Wednesday, May 30, 2007
If a 200 lb man falls in the woods does anybody hear it?
He does, that much I can tell you.
Over the bars on the Live Oak Connector, crossing one of those cute little ramp bridges over a log.
back in the day we just rode over the log.
Almost sideswiped by a lawn maintenance truck on the way home-
and he gave me the finger.
I put the bike in the garage, let the air out of both tires, closed the garage door-
and went inside.
Just about everyone I know is an elitist, and so am I. We have spent years cultivating a list of places we will not go:
Our own graduation ceremonies
Bars that have neon
Each others' houses
Public gatherings of any kind
Mainstream music events
Buffets (except "NO SUNDAY!")
And we have an equally long list of people we will not associate with.
People who wear shoes without backs
Girls who go to church
People with tattoos
People who part their hair
Democrats (who talk about it all the time anyway)
Strangers with children
Strangers in general
People who choose sincerity over sarcasm
Many of these elitist practices are hard-earned lessons brought about by experience, but the residual cloistering effects may not be so good for us. S'quatch pushed the envelope dragging me into the teeeming hordes this past weekend. I drew the line at Ginnie Springs when he wanted to paddle right into the middle of a drunken gathering of SAT scores below 750, but at other times I enjoyed the hordes.
The little kid with the fishing pole who said he would jump in "the gator hole" for $2,000.
The state worker with the Suwannee River boyfriend.
The cyclists from Panama City who bought bikes form Higher Ground, but have never been to Joe's.
Sometimes you have to take off the Howard Hughes suit and get dirty with the great unwashed.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
S'quatch and I knocked out 30 miles of Santosian singletrack on Saturday after confronting the reality that every single campground for 50 miles had been booked for months. Without too much struggle, we abandoned the area in favor of finding cold water before dark.
We settled in at Blue Springs, and it was every bit the refugee camp I expected it to be, but it was also kind of nice. No campers right on top of us, and an apparent lawless attitude towards safety. There are four springs on the property and they are accessible all night long. We were swimming at midnight, egged on by an ever-present gang of zit-faced adolescents.
Although S'quatch wanted to resettle at Blue Springs and live out his years, I was over it by lunchtime on Sunday and with a combination of standard deadeye and persistent sighing I had us on the move again by 1:00 P:M.
We picked off Troy Springs, which is a popular scuba diving spot, and then I found Telford Springs (pictured above). The scene at this place was Florida underbelly all the way. Here is a list of things I expected to see: A teenager having a baby, a head injury, someone falling out of a tree, a Mexican being attacked, a Mexican attacking someone else, crystal methamphetamine, a truck buried to its axles, pork rinds.
Look at that swimming hole though, beautiful don't you think?
So what did you get into?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
After a hard hitting piece of fair and balanced journalism like yesterday's post I like to lighten things up before the long weekend. We all know by now that nothing says "lighten up" like a kitten eating ice cream!
Don't even try to pretend you don't love it! I know I love it. Look at the kitten eat that ice cream- that is so frickin' cute!
Am I right or what?
Big Worm says there is major road bike action in town this weekend. State road race, blah, blah crit whatever, sounds like a good reason to blow town.
That being said, good luck to the local folks, I hope you send 'em packing back to where they came from.
Now retreat to your neutral corners and come out swinging on Tuesday.
S'quatch received a call a couple of days ago that would be funny if it weren't so disturbing. It seems someone has been cutting new trail through the recently clear-cut forest out by our old grandpa trail, Munson Hills. Chainsaw, flagging, the whole chimichanga of trail cutting. I really don't understand the concern, seeing as how they will be dropping a Lowe's Superstore on the site, or something similar. The Forest Service is watching the area and they are apparently hungry for blood. They really want this Zorro of the wilderness, this Robin Hood who dares steal lines in the sand and give them to the people for the pleasure of rolling-slowly-in the forest.
This call came from the inner cabal of our local trail advocacy group Fat of the Land, a group dedicated to... well, it is really hard to say what they are dedicated to, but by God they are dedicated!
It seems S'quatch had been tried and convicted en absentia and was being given the opportunity to come clean, cease and desist, before-you know- things had to get ugly. Seeing as how we have one trail outlaw trying to stay one step ahead of the law regarding the Fern Trail stand-off, this new accusation has me thinking Pogrom?
S'quatch assured Kenneth Starr that he most certainly did not have relations with that trail, but he did applaud the outlaw's effort and looked forward to riding the renegade trail in the near future, like maybe after it has rained for a week. (Who in the hell wants to be in the forest in these conditions anyway?)
Kenneth Starr then informed S'quatch that he respectfully did not believe him, as he and the rest of the secret tribunal were absolutely certain they had their man. Mr. Starr continued in his admonishment, encouraging S'quatch to come in from the cold and assume the legitmate role of trail steward since he himself was a family man, with a career, and had no time to commit to this nonsense. S'quatch, sensing some common ground at last, related "Yes, I understand, I have a career and a family too." To which Mr. Starr replied with a disturbing, "No you don't." Hmmmmmmm. A threat or merely an oversight? Although it is damaging to the mythos of the Big Ring Circus to acknowledge such things, S'quatch actually does have two fun and clever children and a lovely wife (Squawtch). He is employed in a position where people call him "Doctor".
So, just for the record, since the resurrection of our local trail advocacy group we have a total of (0) new trails completed, one trail lost entirely, and one succesful character assasination.
Not a bad day's work.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Florida Folk Festival has been cancelled. The location of the festival, along the banks of the Suwanee river, is right in the crease where the fires from GA and FL are preparing to link up for their own three day weekend.
This leaves a pretty big hole in the schedule. Last year I missed the festival due to a bad case of the bubonic plague, so I was looking forward to getting back in the groove. It looks like I will just have to go get chiggers someplace else this weekend. Damn.
S'quatch wants to roll down into central Florida cold spring country and do some road biking. You know, just pull up at some private campground and pay $20 a night for the privilege of sleeping next to an overflowing barrel of dirty diapers and Busch Light Draft cans, with the raggedy bass of some gap-toothed redneck's "system" providing the lullabies.
Mystery, the Untameable Stallion, (or is it Buttercup now?) is headed to Obed in TN for climbing,biking,fun- but that seems to be a "date trip" and I am fresh out of dates.
So, maybe camping in conditions similar to the Andersonville prison camp is an appropriate way to recognize the holiday. Trekking all day under the blazing central Florida sun, the smell of roadkill on the breeze, maybe that is as close to war as I will ever get?
Unless you have a better idea?
Monday, May 21, 2007
Let me just get this out in the open here- The Santos trail system, located in Bellview,FL is among the finest trail systems in the known universe. I credit Santos completely for once again saving me from the pit of despair and apathy and renewing my love of riding all over again.
After 18 holes of golf (I shot a 103 thank you very much) and a too late night enjoying the Central Florida divorcee' crowd down at the Tin Cup Tavern on main street Ocala,I crawled off my bro's torturous couch unrefreshed. 3 hours of sleep and a mouth seemingly full of laundry lint is no way to start the day.
Grumpy would not even come close to describing my disposition and there are more than enough witnesses visiting this site to testify to my "grumpability". Nevertheless, Santos drew me down to its sweet bosom.
Pa Ingalls got a pass from barn duties to join us for an early (9:30 A:M) departure on what felt to be a cool Fall morning. In minutes I gave myself over to the creak of the saddle and the burn in my lungs. We hit many of my favorite loops- Twister, Blue Hiway, Canopy, John Brown, Cowbone, linking them up like locals. For long stretches there was no conversation, no stopping, just the shamanistic company of looming Oaks and Pines.
On the way home I rinsed off the last of my apathy at Fanning springs. Just to be certain, I rode the North side yesterday and by God I must say, I love to ride my bike.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Time to load the ass, head 'em up, and move 'em out.
My buddy Jesse is in town fresh off the streets of Mumbai, New Delhi, and the foothills of the Himalayas. He says things like "bomb-diggity", "yuck-yuck", and "boom-boom", but I like him anyway.
Time for a little visit to Santos, Ichetucknee, and other Central Florida gems.
Have a great weekend y'all.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
This is a shot of S'quatch trying to get me to ride yesterday morning. He showed up with a road bike, and some sort of mountain bike/grocery getter/ " I got a DUI" type transportation. Honestly, that thing was so dirty it could have been an unassembled dinette seat for all I could tell.
It was Monday, and he spent the weekend with the sugary bit of God and Country clenched deep within his jowls. After 5 years of challenging him to play hooky he calls me out, not that he had to work himself mind you. I told him I rode SEVEN miles the day before, or as I said it, "Seeevvvveeenn frigging' miles" to make them sound longer than they were. I was tired in mind and body, and the spirit was left somewhere in the lonely airport miles between home and the land of a bunch of lakes. He nagged and prodded while I combined my infamous deadeye with a determined glower. Lord forgive me, but I didn't want to go for no damn bike ride.
But I did. I simply could not allow this aggression to stand. I would not be called out when it comes to skipping work so I promptly ignored the project that is likely to determine my future as a participating adult in this world and got on the Del Rey.
I'm calling it "hill work" no matter what he says.
In the end it was this cozy corner of the internets that got me off the couch.
So- what gets you off the couch?
Monday, May 14, 2007
Our state is burning like my quads on a moderate incline.
This type of sweeping wildire is a natural occurrence and only becomes a problem because we the people are so densely packed in to this place that we can't get out of our own way. Why can't this fire just burn through the strip malls, the gated communities, the salt marsh condos, and leave the real Florida alone?
Hambone and I drove 50 miles round trip in order to ride 7 miles out at the Lines Tract trail in Gadsden county. I think that might elicit some demerits from Al Gore, but hey, I frickin' rode my bike right?
And that's what is important here.
Although the fires are 100 miles away, our lovely town was choking in a blanket of smoke and ash yesterday. The 10th Ave gang (now the 10th/Monticello BoyZ) played manic roving Bocci ball oblivious to the haze.
After 10 minutes of that I balked and retreated. Bob, "Splinter Cell" quipped, "You won't do so well during the apocalypse if you can't handle this".
We'll just wait and see who does well in the Apocalypse! I've been stockpiling cans of tuna for 20 years.
I have a discreet problem in which I would like to enlist your support. A beloved member of the BRC team was recently pinched by the man (spit!) for covert trail developments. If you are in the know you may know a thing or two about this and understand the debt we all owe this person for his dedication to trails, Tallahassee, and the spirit of community over commercialism. He is our own David Allen Coe and he needs our help. E-mail me to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org. $3,000 is a relevant figure.
If you ever ride east to the park, then pony up.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Well, as promised, here I am in Minneapolis, thinking of home. I am utterly disappointed to have enjoyed this city, as that does not make for very interesting blogolism.
Just wanted to test this thing out and see if it still worked.
Big talk about the fires down in Alachua county on CNN. y'all must be hating it down at the Pole barn.
-Sign up now to win the "Pick Juancho up at the airport contest".
-call for details!
Monday, May 07, 2007
Not to be an alarmist, but it is true. Danger does lurk everywhere. Danger does not "hang out" or stay in its assigned seat, it lurks. This little lovely is a copperhead, at least I am 99% sure that it is unless my kuntry friends in Liberty county care to chime in and tell me otherwise. The Merck Manual has this to say concerning the frequency of attacks.
Most victims are males between 17 yr and 27 yr, of whom 50% are intoxicated and deliberately handled or molested the snake.
Since I'm a solid ten years beyond the dumbass zone, nor was I drinking at 8:45 in the morning you can rest assured that no bites occurred. Still, it is a little unsettling, because this is what this bad boy can do to you...
Results may include local tissue damage; vascular defects; hemolysis; a disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)–like (defibrination) syndrome; and pulmonary, cardiac, renal, and neurologic defects. Venom alters capillary membrane permeability, causing extravasation of electrolytes, albumin, and RBCs through vessel walls into the envenomated site. This process may occur in the lungs, myocardium, kidneys, peritoneum, and, rarely, the CNS.
The CNS? Oh no, not my CNS!
Yeah, I'm stalling, not a pedal was stroked this weekend, lots of visitors in town or at least that is my excuse. October weather blew in last night so I have a nice shot at redemption this afternoon.
Look for a report live from the twin cities later this week.
No, I didn't mean Two Egg and Yeehaw Junction. I meant Minneapolis-St. Paul.
And really, isn't one city enough? Why do they have two?
Keep your shoes on, it looks like a snaky summmer.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
There sure is a lot of unrequited yearning out here on the internet. I think this site here speaks for itself in that regard. Reading back through the archives, the days of satisfaction and redemption are few and far between. Like soap bubbles, each small joy captured sits briefly in our hands before popping and leaving a fading rainbow and a bitter taste. Nowhere is this as evident as it is in the sports blogging world. The uber athletes strive to be more uber, the work-a-day joes strive and yearn for improvement. For many it is a game of inches. A few minutes improvement is cause for elation, a few minutes slower brings befuddled dejection.
I don't think the striving has made a big difference in my riding one way or the other. I've flamed out after a good night's sleep and a power breakfast, attentive to my goo intake and heart rate. I've crushed rides regally hungover, pained and full of polluted self-loathing. It is all just so damn subjective.
Great performances are exciting. Talk about the pursuit of great performance leaves me drowsy like during a 9th grade biology film.
I still wish I was faster. And meaner.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Here in Tallahassee we have two major seasons. One in which our town is characterized by the young and entitled. The red light running, red cup swilling, talking on the cell phone in line everywhere college students. The other season begins now, after graduation is over, and all the pharmaceutical rep hopefuls and angst-ridden English majors have gotten back into their Civic/ Prius/BMW/Jettas and gone back to Miami/Orlando/Atlanta and other far flung destinations to annoy the locals in their own hometown.
I have to say, although football season can certainly be fun (at least back when the Noles won most of their games and the entire city celebrated) the Universities don't bring me a lot of joy anymore.
I'm looking forward to the season of heat. The season of seeing the same people in the grocery, coffee shops, and at the bars. I always remember summers in Tallahassee as mixing it up with other local crews at other local enclaves because the siege is over and you can move freely again around town.
Time to shade your eyes and emerge from the bunkers. It's safe to come out now.