Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekend at Betty's

Condolences for the death of Betty White popped into the mailbag in a comforting, fast way after the grim announcement of her pending demise (and the photo of her crack) aired on this channel on Wednesday.  Aluminum mountain bike frames are dropping like, well, aluminum bike frames these days.  Maybe it's the heat.  But it would seem Old Betty touched a lot of lives in one way or another, and that's all well and good I suppose.  But something was missing, I reckoned, and one email really said it all.
From:  Dangeorus Dan
To:  BRC
RE:  Betty White
"What?  No kiss goodbye?" 

Indeed, Dan, that's a valid point.  Sometimes a man just needs to say goodbye the right way. 

And, given the fact that I've got the next 5 days off from work, the pending 100 degree temperatures that are about to infect the right coast, and the now-voiced demand from the masses (or just Dan) for Betty White to have a proper wake (a slightly dangerous proper wake) and I think I know what's coming: a farewell tour. 

I'm still brainstorming ideas for a slogan:
"Betty White to Black"
"The Golden Girls do Green County"

Big picture - it doesn't matter.  The Betty White Farewell Tour is happening this weekend, loosely defined as:

This Friday, which suddenly has become today, 8 PM: Wind down the Trek demo here at the rancho relaxo, then go see if Betty White can superfly the paranormal loop like the superfly can.  Chances are, probably not. 

Saturday:  A day of rest.  And probably some epoxy.  Even a dead superstar needs a rest day. 

Sunday Morning: Gravel Church.

View Gravel Church in a larger map

Although the route happens to pass adjacent to a few nice churches, I can't claim it's spiritual in the traditional sense of the word.  But there is a bakeshop along the way that might make you think about God, so that's something anyway.    

Monday, 10 AM:  The Tour De Berg rolls from Braley's pond at 10 AM.  Assuming Betty White is still alive and kicking, she'll be rolling Le Rocktown Tour with the best of them, though admittedly far, far behind the best of them. 

Tuesday:  Brokenback to the observatory.  At night, of course, a familiar route for the old girl which could be fortunate if the Tour De Berg has left her further debilitated than she started, which is almost certain. 

Wednesday: Likely crippled well beyond the point of safety by this point, both of us that is, a two-fer is in order.  Some kind of morning loop with the 31 year-old love of my life while our sitter chokes/entertains/chokes the tots, followed by an evening brownie crit that, if Betty ain't dead yet, is certain to finish her off. 

In my head, I liken this effort to a sort of rural, 100 degree, bike personification of Weekend at Bernies

Friends of Betty, you're all invited along.  RSVP's welcomed, but not required. 

Say your goodbyes.  Drink a 40 or two.  But, above all else, take the ride.
Like life itself, Betty won't stick around long. 

Up, up, up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Betty White's Crack

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where Betty White could just die a peaceful, private death away from the prying eyes of the poporatzic media, without grainy pictures of her crack spread all across the Internet like some tramp?

Maybe. But that's not the world we live in.
And what fun would that be anyway?
Technically, Betty White has multiple cracks, that tarty little freakshow. And one of them has gotten obscenely loud, loud enough it has me worried. At this point, for multiple reasons, the Betty White metaphor should probably take a back seat for a moment so I can focus on the matter at hand; my bike is dying.

Handbuilt in Marin, CA in 1998, the original receipt was for a $1200 rigid hardtail with canti's that the buyer UPGRADED with a Mantiou elastomer fork. One of the first machined rear triangle bikes produced in CA for stiffness and weight savings.  100% dotcom, late 90's hot shotedness.  Final price tag was damn near $2k. Worth every penny.

The dotcoms imploded, CA was left for Colorado, and the bike was sold to me in 2001 for pennies on the dollar - renamed, as anyone who has ridden in Golden, CO can appreciate, the silver bullet, I guess you'd have to see a photo or two of the old gal in her finer days to really behold the glory that used to be. 


Countless trips to Utah.

A week of singletrack in Crested Butte.

Reconstructed for the 4th and final time.

Betty White and I have spent some great afternoons together, and in a way I think she's a part of me.  Even Sunday, creaking like a bad screen door at a haunted house, Betty set a personal record (for me, not Betty) around the local gravel loop here in Earallysville. 49:27. With the right kind of earplugs and a complete dismissal of ones own safety, it's like she's never been better.

But eventually you gotta get out while the gettins still good (and your nads are still intact). 

Mountain bikers and our bikes, we're sort of like lizards and their tails.  Yes, we're connected.  But fortunately the connection isn't permanent.  They break, we get another.   Betty White, I'll miss her, but she's heading to the big scrap pile in the sky and I've got my eye on the next 10 years.

Trek Demo. Friday, 5 - 8 PM at the BRC test track.

Where one idol falls, erect another.
If you can, eradicate all traces of the first.
Keep moving.


Thanks for your patience.  Dr. Crackframe will see you now.
Up, up, up. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

These boots were made for drinking.

A splendid surprise, but also maybe the best place to store a tire boot - INSIDE your tire.

The ByeKyle BeerBoot XL1.0.  As a tire boot, it's a thing of beauty.  Plus, if you find yourself trailside, sidewall slashed, and without a tube, at least you can walk home reckoning about a free beer that never expires.  Because it's Friday after all. 

ByeKyle Patent #54-123098-490.  All rights reserved.  Offer not valid without purchase.  Keep hands and feet inside the car at all times.  Beer sold separately.  Tire boot may not work.  Do not eat tire boot.  Helmets required.  Helmets not available in all stores.  Warranty not valid without proof of purchase.  Register your ByeKyle BeerBoot online to be notified of recalls.  Recall notice not an admission of guilt.  Batteries sold separately.  Call for details.  Don't eat yellow snow.  Offer expires without notice. 

It's Friday. 
Up, up, and so forth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Simple strap use #47,114.

Simple strap use #47,114.
Maybe I can use it to somehow affix Rowan's helmet to his head.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Text from last night...

From Big John in the RIC:
"Went for my fit. Procal broken. Mach 429 ordered."

I was actually thinking he just needed a setback post to accommodate his massive, enlarging hammies. Turns out, like with most things, I didn't know what I was talking about.

But, in a lot of ways, I feel that text message embodies the best kind of BRC customer experience. Admittedly, it's a little sad, as Big John's old whip may have been the last remaining of the fleet of BFR-colored procals that railed Virginia singletrack from D.C. to Danville. Lots of laughs and a few wins on those things. Still, life has a way of getting better and better, especially when it comes to $2500 suspension platforms, lateral rigidity, and generally badass engineering, and eventually the time has simply come.

Congrats, big John. Your life just got a little faster.

And, not to throw Pivot all the love on a beautiful Friday with rally in the forecast, but Trek will be here at the BRC test track in t-minus...well, shoot, looking at the window they're already here.

Sunny, light breeze, chance of rally: 100%.

Seize the weekend. 
Gotta get up to get down. 
up, up, up. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's a Thirsty sort of Thursday

At least it is if, like me, you've:

1) eaten 5 sloppy joes in the last 24 hours

2) ridden your bike for 3 days in a row

3)  been stress-preloading for a Saturday jaunt around the RIC in the 90 degree heat with BigJohn who, likely, is going to ride you into the ground.

Oh yeah, though, I've been training.  Training, and sweating all over my camera. 

holy shit these things are heavy.
 The treachery. My, how the tables have turned

Speaking of the tables turning, hearken back for a moment to the sad day when Nolan left town. Nolanpalooza # 1 was a bittersweet rolling of the pararidetheridge loop (that being a luscious sampling of singletrack from both the BRC test track here at the Rancho Relaxo and the race course at Blue Ridge School.) Thoughts that day were somber, and there was talk of trying to bang off the loop in under 3 hours to keep the tears at bay. Instead, we BBQ'ed, and C- Ham blubbered like a baby.
Well, the tables have turned, as they're apt to do, as I said before, and Nolanpalooza #2 will be held in early July to celebrate the triumphant return of Nolan to the Foof, now leaner, meaner, and faster than when he left.  Like war, I reckon Pisgah will bring those changes about in a man. 

Details are still forthcoming and, as you might have presumed, those details are certain to be extremely vague anyway. 
Beardcicles will be involved.
Bring it. 

What else? 
Well, as long as I'm talking about Blue Ridge School and the various derelicts that have come and gone from those hallowed halls, I'd better mention Captain America's gigantic 400 mile, 45 and half hour jaunt around the newly propositioned Allegheny Mountain Loop ITT.  Officially, the high water mark has been set.  This might be old news to you (April 12th, to be exact) so if it is, just scroll down and savor, once again, those Charlie Manson eyes. 

Ahh, the fringes of what's possible, somewhere out there well past sanity and logic.   Makes you want to dip in and see what you're worth, eh? Congrats, Cap'n. 

Well, before I get out of hand and start waxing nostalgic about the Man-Child, Mr. Zirkle, God forbid, I suppose I'll trail off and just say that I've successfully pieced together a new singletrack section for the once-ridden, twice-cancelled, transcounty ride.  By "successfully" I mean, I didn't get shot while poaching it.  And that's good enough for me. 

A few pictures from yesteryear:

Perhaps Nolanpalooza #2 can take on a new shape, something more appropriately sized for the kind of man who's been hardened by the mountains of North Carolina.  I'll stock up some freeziepops. 

Up, up, up. 

PS - heal up soon, J-man!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rides Like Danny Devito

Short.  But fun, thick, and with many layers.

What I'm saying is, even if you've only got 20 minutes to ride, that 20 minutes is better than nothing; and sometimes that 20 minutes is better than an all day jaunt.  I had a larger, more detailed analysis on that notion forthcoming, part of which surrounds the theory that 3 - 20 minute rides are approximately 2.5 times more satisifying than just one 60 minute ride, but the math on that has gotten a little chaotic, and I dozed off, then woke up staring at half-naked pictures of Danny Devito on the internet, and I lost interest. 

What I'm saying is, despite the deficit of time we've created in our lives, ride anyway.  You might be dissapointed by only 20 minutes, but probably not.  Most of the pyschological benefits are still there, rife with endorphins, poise, and added clarity about life in general.  You barely broke a sweat, but the enduring sensation of a rally will stick with you to just about the same extent as a full 2-hour effort.  You walk back in the front door, breathe a deep one, buy back into life, and the washing machine dings that the 22 minute cycle you started on your way out the door is complete. 

1st place:  You, 21:07
2nd Place:  Maytag Washer/Dryer, 22:00

What I'm saying is, when in doubt, rally.  It might not be perfect, but mountain biking in its most basic sense is a flight from perfection anyway.  Get yourself dirty.  Slide through the turns. 

If only for a few minutes, shake life up, up, up.