Monday, January 31, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Some of you are assuredly familiar with my well-chronicled efforts to build a robot army of cycling drones. The dream is to have legion upon legion of trained riders who respond to my telepathic control.
The project has been an unmitigated failure.
The early models have all been mothballed by the brass upstairs for lack of reliability. Each step is a learning process and that is why now, I introduce to you the result of innovation and perseverance- THE BEAST.
THE BEAST was deployed at Munson Hills today on his brand new Dimaondback 29'er.
THE BEAST has a reinforced chassis and extra meat in the upper body in case I need my bike carried, or wood chopped. For a trial run THE BEAST performed above expectations completing 12 miles of single track without issue or delay.
If this prototype proves successful I will build thousands more just like it and the trails will be mine! HahahahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHA, ahem, excuse me.
And for the record yes, Tommy did drop me in the trees on Cadillac today so never let it be said I am ungracious in defeat.
See you out there-
Friday, January 28, 2011
I started this blog on Tuesday, April 19, 2005. The third post written on here speaks of the Munson Hills trail, or Sweet Grandmother Munson, as I call her. Since that first mention I have written over 1,000 posts and have been visited over 100,000 times (920,000 were The Human Wrecking Ball though.) Of those thousand, 950 are about riding mountain bikes in the Tallahassee area. Of those 950, more than half mention Munson. When the BRC is made into a movie, the dénouement will be set on that cinnamon and sugar path through the pines.
I guess I will have to film it down at Santos since the Forest Service is resurfacing the entire trail with red clay. I can hear the justification from the government stooges clearly. "You said it was a sand pit, you said you wanted to fix the trail, so we are fixing the trail." This will all be said in that exacerbated voice that implies you are getting what you asked for and should only accept it, but appreciate it.
This style and strategy is old hat. It is the voice of the abusive father who makes his child smoke the entire pack of cigarettes for having been caught with one.
"What? I thought you wanted to smoke?"
It doesn't matter. I'm just kvetching into the wind. The Forest Service could not give one tiny crap about my opinion, or yours either. I will still ride the trail and so will you. I like to go fast. I like red clay trails, that's why I go to Tom Brown Park and Lake Overstreet.
If you ride mountain bikes in this town your DNA commands that you ride the forest after it rains. The sand sets up, the needlepack weaves tight and the Munson magic carpet ride is the best trail on Earth.
That's all over now. On rainy days when the trail is wet we will have to go bowling, or flip through the latest Dirt Rag and wait for our trails to dry like everybody else.
It might ride nice when they are finished, but they are going to have to change the name.
This I believe.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
By the time I slowed down yesterday I had already ridden to the woods, run a lap of Munson and Twilight, banked onto Capital Circle and back into the woods, two hours away from my point of departure. Some news will do that to you.
It was one of those days where seemingly unrelated points converge, like staring at a stereogram and watching a static of color instantly materialize as a mountain landscape. Come July, I know my life is going to change. How it will change has yet to be determined.
I'm only talking about work here, so don't get too wild in your speculations.
Still, while riding my thoughts into some sense of order I experienced the euphoria of moving with a tide beyond my control. This feeling was in part the relief of the pessimist who knows things will fall apart and can only relax when that expectation is realized. All the time spent filling the hurricane box justified with the lighting of the first emergency candle. I remember feeling the same way the night Mystery and I stopped in the mountains of North Carolina, defeated for the night and committed to a cold, dark wait without food or water. The relief of surrender made me giddy.
Now? It doesn't matter. I have my health and the rest are details of setting and circumstance. The loss of one option, to continue unchanged, revealing a whole world of new possibilities.
Time to win the future.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Titus Racer X is secreted away in the trunk of a rented Impala like a doomed starlet.
I woke up expecting to put the manotard on under the business casual wear so I could ditch out of this hotel at the earliest opportunity. Santos, Alafia, or Felasco I had not yet decided. Just for the record, if you have an opinion on the matter, which would you choose if you had a couple of hours to play with on the way home?
For me I am thinking the decision is purely academic. Heavy thunderstorms are lining up to drop the hammer on the panhandle, the pan, and the whole dang stove here today. I'm not giving up. I only need the slightest encouragement, but objectively? The ride forecast is bleak.
Thank you America, for staying informed of these important developments.
Friday, January 21, 2011
My coffee tastes like soap this morning, but I am not going to let it get to me. It is not real coffee anyway, but coffee's forever understudy, decaffeinated coffee. It probably should taste like soap.
It doesn't matter. You can't keep me down. I can't be bothered to be bothered about it. Bottoms up and glug, glug, glug. It is a dreary 50 degrees and drizzling this morning, good weather to not go for a bike ride, but that's not what I am going to do. I feel like riding, and you can't keep me down, so consider me already gone. Picture the contrails drifting away from this post as I clip in and pedal away. By the time you read this I am already flipping the switch on my RP-22 and getting into some dirt.
I am not going to be kept down.
I am running thin on trail soldiers lately. How is it that everybody falls out during the ascendancy of Juancho? Injuries and duty to the homestead all across the roster. I can't complain. I have forgotten the number of rides I have bailed on, been dropped from, avoided. I have sown and rept.
Doesn't matter, not keeping me down.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
It is the principle of the thing. To a stranger your dog is not a member of the family or an old soul reincarnated in a canine body. To a stranger your dog is a piece of property. In the same manner it is unacceptable for me to park my car in your living room, it is unacceptable for your dog to attack my person, or enter my space unwelcome. I love a dog as much as the next person, although I far prefer the superior cat, but I have an issue with three dogs in particular.
I'm not sure if any cyclists still read this blog, but just in case they do, please be advised that two Australian Shepherd mixes and a young Irish Setter are attacking trail users around the race track pond area at Munson. Three times in a week I have encountered them. The Shepherds operate as a flanking team, and the Setter goes in for the kill.
Two humans may be seen with the animals. White couple, in their fifties or sixties, definite NPR types if you know what I mean. I'm sure they adhere to some dog obedience school of thought that encourages one to see things from the dog's perspective and respect their need to hunt.
Reports have been made. They may be parking and walking in, or they may live along the trail. If you can get an address or license plate I would appreciate the information.
I hate to bring down the heat, but the situation is escalating.
Monday, January 17, 2011
It is a cold and dreary day. Perfect for working the treadle on my grinding wheel, bringing all blades to a perfect edge. Once daunting projects are winding down into the log book. I am saving the final 50 pages of Infinite Jest. For every 10 pages remaining I have one pound of butter to disperse in the butter redistribution program. These goals are entwined, each making the other possible. Each consuming the waste of the other in a cycle of annulation. One step at a time, one page at a time until the things are done.
And now? Now I find more stones.
Friday, January 14, 2011
I am not by nature or trade, a "TGIF" person. My schedule is not a 9-5 Monday to Friday gig. It is an anytime, anyplace, by hook or by crook, have fun when you can and work around the clock when you must kind of gig.
At this moment though, I am thanking God it is Friday. The van is broke down in the driveway, deadlines for incredibly important documents are looming, and laundry mountain has sloughed off of the couch and into the kitchen, where it is bumping against dish mountain and threatening to set off a tectonic chain of domestic events that will likely result in a full garbage can, but no clean underwear or bowls with which to eat my flaxseed oil, walnut, and plain yogurt covered oatmeal. Then where will I be?
I am going to have to break the piggy bank on my patience and tolerance fund and spend liberally (you know- because liberals like to spend apparently?) if I am going to make it to the latter part of the day when things are scheduled to take a definitive turn in a pro-Juancho direction.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I have a plate of cold chicken, an avocado, a hunk of well-aged cheese, and a batch of raw mustard greens before me on a cutting board. I am eating it all with my hands yes, while typing- tearing leg from thigh and wing from breast. Crunching the cartilage and chewing the sinew. Scooping up buttery slices of the avocado, which tastes like the warm sun and folding it in a leaf of too late picked extra spicy greens, called greens but deep red along all but the spines. I'm staring over the next few days like the unengaged battlefield, polishing the grey gun-metal of my Titus Racer X.
I might get pummeled and driven afield, or I may plant my damn flag where I please.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I mixed it up and checked out a different yoga class tonight. I did this as part of my New Year's resolution to take more positive risks in my life. My bike ride on Saturday took me well into the take more risks realm, but the positive impact of that ride is questionable. I figured a new yoga class was a safe, little, non-risky risk.
This was of course completely untrue. The risk was profound, and not just the risk of writing about yoga on a well-established hardcore cycling blog that ventures into the history of gangster rap, murky manifesto-esque meditations, and outright falsehoods. The real risk happened in that merciless sweat-box about the moment the instructor ubiquitously named John, aided me in my self-flagellation by pushing my own left ankle into my own left hand as I arched on my belly hopelessly for it, groping like a turtle trying to right itself on a scorching highway. Now I know how the Guantanamo prisoners feel when the guards let them adjust the blindfold for comfort. The gratefulness of the brainwashed.
I hope it is okay to mention that this John had the demeanor and build of a Jason Bourne like character who has aged through many battles. Missing the ends of his digits on his right hand I feel certain this happened as a result of frostbite on some remote 28'er peak, or intimate combat for the highest stakes. He was brusque and demanding, yet compassionate in a sense. We did yoga to Sammy Hagar and the Rolling Stones. You could hardly hear the music for all the moaning and wailing going on.
Monday, January 10, 2011
He said he wanted to show me something and that he knew the way. Things happened differently than expected. Saturday's ride was a series of unpleasant and poorly considered decisions that resulted in a hard-fought victory for Mystery and me. The day itself held significance as both the day of the Felasco 50, but more importantly it was Elvis' birthday. Not a day for a lap around the standard trails. A statement was needed. Besides, I felt like I could take anything he could conjure up and still be riding tall at the end of the day. That's pretty much what happened.
My attorney recommends against any discussion of the route, especially any mention of 10 ft. tall fences, ankle deep mud, or the smilac maze. I can say that we didn't see a proper trail until hour 3 of the ride.
We didn't get 50 miles, but we got the suffering of 100.
How as your weekend?
Thursday, January 06, 2011
This time last year I was deep into the pre-Felasco 48 hour regret and dread cycle. I saddled up for that ride in 13 degree weather 100% certain that I would not make it to lunch. If the cold didn't get me, then it would be the legs, or maybe the lungs or the gut that would take me down. Like Saddam at the gallows though, my step never faltered. I went down miserably, and willingly. I felt I deserved it. I ended the ride at 15 miles with a solid ice flow down the crack of my ass from my leaking Camelbak. I do not remember crying, but I should have.
Today I am considering purchasing a Swiffer. They seem magical and handy.
What sweet relief to be free of that event! Although this will surely cause some of your eyes to roll, I must say I feel entirely capable of completing the ride. I just feel I deserve better. I intend to enjoy some art tomorrow evening, sleep in my freshly laundered sheets beneath the weighty comforter and allow it to comfort me. In comfort. I will then wake refreshed, prepare a nutritious breakfast and find Mystery (the other Mullet)for a ride that will be more than 20, but less than 50 miles.
If others have come to similar conclusions, let's hook up after cartoons are over.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
I broke my new year's resolution today.
I was at the dentist having my teeth cleaned and the young woman scraping my teeth was a terrible communicator. I just never knew where she expected me to turn my head, or why I had to get in the closet that turned out to be an x-ray machine. She was pushing and pulling me around like she was the detective and I the fresh collar. .
My new year's resolution was to let no poor service experience go unconfronted. That's right. When I resolve to do something I don't waste my time on the little things. I go big and bold. The problem was, I wanted to make it out of there in time to go for a bike ride. I also didn't trust myself to stick to the second part of my resolution, which was to provide constructive feedback politely. The words wouldn't come to me, only the image of me yanking the scraper out of her hands and poking it into her robust and healthy gums. I just sat there, and took my mind to a happier place. It was all over quickly and I made it to my bike ride.
That's the trouble with my resolution. If we all confronted every transgression of manners and breach of service standard, nobody would get anything done. I am probably somebody's poor service experience myself. A non-returned call, a flip email response, the proverbial dropped ball.
Then again, you have to draw the line somewhere. One can't just take it all the time right? Am I the only one concerned about these issues?
Have a pleasant evening and thanks for stopping by-
Monday, January 03, 2011
Mystery and Me? We are a two mullet school lately. Just two fish swimming in the water. The rest of the school has done been caught up in the great cast net of life.
We just got back from the forest where the pace was swim for your life the Osprey are coming!
I'm pretty sure we would have dropped all of y'all, especially Dogboy.
Sarcastic greeting followed by some local colloquialism. Introduction of topic. Immediate tangential segue away from topic. Return to topic. Observation made avoiding popular cliches in favor of new cliche if time permits. Description of corroborating evidence to support cliche. String of metonymic cleverness. Barb targeting known reader (S'quatch, Mystery preferred)then first closing statement.
Second closing statement.
(more efficient in 2011)