Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I'm waiting for my bike.
I'm waiting for my Achille's Tendon to heal (My actual one, not one of my many metaphorical ones like ice cream, or The White Rapper Show).
I'm waiting for my nephew to be born.

Once all those events have passed, I will ride this beautuful stretch of coastline and grow out my pilgrim beard.


Monday, July 30, 2007

The economy here in San Diego is slumping. Young women all over this sunny beachside community are struggling to get through the day without a proper, decent pair of baggy khaki pants!

Fabric is so expensive that they can barely afford enough to knit together a napkin-sized skirt.

Although I am on vacation, I cannot ignore my humanitarian principles. If not me, then who?

I hereby convene the first meeting of "The San Diego Lady Pants Project" whereby every young woman in need will receive a pair of baggy, formless khaki men's pants.

My brother-in-law says I will be assasinated within the week for my effort, but I can't let let fear stop me.

E-mail me to support the cause.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Losing is Winning

2007 TdF Lanternes Rouges
Prologue: Ruben Lobato (DNS7)
Stage 1: Aleksandr Kuschynski
Stage 2: Aleksandr Kuschynski
Stage 3: Aleksandr Kuschynski
Stage 4: Remy Di Gregorio (DNS5)
Stage 5: Geoffroy LeQuatre (DNS6)
Stage 6: Enrico Degano (DNF7)
Stage 7: Mark Cavendish (DNF8)
Stage 8: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 9: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 10: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 11: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 12: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 13: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 14: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 15: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 16: Wim Vansevenant
2006 TdF Lanternes Rouges
Prologue: Ruben Lobato
Stage 1: Danilo Di Luca (DNS2)
Stage 2: Aitor Hernandez
Stage 3: Filippo Pozzato
Stage 4: Magnus Backstedt (DNF14)
Stage 5: Sebastien Joly
Stage 6: Sebastien Joly
Stage 7: Sebastien Joly
Stage 8: Sebastien Joly
Stage 9: Sebastien Joly
Stage 10: Sebastien Joly
Stage 11: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 12: Sebastien Joly
Stage 13: Sebastien Joly
Stage 14: Sebastien Joly (DNF16)
Stage 15: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 16: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 17: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 18: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 19: Wim Vansevenant
Stage 20: Wim Vansevenant

I certainly can pick them. My main man Wim Vansevenant is dominating the competition for the Lanterne Rouge. Dead last in fifteen out of 20 stages? That is no accident. He is trying, a man committed to lack of commitment.

But why is Magnus Backstedt in the list? He is not in the race this year, yet he still gets credited for a last place finish. That's why he is my true hero, he doesn't even have to show up to lose anymore, it's just a given. That kind of status could save me a lot of time and energy.

How does Wim do it? Do you think he gets off his bike each day and goes looking for the nearest watering hole? Wine bartender! none of the good stuff either, poor me a glass from that old vinegar bottle under the sink. Keep 'em coming I have to race tomorrow.

Does he follow that with a meal of cheese and fried dough? A colon obstructing glue block that he then carries around the roads of France, keeping a watchful eye on that snake Sebastien Joly? Frequent nature breaks and mechanicals are the stock in trade of the Lanterne Rouge, constantly hoping to catch your rivals off guard.

The Lanterne Rouge can never rest.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Revelation

If you are faster than me, you are doping.

That is the new world I ride in. It is the only explanation for my consistent lack of dominance. Unlike golf, which I excel at without effort or even mild interest in success, I struggle at cycling. I don't struggle at the carb-loading, or the lycra-wearing, or the bitching and the whining; not at trail repair, psychological sabotage of self and others, or at loving every minute of a long, grueling ride in the woods- those things I am quite good at. Run-on sentences are also high on my list of attributes, but the actual fast part of riding, well, it takes more sacrifice than I am currently making to get ahead in my crew.

Which is how I finally realized every single damn one of them is dirtier than Tom Sizemore. Dirtier than Lindsay Lohan. Dirtier than telling you that Harry Potter actually does die in the last book. (Sorry, but I'm making a point here).

S'quatch- you, you my friend are vindicated because you just aren't all that fast either. You also wouldn't have been enjoying beer and tomato juice with extra salt packets under the fluorescent lights at the Cadillac Motel, the scent of a burning pile of tires fresh on the breeze. Nope, you are clean.

But- the rest of you- I'm on to you.

Torso and Mystery the Untameable Stallion: Too old, shouldn't still be so damned fast. Verdict: Dirty.

Big Worm- Well, I like my teeth like they are thank you, so you are cleared too. Now go outside and play.

Hambone- The Levi Leipheimer of the pack, always second never tired. Verdict: Dirty.

Tallyflasher or whatever your name is- Dirty like a bar mat. You shift shapes like a, like a, like a shape shifter or something. Need to fit into a natty pair of cords? No problem, just take your quad shrinking meds. Need to lower the boom on bike church? Big quad meds. As we say south of the border, suuuuciiiioooo!

J Bushyhead- Parties all night like Sean Puffy P. Diddy Combs and still gets up to ride? Never gets dropped? Uh-uh honey, you're dirty. Hit the showers!

Wrecking Ball Zipper Neck- Your recent use of performance inhibitors does not excuse you. Verdict: Dirty!

And Hitops- From 0-60 in less than a year? From balking at the Felasco 50 to knocking out 75 on any given weekend? Still call them toe baskets, but now dictate the pace to our buddy S'quatch? It doesn't look good my friend. It does not look good at all.

Verdict: Brush your teeth they're diiiirrrty!

As for the rest of you blogger riders with your races and your umpteen-hundred mile rides. Enjoy it while it lasts. I think it is time that the Circus came to town to set things right.

I'm rooting for this guy.

VANSEVENANT, Wim: He is in last place so Wim Vansevenant, I am reasonably sure, is clean.

Go Wim!


Monday, July 23, 2007

3 Rings and Growing

I truly do wish it took me more than a couple of minutes to find the source of S'quatch's 9 or 10 flats that ultimately cost him his run for the Home stretch. I was rested. I had good light. What more can I say?

Manically searching and searching in the 100+ degree heat S'quatch must have resembled a fearsome Dustin Hoffman muttering Wapner 4:30
as his vital fluids slowly drained from his brow.

I believe we will have to let the man speak for himself on the nuances of his considerable accomplishment. Who am I to determine where to start? The Angel Dog story, a clash of beasts in the night? Perhaps I should begin with Audrey, the swamp gypsy bartender who saved our friend from a night of cramps and cringing in the dirt?

It really is too much responsiblity for a thrid party at the moment.

Until I can work it out, Big Worm sent this bit of prose around the internet so I reckon I will exploit it.

So I look up an see Little Berg about to get hung out in the wind way too early. I tell him to hold for a sec, and jump in front of him. As I go by I tell him to hold on, it's time to go! I flat buried myself. Just hold 32....32 is good ....just hold it....31.5 isn't so bad, just hold 31.5....I'm starting to fade. I dig again to give him just a little more time....the air dam is wide open and the spotty vision is coming....hello floaty dots, havn't seen you in awhille. Finally, I'm sucking down so much air, I swallow my own lips! I pull for the gutter and watch David and Justin go by.....we've got a gap on the next few guys and the sprint is on! I ask the little floaty dots to move over so I can see who wins.....damn dots......a few riders trickle by my dying carcass.....David looks good......and then there's the awful crackle of aluminum and plastic bike parts completely dioriented from their usual harmony......the vibration of rims wound tight and suddenly freed to vibrate against the brake pads.....like plucking one of those old school springy door stoppers at your grandparents house.......then the wet slap of body to pavement....the low squeal of rubber, lycra and flesh sliding on asphalt.........I'm gonna miss him! I'm gonna miss him!....and like a shot he pops up from a 20 mile per hour flesh slide, straight to his feet and at a full run!!......right in front of me......Oh shit! I'm not gonna miss him!!!.....GO!GO!GO!.......the deer in headlights look, and finally the acceleration of youth......at a full run he clears the curb and saves both of our lives!!!!!!! I don't know the kid's name, but I know all too well the feelings he was experiencing. The shakes from the adrenaline high, followed by the nausea as you come back down. The slight embarrassment of crashing...."No No I'm fine. No help needed!", as blood runs off the end of your fingers and the chain that has simply fallen off the chainring, now appears to the crashee as some sort of gordian knot. And then there is the shower afterwards....the metallic smell of iron...."Why's my water smell like rust?".....JESUS CHRIST THAT STINGS!!!!!!.....nothing like more insult to injury. At least he'll have a greater awareness of his position in the future. Either that or Darwin will be proven accurate one more time, courtesy of the Joe's ride. I'd still like to know who won that sprint, though.


My Man, breaking it down for you.

Why yes, I did ride my bikes this weekend, thank you for asking.

S'quatch and I "rode locally" following my intercept and extraction of him from the actual pit of hell. The Nature Coast trail is a link in the ubiquitous Rails to Trails system. The trail features a bike/ped suspension bridge over the Suwanee River. Very classy.

After our ride we enjoyed the healing waters of Fanning Springs, the terminus of S'quatch's epic undertaking. I would provide a link, but you can always google it if you are curious.

We tagged yet another previously unknown spring on the way home. Lafayette Blue Spring, a nice deep hole just 20 miles east of Perry, FL. Lovely and cold.

And I haven't even gotten into the tour, wow.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

S'quatch Watch

Things are not going so well this morning for our friend's departure. He is learning some hard lessons. Flats, empty CO2 cartridges, no Presta/ Schrader adapter. Time is a wastin'.

He is working his way around Tampa Bay at the moment.

Precious cool morning hours have been squandered. At this moment he is sitting in a truckstop in Ruskin, FL about 7 miles from his departure point eating a big steaming pile of biscuits and gravy. His next destination is University Bike Center on Fletcher Blvd. What a surprise awaits those fine people this morning!

After he loads his pockets with air cartridges and tubes, he will be back on track and headed towards the Suncoast Parkway rails to trails path.

I think our boy could use some EPO right about now, or maybe a ride on the back of a tomato truck.

Chant with me now- GO S'QUATCH GO!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

S'quatch Watch

He is back on American soil after enjoying a lovely cruise to the Bahamas or wherever. He begins his 330 mile ride from Palmetto, FL to Tallahassee tomorrow morning. I plan on intercepting him around 3:00 P:M down near Chassohowitzka. I'm sure you all know where that is.


Monday, July 16, 2007

The Torso is running wild with his mancation. His wife and baby are at the in-laws so the Torso lurks; at the ready for a 36 hole day of golf, an offshore fishing trip at 5 in the morning, or a 5 hour ride traversing every unmentionable trail on the north side in heat so moist it is like riding inside a gnocci dumpling fresh out of the pot.

Hambone managed to snap the above picture of me at the end of the ride. I felt great!


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Southern Ridespitality

The confounded frustrating thing about The South is that the above sentiment reflects both a sterotype and a reality of living here. After watching Easy Rider this afternoon the ugly countenance of the Deep South is sticking in my craw, especially after the fine reception I received in Meridian.

You see, I rode with some locals, and they were damn fine. Damn fine gentlemen. Not slow, but fine all the same.

There is nothing like seeing the trails from the local perspective. The route, the line, the break spots, it is all a mystery to the tourist. The same ruthless singletrack I rode last Tuesday revealed miles of gravel trail beyond it on Thursday. It was less technical yes, but literally gut-crushing climbs followed by tumbling downhills that could only compare to snowboarding through trees on an epic powder day. The gravel makes things easy. Don't touch the brakes much, pick the straightest line, pedal when you need traction and hang on like a tick on a hound. 36 mph was the number tossed out at the end of the ride. Simply amazing.

Not much time for talking, but firm handshakes, courteous warnings, and and some polite questions about the Florida ride scene. I told them we all eat barbed wire and drink turpentine down here.

Some might say the similarity of our interests and taste for gravy might have something to do with my fine reception.

That's just an insult to some genuine good folk.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mississippi Ride

When I pulled into Meridian, MS yesterday the sky was imploding upon itself in big stacks of towering blue-green thunderheads. The rain was not so much falling as it was pounding the earth with a violent stomp. The Hampton Inn I was to check into seemed laughably undergunned for the onslaught and I sat in my police model Grand Marquis for 15 minutes just marveling at the angry blasting and blowing of the storm.

This morning I woke early due to the time change from EST to CT and pedaled across the street to the Bonita Lake trail. That's right, 10 miles or so of singletrack across the street from my hotel.

Blowdowns, debris, and soggy soggy trails made this local park system as rugged and difficult as the trails of Pisgah, NC or my local sadist the Live Oak Connector trail. I can't tell you how good it feels to get tough miles in while working on the road. I could just as easily be the sad drunk at the Chili's bar playing "ain't it awful" with the copy machine salesmen and the traveling office pogues of America. Not to say I haven't joined them a time or two.

Mississippi fascinates me. The black-hearted beauty of this place where they sell pickles brined in kool-aid and you can see the crossed bloodlines of slaves and masters in the faces at the gas station. Well-dressed ladies in bouifant hair-do's stand smoking stylishly while their husbands pull bag after bag from the trunk of the Lincoln. This is a place where people eagerly and energetically speak of faith and God and calling and prayer the way I speak of mission and spitting in the devil's eye and the bitter taste of cynicism. Their sincerity is appealing in its vulnerability, but I also hear the siren's song.

Prayer is the first to unite and the first to divide in this part of the world.

Either way their trail is awesome.


Monday, July 09, 2007

the Return of the Comeback that Came once Before

So far this year it has been a struggle to keep my head above water on the bike scene, and once again that gives me the pleasure of reaching deep inside and pulling myself back from the brink of disaster. It only takes a few crumbs of motivation to keep the dream alive and an industrious scavenger can find a nip and a morsel anywhere if he pays attention.

25 miles on the mountain bike with Torso brought me to my gasping knees on Friday. I call this the confrontation with reality phase.

12 miles of stratosphere scraping hill climbs with S'quatch Saturday re-kindled the flame.

32 flat road miles yesterday chasing Tri-geeks and S'quatch towards the end of his 80 mile vision quest had me feeling like a man who knows his way around a bicycle again.

The Golf clubs are shelved. They served their purpose as a diversionary tactic to lure the rest of the gang off track. Now while they are golfing and chasing my score, I am back on the bike doing the good work that the Lord intends me to do.


Of course, this is another version of my "training for next season" approach, and as we all know next season never comes.

I'm scheduled for a month off in sunny Sandy Eggo to welcome the arrival of my new nephew, Clell Beauregard, in August and I am thinking of a tour up the PCH on the Fuji Del Rey at some point. If you have any cycling knowledge of the area, please chime in. I expect it is windy, hilly, and rooms are expensive. Other than that I just know it is epic and beautiful and will make me a better person.

Please note the post below and feel free to regard it as current also, the Tour frenzy got to me over the weekend.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

The race is on. So, so on!

Just as I hoped the finish of today's prologue to the Tour de France was good for a motivation bounce that had me dragging myself on the roadie bike and trundling after S'quatch in the midday heat. 12 miles of brutal hills. Nothing so spectacular- true, but were you up until 3:15 in the morning debating the influence of art back to the first scratchings of cave people? Hmmm?

That's right, getting my culture on, as the saying goes.

Today's ride was fueled by Eggs Atlantis so here is the recipe. I think it works out to a nominal 6000 calories, but it cannot be beat for nothin'.

One croissant-split and toasted topped with-

sauteed crabcake, topped with-

sliced and fanned fresh avocado, then...

2 eggs poached (add a dash of vinegar to the water to keep the egg from separating, I use balsamic, but white wine vinegar leaves no residue). Then douse with Hollandaise.

Hollandaise: Whisk two egg yolks with 1 tblsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of nutmeg (I use cayenne actually) then drizzle in 3 tblsp of melted butter while whisking briskly.

I actually used an English muffin this morning in honor of the London start.

Don't be afraid, go ahead and make it, good food is good for you.

Get your votes in early, who's going to win? Who's going to scratch? Who's on the juice? Who needs to be?


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Amerika

Maybe it was because the holiday fell on a midweek Wednesday, but I just never got that patriotic lift that typically accompanies the 4th yesterday. The Torso and I had a good, long ride up to the North side. Taking 2-3 weeks off the bike turns out to be not so good for your form. I felt like Christ crucified the whole time, but gamely held on without stopping to cry or calling a cab. The golf clubs stayed holstered, true to my word. We grilled out with friends, lit fireworks, but it still just felt like Wednesday to me, not the birthday of the United States of America. I should have rented Saving Private Ryan instead of season 1 of Deadwood. That might have helped.

I know, love it or leave it right? Don't tempt me.

Luckily, that most American of times is upon us this weekend, Le Tour de France! I can't wait. I can't wait to see Phil Ligget, Bob Roll, and even that putz Al Trautwig back on the air ad nauseum breaking down the ins and outs of the course, the contenders, and the drama.

No need to search for inspiration anymore. I will have it beamed directly into the house for the next 30 days.

Now that some time has passed, and tempers have cooled, I must ask; do some of you still really believe Floyd Landis was clean, or framed, or able to generate synthetic testosterone from whiskey? I'm just saying- the suicide of his father-in-law/ best friend, blackmailing Greg Lemond with sex abuse stories from his childhood, the absence of a hearfelt statement like, "I have never taken any performance enhancing drugs, especially not last year" from Floyd.

Does he look like an innocent man?

I think he is about as innocent as Dick Cheney.

If my main man Magnus Backstedt does not enter the race, then I will be supporting the crazed Kazkahkastani Alexander Vinokourov. He wants it bad I tell you, really, really bad. The Americans in the field are just not very inspiring to me this year, except maybe that fella Chris Horner, because he doesn't stand a chance.

Rooting for Team Discovery has become like rooting for the Lakers or the Yankees. All the talent, all the money, none of the mystique.

-Go Big Mags!


Monday, July 02, 2007

A Gentle Reminder

A number of things happened on Saturday to steer me back towards all that is good and true.

I finally got beat in golf. After an unprecedented string of victories I fell victim to a nefarious conspiracy by my peers. It was a classic set up, involving everything but the mysterious beautiful woman (Thanks for nothing guys!)

The set up: a late night out the night before. My playing partners kept me out to all hours of the night, sacrificing themselves and their game to insure my depleted condition in the morning for:

the ringer: The 11th hour inclusion of a rested and ready mystery partner. He was motivated and hungry for blood, and he got it.

At least I whipped his patsies.

I discovered my vehicle, pictured above, in this sad state upon returning back to my friends' house, victim to a violent storm.

Talk about insult to injury.

The combination of these events, enhanced by the the looming start of the Tour de France points me unquestioningly back to the bike.

Mother Nature's gentle reminder of how I have strayed from her woods in favor of a Disney'fied version of the outdoors is a point well-taken.

While I will likely continue to lay waste to my adversaries occasionally on the golf course, I am not- and will never be-truly of that world. Like Dikembe Mutombo on the basketball court, I will always be slightly out of place removed from the jungle environs of my raising.

So, sometimes we date the wrong people.

Sometimes we eat the wrong food.

Sometimes we say the wrong things.

And sometimes we play the wrong game.

See you on the trails,