Monthly Archives: May 2007


If a 200 lb man falls in the woods does anybody hear it?

He does, that much I can tell you.

Over the bars on the Live Oak Connector, crossing one of those cute little ramp bridges over a log.

back in the day we just rode over the log.

Almost sideswiped by a lawn maintenance truck on the way home-

and he gave me the finger.

I put the bike in the garage, let the air out of both tires, closed the garage door-

and went inside.


Too cool for school

Just about everyone I know is an elitist, and so am I. We have spent years cultivating a list of places we will not go:

The Mall
Our own graduation ceremonies
Bars that have neon
Each others’ houses
Public gatherings of any kind
Mainstream music events
Buffets (except “NO SUNDAY!”)

And we have an equally long list of people we will not associate with.

People who wear shoes without backs
Girls who go to church
People with tattoos
People who part their hair
Democrats (who talk about it all the time anyway)
Strangers with children
Strangers in general
People who choose sincerity over sarcasm
Police Officers

Many of these elitist practices are hard-earned lessons brought about by experience, but the residual cloistering effects may not be so good for us. S’quatch pushed the envelope dragging me into the teeeming hordes this past weekend. I drew the line at Ginnie Springs when he wanted to paddle right into the middle of a drunken gathering of SAT scores below 750, but at other times I enjoyed the hordes.

The little kid with the fishing pole who said he would jump in “the gator hole” for $2,000.

The state worker with the Suwannee River boyfriend.

The cyclists from Panama City who bought bikes form Higher Ground, but have never been to Joe’s.

Sometimes you have to take off the Howard Hughes suit and get dirty with the great unwashed.


Spring Kings

S’quatch and I knocked out 30 miles of Santosian singletrack on Saturday after confronting the reality that every single campground for 50 miles had been booked for months. Without too much struggle, we abandoned the area in favor of finding cold water before dark.

We settled in at Blue Springs, and it was every bit the refugee camp I expected it to be, but it was also kind of nice. No campers right on top of us, and an apparent lawless attitude towards safety. There are four springs on the property and they are accessible all night long. We were swimming at midnight, egged on by an ever-present gang of zit-faced adolescents.

Although S’quatch wanted to resettle at Blue Springs and live out his years, I was over it by lunchtime on Sunday and with a combination of standard deadeye and persistent sighing I had us on the move again by 1:00 P:M.

We picked off Troy Springs, which is a popular scuba diving spot, and then I found Telford Springs (pictured above). The scene at this place was Florida underbelly all the way. Here is a list of things I expected to see: A teenager having a baby, a head injury, someone falling out of a tree, a Mexican being attacked, a Mexican attacking someone else, crystal methamphetamine, a truck buried to its axles, pork rinds.

Look at that swimming hole though, beautiful don’t you think?

So what did you get into?


Kittens and Ice Cream

After a hard hitting piece of fair and balanced journalism like yesterday’s post I like to lighten things up before the long weekend. We all know by now that nothing says “lighten up” like a kitten eating ice cream!

Don’t even try to pretend you don’t love it! I know I love it. Look at the kitten eat that ice cream- that is so frickin’ cute!

Am I right or what?

Big Worm says there is major road bike action in town this weekend. State road race, blah, blah crit whatever, sounds like a good reason to blow town.

That being said, good luck to the local folks, I hope you send ’em packing back to where they came from.

Now retreat to your neutral corners and come out swinging on Tuesday.


S’quatch received a call a couple of days ago that would be funny if it weren’t so disturbing. It seems someone has been cutting new trail through the recently clear-cut forest out by our old grandpa trail, Munson Hills. Chainsaw, flagging, the whole chimichanga of trail cutting. I really don’t understand the concern, seeing as how they will be dropping a Lowe’s Superstore on the site, or something similar. The Forest Service is watching the area and they are apparently hungry for blood. They really want this Zorro of the wilderness, this Robin Hood who dares steal lines in the sand and give them to the people for the pleasure of rolling-slowly-in the forest.

This call came from the inner cabal of our local trail advocacy group Fat of the Land, a group dedicated to… well, it is really hard to say what they are dedicated to, but by God they are dedicated!

It seems S’quatch had been tried and convicted en absentia and was being given the opportunity to come clean, cease and desist, before-you know- things had to get ugly. Seeing as how we have one trail outlaw trying to stay one step ahead of the law regarding the Fern Trail stand-off, this new accusation has me thinking Pogrom?

S’quatch assured Kenneth Starr that he most certainly did not have relations with that trail, but he did applaud the outlaw’s effort and looked forward to riding the renegade trail in the near future, like maybe after it has rained for a week. (Who in the hell wants to be in the forest in these conditions anyway?)

Kenneth Starr then informed S’quatch that he respectfully did not believe him, as he and the rest of the secret tribunal were absolutely certain they had their man. Mr. Starr continued in his admonishment, encouraging S’quatch to come in from the cold and assume the legitmate role of trail steward since he himself was a family man, with a career, and had no time to commit to this nonsense. S’quatch, sensing some common ground at last, related “Yes, I understand, I have a career and a family too.” To which Mr. Starr replied with a disturbing, “No you don’t.” Hmmmmmmm. A threat or merely an oversight? Although it is damaging to the mythos of the Big Ring Circus to acknowledge such things, S’quatch actually does have two fun and clever children and a lovely wife (Squawtch). He is employed in a position where people call him “Doctor”.

So, just for the record, since the resurrection of our local trail advocacy group we have a total of (0) new trails completed, one trail lost entirely, and one succesful character assasination.

Not a bad day’s work.


Memorial Day Weekend

The Florida Folk Festival has been cancelled. The location of the festival, along the banks of the Suwanee river, is right in the crease where the fires from GA and FL are preparing to link up for their own three day weekend.

This leaves a pretty big hole in the schedule. Last year I missed the festival due to a bad case of the bubonic plague, so I was looking forward to getting back in the groove. It looks like I will just have to go get chiggers someplace else this weekend. Damn.

S’quatch wants to roll down into central Florida cold spring country and do some road biking. You know, just pull up at some private campground and pay $20 a night for the privilege of sleeping next to an overflowing barrel of dirty diapers and Busch Light Draft cans, with the raggedy bass of some gap-toothed redneck’s “system” providing the lullabies.

Mystery, the Untameable Stallion, (or is it Buttercup now?) is headed to Obed in TN for climbing,biking,fun- but that seems to be a “date trip” and I am fresh out of dates.

So, maybe camping in conditions similar to the Andersonville prison camp is an appropriate way to recognize the holiday. Trekking all day under the blazing central Florida sun, the smell of roadkill on the breeze, maybe that is as close to war as I will ever get?

Unless you have a better idea?


Let me just get this out in the open here- The Santos trail system, located in Bellview,FL is among the finest trail systems in the known universe. I credit Santos completely for once again saving me from the pit of despair and apathy and renewing my love of riding all over again.

After 18 holes of golf (I shot a 103 thank you very much) and a too late night enjoying the Central Florida divorcee’ crowd down at the Tin Cup Tavern on main street Ocala,I crawled off my bro’s torturous couch unrefreshed. 3 hours of sleep and a mouth seemingly full of laundry lint is no way to start the day.

Grumpy would not even come close to describing my disposition and there are more than enough witnesses visiting this site to testify to my “grumpability”. Nevertheless, Santos drew me down to its sweet bosom.

Pa Ingalls got a pass from barn duties to join us for an early (9:30 A:M) departure on what felt to be a cool Fall morning. In minutes I gave myself over to the creak of the saddle and the burn in my lungs. We hit many of my favorite loops- Twister, Blue Hiway, Canopy, John Brown, Cowbone, linking them up like locals. For long stretches there was no conversation, no stopping, just the shamanistic company of looming Oaks and Pines.

On the way home I rinsed off the last of my apathy at Fanning springs. Just to be certain, I rode the North side yesterday and by God I must say, I love to ride my bike.


Donkey Trip

Time to load the ass, head ’em up, and move ’em out.

My buddy Jesse is in town fresh off the streets of Mumbai, New Delhi, and the foothills of the Himalayas. He says things like “bomb-diggity”, “yuck-yuck”, and “boom-boom”, but I like him anyway.

Time for a little visit to Santos, Ichetucknee, and other Central Florida gems.

Have a great weekend y’all.


No se mueve!

This is a shot of S’quatch trying to get me to ride yesterday morning. He showed up with a road bike, and some sort of mountain bike/grocery getter/ ” I got a DUI” type transportation. Honestly, that thing was so dirty it could have been an unassembled dinette seat for all I could tell.

It was Monday, and he spent the weekend with the sugary bit of God and Country clenched deep within his jowls. After 5 years of challenging him to play hooky he calls me out, not that he had to work himself mind you. I told him I rode SEVEN miles the day before, or as I said it, “Seeevvvveeenn frigging’ miles” to make them sound longer than they were. I was tired in mind and body, and the spirit was left somewhere in the lonely airport miles between home and the land of a bunch of lakes. He nagged and prodded while I combined my infamous deadeye with a determined glower. Lord forgive me, but I didn’t want to go for no damn bike ride.

But I did. I simply could not allow this aggression to stand. I would not be called out when it comes to skipping work so I promptly ignored the project that is likely to determine my future as a participating adult in this world and got on the Del Rey.

I’m calling it “hill work” no matter what he says.

In the end it was this cozy corner of the internets that got me off the couch.

So- what gets you off the couch?


Our state is burning like my quads on a moderate incline.

This type of sweeping wildire is a natural occurrence and only becomes a problem because we the people are so densely packed in to this place that we can’t get out of our own way. Why can’t this fire just burn through the strip malls, the gated communities, the salt marsh condos, and leave the real Florida alone?

Hambone and I drove 50 miles round trip in order to ride 7 miles out at the Lines Tract trail in Gadsden county. I think that might elicit some demerits from Al Gore, but hey, I frickin’ rode my bike right?

And that’s what is important here.

Although the fires are 100 miles away, our lovely town was choking in a blanket of smoke and ash yesterday. The 10th Ave gang (now the 10th/Monticello BoyZ) played manic roving Bocci ball oblivious to the haze.

After 10 minutes of that I balked and retreated. Bob, “Splinter Cell” quipped, “You won’t do so well during the apocalypse if you can’t handle this”.

We’ll just wait and see who does well in the Apocalypse! I’ve been stockpiling cans of tuna for 20 years.

I have a discreet problem in which I would like to enlist your support. A beloved member of the BRC team was recently pinched by the man (spit!) for covert trail developments. If you are in the know you may know a thing or two about this and understand the debt we all owe this person for his dedication to trails, Tallahassee, and the spirit of community over commercialism. He is our own David Allen Coe and he needs our help. E-mail me to learn more at $3,000 is a relevant figure.

If you ever ride east to the park, then pony up.