Sunday, January 25, 2009
After a long campaign of bunkers and trenches I polished my spats and hit the scene like Beyonce' this weekend- and that ain't code. A guest in town, you can't tell from that picture, but that's one of the fellas from back in the day. I met some deviled eggs I really hit it off with and even enjoyed an Old Fashioned around a backyard fire in a fresh dug hole. Although a little stressful- all those good-cheered friends chattering and not afraid of the future-- I flexed my missing limb of a joy muscle and scheduled a check-up with Dr. Munson.
The good doctor had only a small window in the schedule for a drop-in, just 38 minutes, so I was forced to be brief.
The edginess: Why always the edginess?
Hey S'quatch- tick tock, 38.
Friday, January 23, 2009
A therapist friend recently told me I was crazy, and I don't doubt it one bit. If you aren't a little crazy then you just aren't participating in this funhouse maze of a society we have duct taped together. The incident in question involved a glass of ice and its supposed ill-effects on my health. This observation was poorly received by myself. In defense of ice, and cold beverages in general, I demanded evidence and furthermore railed against a culture that finds it acceptable to make passing observations about personal behavior without expectation of resistance. I think I referred to it as a "Drive-by Judging." This type of nonchalant superiority is best typified by the hack artist, Jack Johnson, the self-appointed life coach of the left-leaning, white, recreation class.
It doesn't take much to be labeled crazy anymore so you better watch your asses out there. I contend that cold water is in no way harmful, and if it is, my blue collar digestive system appreciates no such degree of nuance.
In order to get a second opinion I made an appointment with Dr. Munson last night. Dr. Munson was willing to see me at the very end of the day and our session began under a gathering darkness and chill.
We enjoyed a brisk debate in our 43 minute and 22 second session and the esteemed Doctor confirmed that while I indeed may be on the breaking side of slightly bent, it is you people that made me this way.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Twenty-two, that's how cold it is outside this morning in Tallahassee, FL. Cold enough to get your attention, cold enough to think about moving the bed away from the window. I don't mind the cold this morning. I think it is kind of nice out there, and 22- the dos dos- is my magic number.
You got a magic number?
I could use a soothing balm of some kind to ease my troubled spirit. As Jesus healed the lunatic so need I the healing. As it is with mania of all kind, I like the ride. I am trying to let it be enough, principled leadership- but I am concerned it will not satisfy me, that if I had my choice I would prefer retribution. I sigh and know this can't be, that it is unconstructive and feeds my baser self.
Do you ever get tired of the stiff upper lip? The other cheek? The high road?
A little tar and feather is sometimes in order to prove the case for justice in the world. I guess we will wait and see. I think a tax against those who brought us continued misery in 2004 is justified. That is only fair right? Aren't we taught to pay for our mistakes?
It is hard to keep my face turned toward the brighter day when debris from the storm is all around us.
At least in the saddle everything feels right with the world.
Despues la baracha viene la resaca.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Why the Hammer?
Maybe for the two laps at Munson on Monday followed by the night ride to Cadillac and back Monday night.
Maybe for all the work to be done unfucking our country-
or for the pounding the Neocons and their stumbling ragtag bunch of sycophants took.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
No inauguration, just a chicken in a pot on a cold and rainy day.
No date with history, just another wallflower in a hand-me-down dress.
Another little rabbit with the fur plucked out- not fit for balls.
That's OK, even if it is not, because history is coming anyway. I am going to have to watch it happen right here, in the town where I will do my part. D.C. is going to have to do it without me, but that means I can roll up my sleeves a little sooner. I already know what I need to know, that change is fun until you have to do something.
My promise to America-
Finance twelve first day of school haircuts, to go with twelve "go get 'ems" and twelve "have a great years."
Start a rock and roll drum camp for ornery children.
More public thank you's and less public fuck you's for everyone else.
Now to the forest with my new Nite Rider Enduro for the inaugural ride of the Mega Trail Blasters Dissenters Union and Social Club (MTBDUSC)
Anyone else got plans?
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
What is the next big thing now that the ride is over?
For me it is back to the road, visiting incubators of hope on the front lines of poverty and discouragement- a job both uplifting and depressing- two of my favorite emotions. Are those emotions? Not time to think about it now, because next week if plans work out I will be ringing in the Big Papa of Hope and Change his own self, President Barack Obama in the frozen streets of Washington D.C. I don't think I have ever given myself over so fully to a public event, unless you count the Prince Purple Rain tour of 1984 at the Lakeland Civic Center.
I admit it. I am excited. The only thing that could make it better is if some of those helicopter "drivers" the last president kept talking about yesterday would haul his ass off to Guantanamo Bay where he belongs.
You never know, the day is young.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The thing about "the Fifty" is that it lasts all year. You have to re-live the results every time it comes up, and it comes up frequently. We do a lot of riding around here, but to be truthful, we rarely ride that far and when we do, many of those miles are counted on the crosstown route to the trails. San Felasco is 50 miles of offroad terrain, mostly singletrack with steep climbs. It is tight, twisty, technical, and rooty for miles and miles.
For me, free spirit that I am, the challenge is not riding 50 miles, but riding those fifty on that particular day, in whatever conditions may appear. The bit you know, it chafes in my jowls. When the pain sets in I ask myself, "Why this fifty miles? Why not some other fifty? And why today? I would have rather ridden it yesterday." The inopposable existential justification is my bread and butter.
Not this time though. This time I just wanted to finish free and clear, all 50, no drama. The country might be done with W, but I still needed one for myself. With this in mind I cleaned up my act last April. I mothballed my party dress and let my membership in the late-night Liars and Drinkers Club expire.
My dart game is now hopeless, and the conversation in the late night Liars and Drinkers Club was far better than the average trail chat, with some exceptions of course. You just can't be all things to all people fortunately, so you have to make choices.
Me, I chose the ascetic path for a while...
...and that is why I kicked so much ass yesterday.
I will wait for S'quatch to tell his own story, which may or may not feature redemption and a glorious battle of the spirit. I am sorry to say we sold him out cold. We saw his rusty drivetrain, his nonchalance, and we rode away and never looked back. I couldn't personally afford any other option.
Hambone, Pain Cave Charlie (formerly known as Tommy) and I hung together for the duration. I led out strong for much of the charge to lunch, then came right to the brink of cracking. As we rolled out of the lunch stop I was queasy and dizzy. They drifted ahead- but not away. The lesson, just keep pedaling. I took note of the incredible weather, abundant sunshine and in the 70's, and I began the physical inventory. The diagnosis- overheated. The prescription- increased suffering. By the next sag stop I was back in the mix.
I hit a tree at mile 41 and took an over the bars flyer that landed me flat on my back in the soft mulch. The extra adrenalin came in handy for the finish. We passed everyone in sight for the last nine miles and came across the line moving as quick as we had all day. I was sad to be done.
-So take THAT shit to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I almost forgot. Today is Elvis's birthday.
I used to live with a guy who was a big Elvis fan (or was he?) I think we might have been indulging in some hipster irony about 18 years ahead of the current moustachioed, bad haircut culture, but I ended up a true fan of the King. I think we would have like each other, me and Elvis. Click the title to hear the King at his best- the 1968 Comeback Special.
6 hours is a long time in the saddle. Even if I am riding with a group, which has never happened to me at San Felaso, I am essentially alone. When you get past the shiny parts, the ribaldry, and the exercise riding bikes is about two things.
Life and Death.
I ride with hope of escaping death- making death chase me around and around the back yard until exhausted- it grabs me by the collar and drags me away. In doing so it is only natural to reflect on my life and mete out the accolades and the bronx cheers I feel I have earned along the way.
6 hours is barely enough time to cover the backlog of material from 2008 alone.
Motivation comes from so many different places. When I feel the pace listing to the edge of the trail I can tap into spectacular victories, like the election of Barack Obama, to send a surge into my legs.
When the real pain comes? There is nothing better than bitterness to fuel me. In those moments I will tap into places I would never share with a bunch of rubes on the internet reading about bikes. That feeling you get when you are hunched over after a solid ball-kicking? That kind of anguish turns the pedals best.
I might have to ride it twice.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
There is not much to do except not make mistakes. You don't want to run off to unknown trails and ride in the rain, over-tax your system and get the flu. It is too late for any miles to do you good. No, the only thing left to do is seal the vault and don't come out until Saturday morning.
Much like the often laughed at Live Action Role Players we will all head to the kingdom of Felasco to act out our own passion play-wardrobe and all. Like lion cubs play-fighting we go to make our own adversity, in the absence of true struggle. If the Venezuelan Army was storming the coast of Franklin County we would not have the time to ride bikes. If we were early day pioneers, or even New Plains Re-Settlers, we would be too busy chopping wood and hooking up rabbit ears to the T.V. to spend the day pedaling in tights.
We have it made though, we are not those people and life is pretty good. I could always use a little more titanium, but other than that my life is rarely threatened by anything other than my own ill-brewed plans, so let's go for a bike ride on Saturday how 'bout it?
S'quatch made a last minute panic upgrade and bought a new bike just for this weekend. I took this picture of it just after we built it up last night.
Multi-function stat pads? Dude- you must be made of money!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
So we are down to the endgame. 4 days to go.
I am belching nails and snorting turpentine.
After this damn ride is over with I will need a new raison de etre. "I'm preparing for San Felasco" has been my convenient answer since April.
"Juancho, we need to you to finish up those 10-47 reports by Monday."
"No can do boss I'm preparing for San Felasco."
"Juancho, why don't you love me?"
"I'm sorry baby, I'm preparing for San Felasco, I got no time for love."
"Juancho, why don't I love you? Oh right, you are preparing for San Felasco."
"Can you do more for the Obama Campaign?" "San Felasco."
"Earthquakes in China?" "San Felasco."
"Spit on me if I'm on fire?" "San Felasco."
After this thing is over, I am setting my sights on some new goals like;
-playing punk rock guitar
-opening an art gallery (naming contest coming soon)
-get involved with the local caving grotto
-dialing in my 3-pointer
-loafing at Joe's
-new creative direction for the BRC
This is a lot of work for a t-shirt.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Six more days and whatever happens we can scratch January 10 off the calendar. Getting ready for an all day gently rolling eco-tour is harder than it seems. I enjoy having an event looming that conveniently gourges itself on free thoughts, free energy, free time. Just feed it and it stays happy.
Too bad this isn't a blog about mountain bikes. If it was I could really go into some detail. I feel I could sleep on that bike and manage to navigate Munson hills at this point. Once this ride is over I am going to have to go shopping for a life.
I'm looking for something in revolutionary brown with a nice flared collar and no inseam, like a pair of Wranglers- but hopefully with plenty of room to wear a cup.
Until then I am charging neighborhood kids a dollar a swing to break two-x-fours over my legs. It keeps us all out of trouble.