Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Round Up

I took the Reverend’s advice and ripped my fingers from the tendrils that had me sprouting into the keyboard.
This is the spot the kudzu reference goes in order to establish oneself as a distinctly Southern writer, please supply your own metaphor- and make me look good. I rolled out for a 3.5 hour Thursday solo ride. I would call it a visionquest, but I was so distracted and sporadic in pace it was more of a glancequest.

I was still in the old neighborhood when a lady waved me down. She had gotten turned around on a walk and was terribly confused and exasperated. I called Mickey for back-up and he came right away to load her and her walker into the pickup and deliver her to her independent living community from which she had escaped. She was terribly embarassed and asked us not to tell anyone, as her son would get worried. Other than being lost, she seemed fine, charming and a little sad.

We decided to keep her secret for now, except for sharing it with the internet, and trust that she is making decisions in her best interest. Did we do the right thing? It is a tough situation to be forced to choose between respecting personal dignity and avoiding liability at best, if not outright irresponsibility. She likes to walk, and you know someone would put an end to that if they knew she got lost.

Anyway, for once, input on this topic is appreciated as it woke me up at 5:30 this morning.

And now- onto more serious matters.

Bike-chain is sponsoring the Red Bug Challenge tomorrow morning so go get your fillings knocked out racing the roots.

I saw Tom Brown Park yesterday for the first time since the scraping of the earth occurred and ask me what I felt when I saw it? Nothing, maybe mild relief. Yawn, next!

I hooked up with this fellow, Tyler, you may have heard of him by now. He is quite infamous for having one less arm than the rest of us, and hammering the Cadillac trail into dust on a daily basis. I chased him through the Cadillac and over to Pedrick Greenway. About 2 miles into the Greenway lap he rode away from me. I think he was going about 25 mph. Once he was gone from sight I immediately ate all my food and drank all my water as is customary in a survival situation.

It took about two hours for me to get home after that.

I passed Dogboy flying along the Fern Trail and we stopped to chat. It was almost dark and everyone on the trail was lit up. That’s twice in a week I have seen him in the woods. Somebody sell him a real mountain bike and be done with it. Facilitate the transition from road to trail.

What else? Oh so much more.

A couple of the Bike Church zombies, Thing One and Thing Two, won the men’s Sport class 12 hours of Santos. That’s right- first and second. Big ups to John and Keith (not their real names.) Team Little Debbie, comprised of Bushy, Girl Bushy, Pa Ingalls, and Pain Cave Tommy took 6th in a packed co-ed division. Good work everyone.

Now say it with me- racing is stupid- especially if you are slow and easily distracted. Or overly emotional. Other that that I am sure it is great fun.

Due for a blood sugar crash in about two hours-


This Just In…

Here is a cute number worn by Pa Ingalls, courtesy of the Santos Gift Shop.

Old Ass Moses

Down at the shop yesterday a manchild stopped to spread the Gospel a little bit and enjoy the beautiful day. He told us all about Moses and Methuselah and how they truly lived to be 900 years old because the land and the air and the water were pure and God had set no limits on the age of man. Then, perhaps due to overcrowding, or because God grew tired of hearing their lame jokes for the 10,000th time a general cap was placed on the age a man could expect to become. According to this rolling archangel on a royal blue Boss Cruiser a man could expect to live three score plus 10 give or take a year, and those that surpassed Three Score + 10 would know travail.

Maybe he scared me, but I suspect travail is creeping in on all sides. Working with the bit pulled all the way back in my teeth, nostrils flared, and eyes rolled back in my head I can see a little blue sky up there, but my point of reference is four paces ahead of the plow. No more time for making mudpies and killing ants, today’s fun is more complicated- all origami birds and ships in bottles. One unsure lurch and the effort is dashed.

Makes an inner child want to run and hide.



Shush up, listen to the prana out there in the wind.

Rolling in the dark. Sitting still in the forest when everyone is home sitting at the dinner table or in front of the television-where I usually am by nightfall waiting to find out if that singer from Posion wears extensions. Not tonight though Bret, tonight it was all twinkling green spider eyes and crunchy pine cones the size of a larger than average pine cone. More like pineapple cones, that’s what they are.

The forest at night. The forest in general. So exactly what is needed.


The Prana

Prana is not the mind or the soul, but is rather the force or energy through which the soul manifests activity, and the mind manifests thought. It is the steam that runs the physical and mental machinery of life.

I stole away to Munson this afternoon to learn about the Prana.
Hambone met me at the trailhead- both of us somewhat frazzled from what feels like an accelerated life pace, as if when the arc of history bends towards justice the resulting parabola produces more friction, more power, more prana.

Wait. Maybe that is not the Prana at all. The Prana is thick in the forest apparently, I have that on good information. Does the Prana also exist in a cramped airplane seat by the shitter at 37,000 feet? Does the Prana exist equally in curious little boys and old and weary dogs?

All I know is it is thick in the forest.

Riding the last of the light down into the pine needles I was tempted to close my eyes and let the Prana take over. Propelled by a couple of yogi jockeys on my wheel I entered a transcendent state. I’m being serious here, which is hard after developing a carapace(hold on not carapace)instead let me say a bowsprit of cynicism because after all- I lead with it rather than lurk behind it.
As I said, I entered a transcendent state. Hands and feet humming, guttural breathing, absence of pain, hunger, or thirst. No longing. No what next.

The Prana (is that the Prana or what?)


Evidence & Speculation

A series of unidentified flying objects was spotted in the San Diego county area last night by a number of witnesses. The exact number of witnesses remains unknown to the writer at this hour, hence the use of the descriptor “a number.”

Cynical chiding ministrated by the Press and various Public officials evoked a twinge of sympathy for the number of witnesses, whether it be ten or 100. To personally view a rare thing and be ridiculed and doubted by the stoogie masses is unpleasant at best. Perhaps one happens to see an adolescent Black Panther at rest in a familiar urban trail- a breathtaking episode in one’s personal history to be sure- only to be bargained down to accepting the tacit belief that a lesser creature; a much lesser creature- a jaguarundi in fact, may have been the creature in question? This is a sadness and an outrage.

To know that what passes for authority in such matters are those scientists who study the known world is perhaps most disappointing, for how can they be expected to pontificate regarding the unknown, which by their own admission lies well without their sphere of influence and understanding?

This is like Cinderella judging the beauty contest having only worn one gown.

I hereby renounce any implied or specific agreement that the creature in question was any other than a panther, fur black. I call on Hambone to support me in this cause.


The Funny

I went to the Doctor last night, for a two week check-up. The afternoon sun was crashing onshore through the longleaf pines as I pootled along behind the lorrie-like train of Pain Cave Tommy and his daughter, Pain Cave Jr. Just in case I felt bad I wanted a riding partner who could coax me along, but what do you know? I felt great. Rested might be the word.

Meanwhile, my friend in New York Mel (not his real name) sits bored in the cold and snowy hills of Westchester county gnashing his teeth and mashing re-dial over and over leaving me messages like this, while sipping Jameson’s.

“Come on monkey, pick up the phone and entertain me monkey! Click. Ring. Pick up the phone and dance stupid monkey, dance!”

Spring is around the corner, but it might be too late for some people.


The Pivot

After San Felasco life came with the crossover dribble and left me flat-footed- guarding an empty backcourt while the play moved downcourt.

You have to make the pivot.

I didn’t just go to the bench, I left the stadium. I didn’t just leave the stadium, I took a bus downtown and got a job as a hot dog vendor. I failed to make the pivot. When all of the priorities I had kept at bay came with the full court press I should have faked downcourt to the power forward, pulled up, and called a timeout.

Instead, I got stripped.

The convenient frame says, “Well, I accomplished a goal and it is only natural to take some time off and deal with life’s business.” Fug dat. I am much happier when I postpone, delay, and ignore those so-called important issues like career and family in favor of a maniacal obsession with the bike. The issues benefit as well.
I prefer the perspective of the warrior class. All things will be settled- as soon as I am back from the battlefield.

I have been running like- on my feet- in the absence of my bike the last two weeks. Feet are easier to pack. Near as I can tell 15 minutes of running equals 50 miles of vigorously steep singletrack. Seriously, do the math for yourself:



At any rate, and to return to my original metaphor, I am now ready to make the pivot. Down by double digits, but plenty of time left on the clock.




I am keeping a helicopter view on the whole scene these days. I can see people moving around, they look like ants on the march- to Santos, to feed the chickens, to here. I can see the curvature of the Earth, and I can see around the corner into Summer 2009 a time long-remembered for the realization of great changes.

I woke a sleeping soldier in the Atlanta airport, I thought he was missing his flight. He mumbled he had just come from Iraq and he couldn’t stay awake. A dark-skinned 25 year-old American vet torturously curled in a chair designed to not welcome or accomodate the sleeping. This summer I hope to see exhausted soldiers scattered across the floors of airports, empty Cinnabon boxes at their feet.

As I tack about the country I nurse a bite on my eye from an Arizona bedbug, far preferable to I-75 traffic, but less appealing than a carne asada taco from Reyberto’s in Clairemont Mesa, CA. I want to ride my bike, but I can’t let go of my sheets. If I do I know I will just float away.

Maybe tomorrow,