First and foremost:
Buy a needy kid a bike. Support the Spin-A-Thon
Even though it's been raining for 40 days and 40 nights, even though Saturday is our anniversary, even though there's football to watch and laziness to be had, Shannon and I will be riding in the Spin-A-Thon on Saturday to support the Toy Lift.
Better yet, come ride.
The world only gets better when the people show up, up, up.
Second, and also lastly since I have a meeting in 4 minutes, does anyone actually think they can handle the big, juicy platter of pain that Mark Smith will be serving up to the solo field at the Paranormal?
Platter of Paranormal Pain. For a limited time only. That's a salad, an appetizer, two main courses, dessert, an aperitif, 15 beers, and a big glass of shut the hell up because you can't handle it.
If I'm wrong, tell me I'm wrong. Better yet, come prove it.
Up, up, up.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
The Paranormal is coming. Might as well break out the monster music.
Because 165,000,000 youtubers can't possibly be wrong.
With that out of the way, I'm here to tell you what you should be doing like I actually know better than you, because this is the internet after all. And what you should be doing is night riding. Like I said, The Paranormal is coming, and those 11 laps that it takes to win aren't going to ride themselves.
To that end, and assuming the 2nd Blood Moon of the notorious and horrifying Tetrad doesn't mean the rapture begins on Tuesday night - or at least assuming that you're not going to be a part of the rapture like the other 98% of us who will have to figure out how to live with that fact - then we'll night ride Thursday night. In the mountains. Hopefully that will help us cope.
Should be a slightly waning full moon, but pretty full nonetheless.
Meet at my place at 8:00 PM, or at the corner of Brokenback and Simmons Gap (the church, how appropriate) at 8:30 PM. Approximately a 2 beer ride, depending on how hard you take the news. Singlespeeding encouraged, though be ready for a little hiking.
Those taken in the rapture are excused from attendance.
Up, up, up.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Sometime in the late 90's, the story goes that Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing was taking a terrible lot of drugs, and he was dating some fantastic young lady named Janine. And like most musicians inspired by love and drugs, he wrote a song about her.
But when he sat down to record the song for the next Soul Coughing album, he couldn't quite make it come out right - it just didn't quite convey how he felt about her. So, in a fit of bizarre, drug-induced brilliance, he had Janine leave the little apartment they shared in Manhattan, run down to the pay phone in the street in the middle of the night, call him at the apartment, and sing "The Lemon Tree." He missed the call, but the answering machine caught it, and in a show of real creative mastery of his craft, he took the answering machine to the studio and recorded what we now know as the album version of "Janine" over top of Janine singing "The Lemon Tree" on his answering machine to capture how she made him feel about her.
Lovely. Creative. Brilliant.
And so, similarly I hope, rather than photoshopping Qwadsworth onto a Georgia Tech Cheerleader -which I've been there and done and I think exhausted the creative brilliance right the hell out of - and in an effort to convey how I really feel about him, I'll photoshop his face onto a picture of the Iron Sheik giving Hacksaw Jim Duggan the camel clutch, and I hope it'll just stand for itself.
Up, up, up.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
I don't have a hastily-photoshopped image of Qwadsworth as a cheerleader riding the Georgia Bulldog yet. But I should. What can I say; it's been a long season, and with all of these 100 miler wins that Qwadsworth has racked up, I'm pretty worn out.
I'll try to get that up and running in the next few months though.
I also don't have a race report, strava file, or heart rate data to share from the 18 Hours on the Farm from last weekend. Again, tired. So tired.
What I do have, however, is a firm date for The Paranormal.
The Paranormal will be November 1, 2014.
Before you start bitching about mountain bike racing in the month of November, or the fact that Halloween is actually in October, or how exhausted you are from winning all of these races on a singlespeed, consider this:
Halloween actually falls on a Friday this year, Oct 31 2014. So The Paranormal is Saturday, November 1st, the day after Halloween. Set aside, for a moment, all the benefits that racing for 6 hours can deliver when fueled by candy corn and mothballs the you scored the night before, ignore the ideal set up of free cheap Saturday night beer to compliment the load of rich Pumpkin porter you had on Friday, and consider this fact alone:
You can pretty much put on your slutty pirate costume on Thursday when you get home from work, sauce it up a little, and roll it straight into Sunday without ever having to change.
Music accompaniment, shit talking, keg selections, predictions, and bikereg link coming soon.
Giddyup, up, up.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Good luck down there, brothers and sisters.
And a little carb loading idea if that's your gig.
Fool's Gold Sandwich
Serves 8-10 people, or one Elvis.
1 foot-long loaf sourdough bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces creamy peanut butter
16 ounces strawberry jam (the original used Dickinson's blueberry preserves)
1 pound bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat the loaf in butter. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes
While the bread is in the oven, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Slice the loaf in half lengthwise and hollow out the inside. Fill with an entire jar of peanut butter and an entire jar of jam. Top with bacon and put the top of the loaf back on. Slice to serve.
And by "slice to serve" I know that you know that I mean, put the whole thing in your piehole and chew.
Up, up, up.
Up, up, up.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
I'm struck my how much I find in common in their collective passing. The way that Scud would meander through a conversation, ecstatic, sort of like a Robin Williams monologue, whose subsequent passing happened the week of Scudfest, or what will happen to Robin Williams' collection of 60-some bikes, many of them boutique productions, like the men themselves, inspirational, one of a kind, or the fact that you can die on a mountain bike or in your home the same way: well before you should.
The whole thing has given me considerable pause. I've avoided writing about this because I certainly don't know what it all means, but I'll spit it out finally here and hope to be done with the worst of it.
I think it's natural to think you knew Robin Williams. For many of us, we grew up in a context that Robin Williams helped create. It's shocking for us to realize that though he was an inspiration to the people around him, he had no inspiration left for himself, that we did not know Robin Williams after all.
I also didn't know John Potter. I stared at his photo online for a while, tried to place him in my past somewhere, and he does look familiar. Maybe that's just human empathy, and I feel so absolutely terrible for his family that I'm not sure what to write about him. I imagine that I passed him along the trail somewhere sometime, and we said hey and rode on. But I didn't know him. Walnut creek, though, I know extraordinarily well. I've got a 2-inch scar on my left shoulder. I broke a bike there once. But dying there never crossed my mind.
I haven't been to Bryce yet, where Scud was injured, and I don't think I'll go. But if I did, I imagine I'd be most struck by the flow and grace of it, like most people who have been there. I hear it's terrific.
I met Scud the first time while racing the Monster Mash at Wakefield up near D.C. He was the race promoter and director, and the whole thing was a benefit for some kid's program he was running at the time, and I finished 2nd. I crashed pretty hard chasing the leader, maybe 200 yards from the finish. I rode across the line dusty and bleeding, and Scud was psyched, congratulatory, wild-eyed in the way he always was when there was action to be had, and he said what we always say when that happens, "If you're not crashing, you're not going fast enough."
Mental note to self: don't say that anymore.
If I'm honest with myself, and I have to answer the question "how would you prefer to die?" and I don't say "in my sleep" which is sort of a lame, cowardly answer for the moral hypothetical, then I guess I have to admit that if I have to go - not anytime soon, mind you - I'd prefer to pass away on my bike. I don't know what that's about, but there it is.
The thing is, I always thought bikes were supposed to save your life. Not end it. And I think for the most part that's true more often than it's not.
But nothing saves your life, at least not forever.
I'm left, like many of us, with a lot of unanswered questions, many of which I won't write here because they're borderline offensive. But how many miles did those three men tally in their lives? And what are those miles worth now?
I have to pause sometimes, survey what's before me, take stock of the things and people I've been gifted, and remind myself to savor it. It keeps me looking up up up.