman is standing in a doorway at the bottom talking on her cell phone. Calling the police? No. "I want to see y'all do this" she says. Sorry to disappoint her, but there won't be much y'all involved. Just Huck Slim and his big brass ones. It hasn't sunk in for me exactly what he intends to do. Ride down them real fast? I can do that. Bunny hop over the edge onto the first flight? I won't do that. No way.

When I turn around and see him coming in for the approach I realize what he is up to. He is going to jump the entire first flight, and land somewhere down below, being sure to clear his head below the concrete slab protruding down from the ceiling. He launches. An icy chill runs down my spine. He comes up a little short, sparks shower out from his big ring as it drags across the landing. I smell gunpowder.

"OH SHIT!" Says the cleaning woman. "I ain't NEVER seen nothing like that before!"

Me neither honey, me neither.

Bunny hop the bench onto the slope then drop off the 4 foot wall to the parking lot? No problem.

Ride a one-handed wheelie all the way home? No problem.

Huck Slim I tell you, the guy is amazing. This post isn't even worthy, in fact it sucks. It should be more daring.

Here goes-- @#%&&^$$^*())_+_)&&(*^$#$$%^^!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew, that's more like it!


After using the term "cryptozoologist" more than once on this site due to the frequency of encounters with our gentle giant friend, Sasquatch, life will now imitate art. Next Tuesday Ham and I are invited to participate in a radio call in show hosted by the Pangea Institute to discuss our sighting. Investigator Scott Marlowe is not convinced of the Jaguarundi theory, and holds out for large panther-like cat. When push comes to shove, Ham and I lean that way too. It will all be discussed on the air. I have no idea what station, or how to listen, but I will see what I can do. First I have to go look for scat and tracks.

You are all invited to that little party. E-mail me if you live here and seriously wish to go looking for cat scat. We could make an afternoon of it!


Monday, March 06, 2006

Black Panther Sighted!

Friday afternoon, approximately 4:00 P:M, a Black Panther was spotted by Hambone and me on what was formerly referred to as "Computer Tutors Trail" or "The Timberlane Bum Trail" off of Timberlane road. This trail, and the drainage ditch to the north will now be known as "Panther Park". For those of you with some history of Circus attendance, you will remember another Friday- October 21, 2005- when I spotted my first Black Panther in the area.

I was not alone this time. Bushy was also with us, but rolled up seconds too late to glimpse the fleeing cat. This one was smaller, I presume because it is early Spring, and we caught it with its pants down, sitting in the trail.

Mind you, there is no recorded proof of panthers, especially black ones, in the area, but they are here.

The South Carolina lowlands country has a similar situation which can be followed at I just don't know what else to tell you people. We got big cats running around and that is a certified BigRingCircus fact. If you have anecdotal evidence to support this enigma, please share.

Thanks to Bushy and Doc T, I got a respectable 45 miles in over the weekend, primarily singletrack, so that equals like 400 road miles easy. I am right on schedule to burst from the winter meat sweater like a beautiful butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

Chew on that image with your morning coffee, and I'll catch you later.


Friday, March 03, 2006

C.O.R.E. Meeting: Attendance Mandatory

C.O.R.E = Cut Out Real Early.

Go ahead, get the hell out of there. You know nobody is going to miss you if you say you have "some family thing" to take care of, or you need to "drop the car by the shop". You can probably flat out tell them, "I've had enough of this place and you people for the week and I'm out of here." It's Friday, and the weekend lies before you like a cruise ship buffet (which is huge and multi-colored) Go ahead. Eat it up.

Remember when you were 10 years old and every Saturday was as exciting as Christmas? I want you all to have that kind of a weekend, not a get some stuff done around the house weekend. Not a catch up on some work now that the office is quiet kind of weekend. I mean the kind of weekend where every meal is an event. The kind of weekend where you go out for a ride (or whatever you non-riders enjoy) and you achieve a full vacation mindset inside of three hours without leaving town and the surrounding area.

Cruise the Record Shop, or whatever they call them now. Dig up something from back in the day that will transport you to the days when you were overwhelmed with possibilities and sat around with your people going Man, we've got so many possibilities! It might be Dinosaur Jr. Doc Watson, Parliament, 11th Dream Day, The Silos, Otis Redding, or the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, but you go find it, you put it in the stereo (or whatever people play music on now) and you crank it up and rip the knob off.

Women- make love to your men. Men-make love to your women. Those otherwise inclined- you make love to whomever loves you back. This weekend there will be no moping, no fretting, no grouching. Smile at the grocery store.

Most importantly, get your asses out of work as early as possible, CORE Meeting is mandatory and if you miss it you will be written up for subordination. The Big Ring Circus hereby declares this a 2 1/2 day weekend.

The clock is ticking...tick....tick...tick..tick

And wherever you are, raise a pint to us here in Tallahassee and we will do the same for you.


Adoption Announcement

Congratulations to Ham on the adoption of a bouncing Kona Nunu. We at the Big Ring Circus wish you and your new bike many years of joy and pain.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Downtown Sit-down

Dressed in his best goomba leisurewear, Joe rolled out on his Kona commuter. Surrounded by his capos and lieutenants, he was going downtown to meet with other families in the bike community.

We were there to make sure they kissed his pinkie ring.

I swooped alongside him on the 1989 "Red Rocket" Dakar, modified for the urban singletrack. S.B. led out on his Voodoo 29'er, his tiny toy dachshund-type dog Beauty, tucked deep in his messenger bag, clipped in of course.
Bushy was in full race regalia. I think I saw him shooting goo packs before we left the neighborhood. Puzzled as to the agenda for the evening I sighed, bemoaning the fate of being a soldier in this family, never knowing what you may walk into next.

Beneath the yellow lights of the gazebo on Park I could see about 20 riders gathered. It was the Fixie Crew, a gang of young upstarts making waves in the city these days.

"Look at 'em boss, their bicycles don't even have no gears."

"Yeah, and why are they all the time pedaling, pedaling, pedaling?"

"Relax boys, I do business with these gentlemen."

So the meeting slowly winds itself up and into an actual meeting. A young buck with tree trunk legs and a mellow disposition calls the gangs to order. Apparently April is National Bicycle Month and the goal of this sit-down is to coordinate the various events and efforts so as not to step on any toes.

Coincidentally, the Circus started touring in April '05 so hey, let's do something right? I add my event to the calendar... "Sometime in April, off-road ride, followed by grilling and Guiness somewhere on or near 10th Ave." Pretty organized of me on such short notice don't you think?

I've got to hand it to the fixie gang, they are hammering out a scene for themselves. "Bike-in" movies, Checkpoint Races, Huffy tosses. They are so motivated it's exhausting. It's working for them too, these dudes aren't slow, and they get all the cool, sulky, tattooed and pierced young ladies as well. What do I get? Obstinate curmudgeons bickering on the Net.

What can I say? I'm into fat tires forever.

Back Porch snippet II

(After sitting Bushy down 4 of 6 games)

Juancho: I own you.

Bushy: Shut up Dirt.

Juancho: Look at those bullseyes, they're beautiful.

Bushy: Whatever Dirt.

Juancho: I'm throwing rocks tonight!

Bushy: Dirt.

Fascinating isn't it?


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Call to Arms

This weekend I want to see everyone who has two knobby wheels on them, at my house, Saturday morning. Don't listen to my whining about it being too early, just start making coffee if you are the first one here. Get some angry music pumping and get the hell out of my way, I'll be ready to go in no time. Spring is here people, and it is time to charge the palisades. All distractions must now fall away-- so put down the road bikes, the twelve sided dice, your babies, the Miller High Life, the spackle and trowel, the fluted tips, the cell phones, the extra omelets, and the big burlap bag of excuses. It is time to make a show of force out there. The boys from Cobra Kai are riding roughshod over us, and it is time to assume the Crane position.

Unless you prefer Sunday?

I'm going to let you take a peek behind the curtain now, and witness some real live back porch conversation from last night. I'll let you sort out who the players are.

"Check out my sweet new wheel with the Phil Wood hub. I bought it on E-bay for only like, a million dollars".

"That alternator came right off no problem, those guys at SuperLube are a bunch of jackasses".

"Don't let me forget about the squash."

"Isn't it sweet!"

"Once you pull the wheel off, it's easy to get to it".

"I marinated the pork loin in a little balsamic vinegar and Cholula hot sauce".

"Hey, while you're up get me a mountain soda".

"Me too."

"Damn, I forgot about the squash!"

A best 2 out of 3 dart tourney immediately follows, where conversation lapses into grunting mockery, grunting approval, dismay, and elation. Bushy and Randy drop the Dungeonmaster and Juancho with a crushing assault on the bullseye. Damn!

And there you have it everyone, live and un-edited, from my porch to yours.

Scintillating I tell you.

Yesterday felt like Wednesday, and today feels like Friday for some reason. I'm going to roll with it and knock off around 11:00 A:M, then it will feel like Saturday. Sweet!

You people, I give you everything you want don't I?