Monday, March 31, 2008

Thanks for Playing

The beta test of the 1st Annual 10th Avenue Yard and Parlor Invitational Pent/Tri-athlon came to a close around 1:00 A:M Sunday morning after 9 hours of tenacious competition. Thanks go out to all of our noble competitors. Here are the results.

Individual Overall: The Torso
Team Overall: The Wopinators

Individual Second Overall: Bushy
Team Second Overall: Rocket 88

Honorable Mention: Chuck/ Ping Pong.

Richard Dawson award: Juancho

So there you have it. To all of you who are interested in securing a spot in the next tournament, stay tuned right here to the BRC for more news- in fact- turn it up and rip the knob off.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

10th Ave Invitational Yard & Parlor Pentathlon

Only four more days until the first annual 10th Avenue Yard and Parlor Invitational Tournament begins. Teams and individuals will be competing in five strict traditional disciplines.

Bocci, Darts, Billiards, Ping Pong, and mini- bowling.

I don't know how something called "mini-bowling" got in there either. It is the ice dancing of parlor games.

No matter, I will bring my characteristic brio to the competition.

Until then I will be out of the area. I have to travel to the Space Coast to protest cruise lines as they depart the harbor.


Monday, March 24, 2008


I have vociferously denigrated the Twilight trail, and to give up an oppositional relationship with it leaves me feeling hollow and empty inside like Lex Luther after he finally conquered Superman, but I have to say- it is improving. Don't get me wrong, the signage is confusing, it is sandy like the outskirts of Fallujah, the intersections with Munson are actually intefering with Munson and muddying the flow a bit. The pink flags are an affront to nature, and the moonscape of the clear cut is shocking, but other than that, the Twilight is really shaping up- seriously.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Riders Unite!

Gather your nations, for in this hour of need we will need the lumbering range of the 29'er, the old school resolve of the straightened fork, the ingenuity of full suspension if we are ever to stop the invasion of the Pine Beetle.

Whether yee are an uptown titanium-wrapped anesthesiologist or a midtown fixed gear sandwich artist, we need yee, or thee? We need yee thee!

While we dicker and dither in fractious and tattered bands, the Pine Beetle Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann chews in multitudinous synchronicity above the trails we all call home.

Figure 1 - Range of the southern pine beetle in North and Central America.

As you can see the entire federated colonies of SORBA lie within the zone of death, and our own fragile Tatooeen is hopelessly locked in the belly of the abyss.

So ride! Ride you weekend warriors! Ride you destination riders!
Ride you over 40 and skittish! You under 30 big air whores! On baggies! On spandex! Together we are greater.

We will crush them beetle by Zimmerman's beetle beneath frog pedal and spd, lollipops and eggbeaters, flats and toebaskets until the last carapace has snapped in the forest.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fat of the Land

S'quatch, 'Tops, and I attended a meeting last night for the local mtb advocacy group. The new kid running the show is known around here as Roboboy, and he shows up from time to time. I am not very inspired to write about the meeting because my choices are limited. Roboboy is doing everything right really, and what's the fun in that? Actually writing about trail advocacy would be torturous to everyone. You disagree? Let's try it...

In order to optimize the parcel we need to lobby the various stakeholders and get them on board with the comprehensive surface re-grading vision of the county, state, federal, international, and intergalactic governing bodies of all user groups

You feel me? We can leave that to Aucilla, who somehow makes us care, probably because he is a known outlaw, and outlaws are cool.

The meeting had free beer and food, which the President probably paid for himself. It had multimedia displays, free swag like beer coozies and t-shirts, and a glimpse at some yet unreleased maps. (I took a pic with my camera phone but it didn't come out.)

Land managers were there trying to manage land. What a thankless job they have. There is no pleasing everybody, that's a guarantee.

There was however, this one guy worthy of a post all to himself. Very Cobra Kai, power stripes and yellow tie, extensive use of "air quotes", and just aggro as could be. He kind of freaked me out.

Maybe I can arrange an exclusive interview.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


There is "not riding your bike" and then there is "birds living in your helmet."

I used to ride a lot with this guy Hambone, some of you may know him, but after receiving this picture from him I think I'm taking his number out of my little black book. He and his woman are having a baby- that's right, she has a kid up inside her right now. It is Hambone's job to make a safe and sound home where the eventual child can holler his or her little lungs out in peace.

Next thing you know he will be buying a recumbent.

As for the rest of us, oh boy. Things are happening fast in this town for the cycling community. Yesterday Mystery and I probably saw 15 or 20 riders east of town, including the entire Cobra Kai gang. They rode by chanting, "No Mercy No Remorse!" or something like that. There is a new section of skills-oriented bridges and jumps specifically designed for one to remove oneself from this mortal coil on the Fern trail, and of course that is where everybody congregated. It was like a skateboard ramp scene. What fun!

I look forward to a whole summer of falling off of logs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

All Day Long

Sometimes when I'm riding bikes or driving I have long, uninterrupted strings of prose run through my head-complete in grammar and theme. I think to myself, "Man that is just how I want to write it down!"

Of course I never remember them, I think of them as the lost posts, oh well.

Yesterday was such a day, from the corned beef hash and poached eggs with rye toast- a breakfast perfect in flavor and culturally accurate- to the dry, dusty winds coming off Lake Talquin on a day so bright you can see through your eyelids.

The Lines Tract trail is rugged and woolly, unridden 364 days a year until the BRC invitational comes around again. Four of us responded to the call. We even got lost, or "turned around" after clover-leafing (appropriate to the day no?) for miles and miles. An edge of concern or panic crept in, as people were low on fluids and tired. Mystery and I were right at home. We promptly sat down and ate all the food, drank all our water and rode off in a random direction. That always seems to work.

3 hours of tough plowing in the woods was more than I deserved and almost more than I wanted, but I seemed to gain strength as the sun moved overhead and the heat kicked in.

The drive home. The Erykah Bahdu. The Bocci ball.

It was a perfect bluebird day.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tight Spots

I stayed up kind of late last night gripped by stories of moutaineering survival while reading
In the Zone by Peter Potterfield ( why does that name make me giggle?) In this compilation people huddle in the snow at 20,000 feet broken and battered before somehow crawling on bloody stumps through glacier fields and across crevasses to safety. Death is a character in almost every story.

I haven't done any high mountaineering, but I have certainly gotten myself in some outdoor predicaments and probably have a few more in my future if I continue going on trips with Mystery the Untameable Stallion. In terms of survival it seems like two ingredients are essential: skill and will. Wanting to live is apparently not quite enough, you have to know some basics.

In my early climbing days in Montana I went out to the crags with Scott, the bartender from The Filling Station in Bozeman, MT. He was older and took me under his wing because we shared a last name, a cynical disposition, and a tendency for late nights. Scott chain-smoked Camel non-filters and talked through his teeth. He was a world-weary thirty-five to my dewy twenty-four. He wore his hair in a scraggly ponytail and enjoyed the full musical spectrum from Golden Earring to George Thorogood. One afternoon we climbed some unnamed cliffs out towards Norris Hot Springs. Upon reaching the second-pitch belay and rigging a rappel, I pulled out my "ATC" belay device and prepared to clip in and descend. Scott looked at it and asked, "Hey, that's cute let me see that thing."

Then he tossed it off the rock. "Now how are you going to get down?"

My mouth went dry and I shakingly reached for one of his smokes, as I thought perhaps I had made a horrible character judgement and Scott was about to kill me.

Instead, he taught me a skill that could one day save me. I learned how to build a carabiner brake system up on that ledge, improvising with gear we had available. Scott was adamant that just because I was from Florida I didn't have to become a naive mountain casualty. The lesson has never left me.

-and my Mom worries if she brings me a triciclo from Mexico I will get killed crossing Monroe street on it.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Soloist

Don't get the impression that I'm not on the bike. I am most definitely on the bike. I'm just tired of writing about it. Hate this trail, hate that trail. Road biking in the woods versus driving to the rides. All the drama. Whatever. Let's take a break. I am enjoying the solo ride experience which means many of you are enjoying your group ride experience a little more I suspect. I will let you know when something happens, until then, there is no telling where this thing may go...

Religion and politics, two of my favorites.

Hip Hop music of the 1980's?

Spring/Summer recipes?

Kittens eating ice cream?

Eh, I guess I better stick with bikes, but really, what needs to be said that hasn't been said ad nauseum? I submit there is nothing.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Boy Ain't Right

Sometimes you folks get a little cheeky so I thought it might be instructive to provide you with some further insight into what sort of critter you are messing with. I am descended from the--

Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau People

That's right, there hasn't been any glaciation on us since what is was never going to be.

I clean up to maneuver in polite society, but this picture represents how I feel inside pretty much all the time.

Go ahead and bite off a hunk, you'll see.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Clydesdale Hall of Fame: Gary Gygax

If it weren't for this man and his giant contribution, I would be at a loss for something to do on Wednesday nights. Off and on for the last many years, if I found myself without something interesting to do-like watching re-runs of Beauty and the Geek or microwaving some leftovers- I have enjoyed the opportunity to sneak up to 10th Ave and witness the withy imaginations of geeks gone wild as they throw the 20 sided dice.

Conducted within a cloak of cigarette smoke, the 10th Ave Dungeon family roars and bickers as they virtually steal from their virtual selves, backstabbing and rooking everything that isn't virtually nailed down. At times, watching from the sidelines I realize without any comment or movement by myself that yes! I am playing too! "I want to kill the Ogre watching us by that tree." Can I kill the Ogre?" asks the She-elf or Shelf.

The Ogre eases on out the door, disappointed to have not caught them in costume, which he knows damn well they use. They must have some sort of time rewind spell I would guess?

Things could have gone differently. I remember purchasing the introductory Dungeons and Dragons set with my Dad at Dubey's bookstore in Sebring, Fl. The family had yet to discover that I had the attention span of a juvenile fruit fly. I opened the box, rather small, purple, and light for the price- only to find...

...a bunch of paper. Not dragon one. No swords. No maidens (damn sure no maidens, mighty few maidens found around a D&D gang.)

I remember asking my father the same thing I ask now, "Um, are we like, playing now or just talking about playing?" I still can't tell the difference.

I have long admired those who make their own fun, and grudgingly admit that role-playing games honor that tradition, although I am disappointed it can be played out of costume, unless ska t-shirts, Vans, and Miller High Life is a costume.

Brett Favre retired. Ron Paul is dropping out.

Gary Gygax is dead.

It is getting mighty lonely for the iconoclasts.

Magical minus one,


Thursday, March 06, 2008


Kinetic, Potential, Thermal, Mass, Nuclear, Gravitational, Chemical-

There are lots of kinds and I am trying to collect energy like Mel (not his real name) collects Pokemon cards or 10th Ave collects Dungeons and Dragons figurines. I simply have too much to do, not to mention I haven't invoked fear on the trail in almost a year, unless it was fear of a tantrum- which will only increase with my power and fury. Divas never change.

What I'm trying to say is: Sleep, H20, and humble peasant food is all I'm interested in at the moment.

Spring is here people, and time is of the essence.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Stand Down

When something is wrong with the system of operations the first thing you do is quit making mistakes. Shine the clear light of empirical scrutiny on every working part and process. Cease committing errors- then rehabilitate the organism one component at a time. Reflect, evaluate, then act.

If you need me I will be at the gym or the library.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Motor Touring

Riverboat and I took a little southern tour through Wakulla County yesterday just to take the cultural temperature of our more rural neighbors.

We kicked the tour off at the Flea Market, where I learned the word "Dixielicious" from the ass of a pair of cut-offs. You can assume there will be a post titled "Dixielicious" in the future.
I was hoping to find a leaf blower, but instead I left with a bag od mustard greens, 4 sweet potatoes, 2 onions, and 4 bandannas of assorted colors.

Riverboat got a bag of Cajun-style boiled peanuts.

From the flea market we pointed it south to Ouzt's or Outz's whichever the case may be and tried not to knock a row of Harleys over as we squeezed into the parking lot. We enjoyed the best oysters of the season and listened to a band called Reveille crank out southern soft rock hits of the 1970's. Riverboat was wearing a New York Knicks shirt while mine celebrated the great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Most everyone else was sporting some variation of Stars and Bars. Riverboat was disturbed by this and spoke very few words, which is a shame as his Mississippi accent would have won many of them over immediately.

From there we drifted north to the Southern Spirits lounge otherwise known as "Countyline Lounge." There we acquitted ourselves with great skill on the pool table against a young man with turrets syndrome and his compatriot who stubbornly wore his sunglasses in this, the darkest of bars. Good fellas though, the both of them.

Sometimes you have to leave the bike in the garage and go mix it up.